Sunday, September 26th, 2004

Cookie Cliff and Generator Crack

I had been having a knot in my stomach for a few days – ever since Allen brought up we should go to Cookie Cliff this weekend. Cookie is famous for its hard crags, but am I up for it? Well, up for it or not, we spent two days — two afternoons since we had late start on both days — there.

Saturday, we started on the Right Side of the Cookie (5.9, 2 pitches) by me leading the first pitch and Allen finishing off the rest of it where the chimney is. This climb is in the shade whole day. Then we moved on to Catchy (5.10d). It felt really easy for its grade. Confidence boosted, I moved up the ladder — I followed Waverly Wafer (5.10c Reids, 5.11a SuperTopo’s description). It felt a notch harder than Catchy. We finished off the day doing Butterballs (5.11c). I made it up to the top, but did not look pretty at all — I had to hang a few times. Better footwork and more pullup strength are what I need to do this climb.

After running into Allen’s friend Bowe at the campsite, we convinced him and his friends to go back to Cookie with us on Sunday as they were planning to practice aiding on some thin crack anyway. But when we got there, Cookie was baked in the sun and we felt lethargic. Even so, Bowe’s friends feerlessly started their aid climbing practice. Before we were about to turn to somewhere else, I discovered that The Enema (5.11b) was in the shade. Allen, Bowe and I did it in a party of three. I led the first pitch including a 5.9 squeeze chimney. “The second pitch is the business,”(SuperTopo) and it was Allen’s business to lead it. The crack is flaring and overhanging. It’s hard.

Since the notorious Generator Crack (5.10c) is only 1 mile away and I had been telling Allen about it for a year, we stopped there to give ourselves some torture. It felt like a torture a year ago when I attempted it, and it still felt like a torture this time. I made it higher than last time, but had to give up when my boney ankles reached their pain tolerance threshold. But, I will be back!

The cliff is better viewed from a distance. It seems small, but is concentrated with quality hard cracks. See that big flake-looking thing near the middle of the photo? The climb, the Right Side, is behind it — therefore, in the shade.