P1 5.5 John:
The climb starts out above a creek on a very nice slab with thin holds and a couple of bolts. John did exceptionally well.
P2 5.5 Glen
P3 5.8 Glen
P4 5.8 Glen
While waiting for our turn on this classic route, the first party dropped two cams somewhere during or after P4, in quick succession. One of them was the gold camalot, which bounced and then plunged into the creek at the base of the climb. After the second scream of "Rock!!!" a crew of philly climbers yelled back up, "What the f***??!!" They fished out the camalot and left it for the party who by then decided to back off the upper pitches of Dark Shadows. Here we attempt to use a large branch to fish it out of the ice cold water.
P2 was harder than the guidebook's 5.5. I nearly ate it using my approach shoes. P3 is the "money" pitch, and very photogenic. We didn't have doubles for our party of three, so we used two 60m sport ropes (10mm and 10.3mm). Well, I'll never do that again! They were heavy as hell, and not as smooth as real doubles.
On the last rope pull after rapping from P1, the ropes fall into the creek at the base of the climb. You can't avoid it. Everybody with the exception of two old timers spent an inordinate amount of time devising schemes to keep their ropes dry. Best scheme I heard was from Ben who suggested tying a shoe to one end of the rope and throwing it past the creek from the last rap station. The best realistic proposal was to let Dark Shadows be the last climb of the day so your rope could dry overnight.
Exchange of the day ( I think this was on a 5.11 trad climb next to dark shadows)
Climber 1: "I don't know... that looks hard."
Climber 2 on lead reply: "It's ok, I'm strong."