The Dells

4 Thu, 2010 § 8 Comments

We have all been warned about a restaurant, right?  Our friends spare us by not sparing the details: bad service…dirty…poor atmosphere…terrible food…you’ll leave feeling awful.

The Dells are the climbing-area-equivalent of that restaurant.

We have heard nothing about the Dells that would make us want to visit: poor rock quality…falls apart in your hands…it’s painful, sharp…you’ll leave feeling awful.

Now when your friends suddenly turn & ask if you want to go to that horrible restaurant, you would call them crazy, right?

Dave is just that crazy…

& I’m crazy enough to follow…

We met a friend in Arizona who “loves the Dells”: Kevin has spent 20+ years developing the area.  It’s his playground, & he is pretty partial to it…& when someone invites you to his spot…well, we don’t turn down climbing.

So how was it?

Like climbing on a slab plastered in

There is no way to distinguish between “grains” that will mercilessly pierce your fingertips [oh yeah, I bled] or those that are going to simply crumble from the wall.

But I led the first climb of the day: a mixed route, meaning I clipped a couple bolts as well as placed some of my own gear.  Not confident in my trad leading [a.k.a. placing my own gear], this was perfect practice for me.

This success alone made the whole day worth it,

& Kevin has put up some pretty crazy routes.

Oh no, there’s a gap coming up.


This felt so much sketchier than it looks [even on top-rope] & I don’t know if I could have brought myself to do it without the rope.

We got on some really great climbs & not all of the rock was poor quality & crumbly — you just have to know where to go.  While I did leave in pain & was completely over the wind [it was so bad on Saturday], we certainly didn’t leave feeling awful.

Guess it’s not like “that restaurant” after all. 😉

We’ll dine again.

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