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Sonnie & Will in Moab

 
Sonnie & Will in Moab
Sonnie & Will in Moab
Sonnie & Will in Moab
Sonnie & Will in Moab
Sonnie & Will in Moab
 
February 07, 2011 -  Will Stanhope    
 

It was Sonnie's idea. Something fresh, something new, something apart from tradeshow beers and backslaps. So we were off in the purple soccer mom van to the Utah desert, a place where there's always something new to be found. Moab, and the red desert surrounding it, has new routes to last forever. After every last splitter has been climbed, there will always be aretes, bulges, and subtle beauties between the obvious lines.

 

We took the purple van as far as it would go, then hiked the rutted road, spying the cliffline. Sonnie said he had seen something a few years back, so we punched up the snowy talus towards an obscure cliff past the Cliffs on Insanity. This perfect splitter was past vertical, with subtle edges for footholds. When the sun hit the cliff Sonnie aided up and set an anchor. With burly overhanging fingerstacks, we both reckoned the line to be about 12+.  Not too hard- but first ascents are more about discovery than difficulty.  We named the line, "State of Becoming", a nod to Bob Dylan, and how he's always lived his life.  Always purposeful, always creative, rolling with the punches and giving back through his music.

To me, first ascents are my own little way of giving back.  Matt Segal and Cedar Wright- two friends of ours- established two gems on the Battle of the Bulge Wall.  So we spent the last few days of our trip repeating these.  Sonnie repeated Like a Prayer, Matt's spooky and sinuous line, while I did Cedar's slopey arete testpiece, Halfsharkalligatorhalfman.  Cedar's line took everything I had.  I had to pull like crazy on the arete, with feet pasted on nothing, all above two equalized knifeblades.

All in all, it was a good little trip.  We had the chance to experience two obscure new-age classics, and add our own little contribution.  Trying- as best we can- to keep the ball of inspiration rolling along.

WS

 

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