By Wednesday, almost everyone had left! It was just me, Jack, Natalie, and Jason. Since there was a smaller group, I felt like we got tons of climbing in and so I have fewer pictures, sorry!
Wednesday we went to Bruise Brothers wall in Muir Valley. I started off the day by leading another 5.10a called Rat Stew, and then leading my very first 5.10c! Clean! With no takes! We left that day totally exhausted! A celebration beer was in order!
We had planned on going to Rockhouse (good food! and good beers!) for dinner, but for some reason they were closed and we headed a little further down the road to Miguel’s for pizza.
Miguel’s is the dirtbag climber paradise! Just tents everywhere since camping is only $2 a night! The only downside….its in a DRY COUNTY!! No beer! So unfortunately, I did not get my celebration beer. But I did get a half a pizza with sweet potatoes, avocados, pulled pork, and ricotta cheese. Amazing! (Too bad it’s a dry county, Miguel’s could make a killing selling beer! Rockhouse, while only 5 minutes away is actually just over the county line, good location!)
Although, when we got back I was hell bent on my celebration beer and Jack and I dug out our special beer for the trip! Dogfish Head Chateau Jiahu, considered a Herb/ Spiced beer, 10% abv.
Really unique and interesting beer. The smell told me nothing at all, in fact, it smelled like it was going to be run-of-the-mill terrible! The taste though, was complex. From the first sip to the aftertaste you can taste something different. Honey, sweet and flowery, and toward the end the grape hits you. I would have this beer again at least to experience a blend of unusual flavors.
Thursday, we got somewhat hard to get passes and got into Torrent Falls! Wow, overhung pockets and crimps! Very classic RRG climbing! It started pouring while we were there, but luckily the wall was so overhanging that we all stayed dry and were able to continue climbing!
That night Jack and I made it to Rockhouse
and I got a delicious cheeseburger and a Bell’s Porter! (I had to re-use a picture since I actually did not photograph this beer at Rockhouse! I was too hungry and tired to dig my camera out of my backpack in the trunk of my car)
As always, relaxing and delicious! Roasted malts, hints of chocolate and coffee, sweet and smooth.
Friday, our last day of climbing we all decided to get in a little trad climbing. Trad climbing is a bit different. The climbs do not have bolts for you to clip into as you go, you need to place your own protection. Since you need to place your own pro, trad climbs are usually on a natural feature of the rock. So think cracks, chimneys, flakes, and corners. We chose Long Wall, and after a very steep approach we got to the two main climbs of the day, Autumn 5.9 and Rockwars 5.10a, both crack climbs. (But they were crack climbs that did not involve hand and finger jams (my favorite) they were all liebacks (not so much my favorite)
Haha! Nice socks, Jack!
Since it was our last night camping, I realized I had some beers that needed drinking!
First up was Samuel Smith’s Imperial Stout, from Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery, United Kingdom. A Russian Imperial Stout 7% abv.
I feel unlucky, I took a sip of this beer expecting greatness and got….a mouthful of vinegar! Again?! Seriously?! Jack confirmed it. The beer had gone bad. There are a few ways beer can go bad, sunlight, cycles of hot and cold, and just plain getting too hot. Yes, this beer survived a car trip in a cooler, but we never let the temperature drop and once we got to the campground we put it in the fridge. I’m guessing that it was lightstruck possibly in Total Wine. Fluorescents can skunk beer, but it takes longer. Who knows? What a shame.
But next up on the list was the tried and true Original Flag Porter from Darwin Brewery of England, 5% abv.
This beer was one of the first porters I tried, and I loved it from the start. Its only slightly sweet, mostly roasted malts, maybe a hint of caramel, medium body and smooth.
And since I was trying to finish off the beers we brought with us (suck a hard task, heh) I also drank the oddball of the group. I brought this beer to try something new. I figured I’d either love it or hate it. Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beer by 21 Amendment Brewery, California.
Yup, in a can! Pretty cool can art though! Much more exciting than your average silvery looking can. But of course its what’s on the inside that counts. I thought it was really strange. Did not taste like a wheat beer at all, but the artificial watermelon flavor hits you full force. Not much else to the beer. I kinda had a hard time finishing it. I tried to get Jack to help me but after a sip or two he refused. Damn! But at least now I don’t just have to guess that I don’t like it, now I know! There are a few other beers that I really need to try from 21st Amendment Brewery that I’ve heard good things about, so I’ll give them another try.
And that’s it! I now cannot wait to get back to the Red in the spring! I have a lot of projects I need to send!