Summer has arrived, and in Montana now-a-days that means hot and dry. It's been in the high 80s and low 90s for quite a while. Kurt Krueger was heading over to Mulkey Gulch with his friend Clint, and I tagged along. There was an anchor on Mulkey Tower he wanted to work on, but we started out in the shade on this other short spire on the West side of the road.
We warmed up on "Gear Battle", a 5.8 crack that takes gear pretty well; I haven't a clue why it got that name. But it was named long ago when cams didn't exist; maybe hexes don't stay put in that crack very well.
Clint scooted up to the anchors, I cleaned the gear and Kurt lowered me so we had a top rope for our next exercise.
|Clint Leading "Gear Battle"|
|Gary Following Gear Battle|
|Kurt Warming Up on Gear Battle|
We moved left about ten feet to a bolted route whose name I don't know. I think Kurt said it is supposed to be 5.11a/b. It was certainly thin and we all worked at it in a pretty focused manner. The part below the horizontal crack is the difficult part; once you reach the horizontal crack it eases off and you can cruise on to the top.
|Clint Proceeding Carefully on the Route Left of Gear Battle|
After we had all worked our way up that one, we moved over to the dihedral to the right of Gear Battle. It has a bolted route called "Wet Dream" which follows the thin crack in the corner and the face to the right. I think it's rated 5.10a/b.
|Gary Leading "Wet Dream"|
|Kurt on Wet Dream|
By the time Kurt was done the rock was starting to bake in the sun, so we headed across the road to Mulkey Tower. Kurt had an anchor he needed to do some work on which he could get to by hiking up the side of the formation, so while he was doing that Clint and I climbed Peretto Bros.. Then Kurt and I climbed a route that started on Link-Up but veered to the right and went up over a small roof. The roof wasn't too bad, but it was really thin above that.
By then it was geting too hot, so we called it a morning. All in all, a great day and some great climbing.