So this summer I am going to try and give reviews/blog on the new crags that I am going to with this cool adventure job that Nicole and I have in the City of Rocks.
This weekend we had a few days off and Nicole really wanted to go home to Rigby to see family due to 5 of her 8 family members have birthdays this month! I don’t know what is so special about August for her parents but hey it sure makes May one giant party!
So obviously if I have a whole weekend off I want to go climbing for every moment I can! So I texted one of my friends Jerry to get to a crag on Saturday and he said he was going to a newly developed crag out in American Falls right by Massacre Rocks called Teddy Bear Cove.
Of course I was in! It’s not every day you get to go to the new secret places that have over a hundred routes and feel like the inside cool crowd!
The drive there was essentially the drive to massacre rocks with out the annoyingly long back road between farms and sage brush. Instead right at the turn off you head north and there is a short hop and skip to the top of this huge ring of cliffs with a bunch of dunes in the middle. Really a dirtbikers dream. Which we quickly learned thx to the 3 trucks and 5 dirtbikers that seemed to be having the time of their lives driving by us and making Pattie go crazy.
So we decided to hit a sunny crag first because it was kinda chilly and early when we got there. So we hiked all the way across the gully of dunes and hit up a wall called the sandpit. (Aptly named. I am still finding sand in my shorts!) And the very first thing that I noticed and LOVED was that at the base of each of the routes on the first bolt was the name of the route and it’s rating! I have never seen that before at a crag but holy cow I LOVE THIS IDEA! It’s so hard to learn and remember the names of the routes in other places! But this made it super simple to figure out where we were and what was in front of us! Also worth noting is that all of the routes had permanent draws for quick cleaning and cragging. Super plus for this place over other close by crags such as Ross Park.
So we hopped on a 5.7. And this very nice girl that is still starting up in climbing had a bit of a struggle on it. What I decided afterwards is we had chosen too blank of a face there. Good jugs and hand holds but the feet kinda stank for a 5.7. I decided to wait and hold off on that and instead tried to warm up on this lieback 5.10 crack that looked very inviting.
It wasn’t. From no feet to terrible holds to just a struggle train of tiny pockets or no holds the route called your own private Idaho kicked my butt the way that Idahos winters kick any true arizonans butt! And this left me very sad because usually I can do most short 5.10s without too much difficulty. So later on in the day I go back to check in the book on names and figured out that the grade they had posted on the wall was not the right grade. Your own private Idaho was a 5.11! Not a 5.10 like how they posted! Soooooo that’s awkward guys… I had warmed up on a 5.11. No wonder I got smacked! I’m no Adam Ondra!
So we then did a few other fun climbs that were all short. An alright 5.10 called chuwanna gunks. (Face climb to a juggy roof) a slabby 5.9 called enticement that Jerry said was the hardest route of the day but that’s slab climbing for ya. I hopped on a pretty fun 5.9 called nice guys finish last. It had this amazing crack at the top that you had to lieback on. It was a blast! Kinda lame that in the middle of a 35 foot climb there was a standing break but the top of it was cool! Then we did what for me was the highlight route of the day. A 5.11 called no more Mr nice guy. It shared the top crack of nice guys finish last but holy cow that start was the perfect amour of try hard and you can do it! Super fun route and I totally sent it!
Next we decided to try and put our other friend on something a little easier and so we hit up this cute 5.8 crack. I wanted to put it up so that Jerry would do a 5.11 that I didn’t really want to lead. As I was climbing sand in your crack (5.8) I noticed a couple of long moves for the grade. I was getting higher up and I grabbed this big large bottom part of what looked like a cool flake. And it MOVED! Not the rock. The bottom of the hold! So I jump back and there staring at me face to face is a baby rattlesnake! I about lost it for a second. Had my nelayer take and there I was stuck on a cliff with a snake.
I had heard about things like this happening to people before and that it was scary but I had never experienced it myself. It’s not something you want regularly. So after the initial shock of I had just touched a rattlesnake I realized this was a special moment and so I did what any millennial would do and I took some pics and posted it to Snapchat. My duty to my generation had been accomplished. #winning. And then I climbed around the section and finished the route. Needless to say the girl did NOT want to do that route.
So Jerry and I did one more 5.11 which he lead and I top roped. Literally at every hold I was picturing grabbing another snake. But Prophet of Dune was a cool cruxy 5.11 that I would like to come back and lead some time.
After this we decided we had earned our post climb milkshake so we packed up and dipped. It was a pretty entertaining day.
To sum it up I’d grade the crag as an average crag. It’s too short to be a true classics area. Think Ross Park in Pocatellos big brother. The bolting was good. The names and anchors were awesome. And I definitely would come back there. But if you have the time I would prefer to crag it up at massacre more.
Me on no more Mr nice guy 5.11
Jerry on enticement 5.9
Pattie only threw up 4 times due to over eating grass!
The snake hold!