Over New Years took a quick trip down to Arkansas to check out some new development opportunities. Originally the plan was to spend several weeks around the Sam's Throne area and help develop new routes. Unfortunately our trip was cut short to a week due to sickness and work schedules. The trip was almost postponed but we rallied at the last minute and blasted south to warmer and sunnier conditions.
Our friend Jeremy Collins had been hard at work developing a bluff very close to Sam's Throne and invited Pat and I to come check out some new and old trad/mixed projects in the area. Generally when on a trip, especially a short trip, I avoid projects and focus on sampling what an area has to offer. However the purpose of this trip was to work on projects.
At the area we were climbing there were two projects that caught my attention: a steep sport climb and a trad line. I tried the sport line and decided that it wasn't for me. Very choppy reachy thuggy climbing, not for me. The trad line at first did not inspire me until I rappelled the line and took a closer look.
The Green Face Project: Originally brushed off and cleaned up by Jeremy Collins last year. Boulder problem start climbing through a series of three vertically aligned pockets. Clip a bolt and blast into a V8ish boulder problem consisting of very small sharp side pulls. Get to a small break in the rock and climb technical solid 5.12 moves with good but finicky to place gear. Get to a alright rest and climb techy very tricky boulder problem with no gear to a break then finish with Horse Pens style problem. Bolt anchor.
At first I did not want to put bolts on the climb since it is possible on gear. Then I was convinced one bolt needed to go at the crux. Due to the style of the area we decided it was best to put three bolts at the start and leave the rest alone. At first we thought the route would go at mid 5.12 but after working it we realized the crux and the rest of the route is way more difficult than we anticipated. The route will end up being a full number grade than we thought.
I put several days into the climb figuring out the moves and the gear, but did not have time to finish it up this trip. Going back to take care of business when spring comes.
Above is a photo of the route and the scene at the cabin.