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Heartened after getting out hands on some rocks, we headed towards Arcata, CA to pick up a guidebook for our next, and ultimate destination: Trinity Aretes. Trinity Aretes is a fairly unknown climbing area near Burnt Ranch, California, near the Trinity River, and is essentially a wonderland, of RAD limestone featuring some of the coolest features I’ve ever seen, and set in the most ideal location for summer climbing: ALL DAY SHADE.

We made it to our campsite in the early afternoon and, much to our surprise, saw absolutely no one. After taking a much needed nap (on my end)- did I mention that the nettles tormented me into sleeplessness throughout the previous night in such a horrible manner that I had to scrub my inflamed legs with Dr Bronners before we left Lost Rocks? It was great… - we scoped out the guidebook and hiked an entire 10 minutes into the forest (and up a very long set of fixed ropes), to the base of the Upper Shooting Gallery, aka, our introduction to Trinity Aretes and our private wall for the evening. Andy gave me a refresher on cleaning routes, walked me through it when I reached the top of each climb, and I cleaned my first routes without help! SUCCESS!! To top it off, each climb was host to a plethora of very, very cool features:

Andy on SHE MALE, 5.10b.

We hiked (if you can even call it that), back to camp, built a fire, ate some dinner, and fell asleep, ready to climb some more amazingness the next day.

Saturday we got a slightly late start but considering that we were the only humans in the entire area (as far as we could tell), timeliness really didn’t matter. We spent the day climbing, found some loose rock (scary but expected on very unclimbed rock) and Andy found his favorite route of the weekend, Limestone Cowboy, 5.10d:

With much patience on Andy’s end, I worked my way through series of unsolicited panic attacks on route, but still enjoyed the climbing and the yet unknown to me awesomeness of being at such an amazing crag without a soul other than my adventure partner, belayer, coach, and #pandapowercouple cofounder by my side ;)

We ventured down to the river for the evening, skipped rocks, drank beer, chased frogs, and refreshed ourselves in the cool water. This day was pretty damn close to perfect in my book.

Sunday morning, we climbed a few routes, met our first human at the Aretes (can you say… sketchy?), and I both sent and cleaned my first 10a outside :) I was so beyond stoked I couldn’t wipe the smile off of my face. Thank you, once again, Andy, for being the best source of encouragement I could ever imagine!

The rest of the morning was spent with my practicing catching lead falls and honing my lead belay skills, while Andy worked a few bolts up a 5.13b that, surprise surprise, was host to some RIDICULOUS features:

If time hadn’t been in question, we would have spent the day on this neat, neat rock, but we strolled out for the final time, took a couple of selfies, and began the drive back to Portland. Our four days in the Redwood Coast sparked something new in me, increasing my drive to explore new crags and fueling me to improve my climbing to a new level. I am so beyond eager to plan our next adventure here, but I also know that with Fall around the corner, weekends at Smith Rock will soon become a reality that I will be just as eager to take advantage of.

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