60th Birthday Challenge

The challenge was to lead 60 routes in 12 hours!
The rules:
Place all my own gear
Lead every pitch
No route easier than 5.7
At least 10 5.10s
Allow other teams to clean the anchors so I can lower off.
Saturday I woke at 5:15am, 15 minutes before my alarm went off. I got my breakfast started (oatmeal, bagel with pb, banana) as my support crew started popping out of their tents.

My primary belayer/partner, Natalie, ready to sacrifice her day for me.

Ryan and Kurt were invaluable as my cleanup crew and allowed me to concentrate on the task of climbing instead of the busy work of cleaning anchors.
We headed out at around 6:15 and I was roped up at the base of my first climb at exactly 6:30am. I front loaded the day with a lot of 5.10's and hard 5.9's to try to have the end of the day filled with easier routes when I was tired and my fingers were toasted. I also wanted to do some of the harder gear routes early.

It was time to GSD!

My first route was a 5.8 to warm up for the 5.10c next to it.


I even lugged around the BIG GEAR.

You need the big gear for this 5.8+ R route.


At this point I am about half way through my list. I was a little behind schedule due to the difficulty of the routes and some hiking time but the 10's were done and quite a few of the 9's.


Early afternoon, Ryan needed to go help celebrate his dad's 59th birthday. So, for a while, I had to clean my own anchors. Again, without Ryan, Kurt, and Natalie, I could not have come close to succeeding. They are the kind of friends that go the extra yard without asking and are the kind of quality people you remember.
With most of the hard routes done, and the old body starting to feel it, Jeremy, Cole, Ross, and Andrew showed up to supplement my support crew. They came at a great time since my timeline was getting pretty close.

Jeremy soloed to the top of the bluff and went from anchor to anchor as I finished each route and moved draws. It sure helped not having to clean each anchor at this point.


My route count was somewhere in the low 50's at this point. I was ready for it to be over!



Jeremy had a unique way of cleaning my gear routes. He would lock off his cinch with a knot and use me as a counter-weight. As I lowered he ran up the rock and removed my gear!


Finally THE 60TH ROUTE! It was a 5.8+ and was pretty stiff for the final route.
Goal achieved, body tired, time for some PIZZA and BEER.
Thanks to Jeremy, Jason and Aaron Roy, the chef, and the waitress, the after party was amazing. The ranch supplied a nice room and the chef made a great cake. Aaron added some incredible home-made vanilla-rum ice cream.



Final tally:
60 routes in 11 hours `15 minutes
5.3 routes/hour no falls no takes
1 5.10d
2 5.10C
2 5.10b
7 5.10a
16 5.9
13 5.8
19 5.7
14 trad routes
46 sport routes

Sunday was total rest day and "take pictures" for the team while they finally got to climb. Here are a couple of parting shots as I just kicked back and vegged.

Natalie on Mr Magoo 5.10b


Kurt on Commodus 5.10a


Final giant thanks to Natalie, Kurt and Ryan primarily for their work throughout the day. Special thanks to Jeremy and his crew for arranging the party and picking up the slack at the end of the day. Thanks to Jason, Aaron and the whole HCR crew for the great food and party room. And finally, thanks to all who gave me encouragement and helped make it a great birthday.