Issue 5

Tales of Vertical Trails

The Peoples Route (Voltswagen)

We returned the next day with Nate Johnson, and began bolting an easier line up the prow. This was a memorable moment. I was adamant that we push through one pitch of poor rock to reach the higher quality rock above.

Issue 5

The Peoples Route (Voltswagen)

We returned the next day with Nate Johnson, and began bolting an easier line up the prow. This was a memorable moment. I was adamant that we push through one pitch of poor rock to reach the higher quality rock above. Andrew was not so sure, but it was his lead.

Nate Johnson on Voltzwagen

Nathaniel Johnson climbing “Voltzwagen“.

Friendships Forged over a hammer drill

We had a serious argument and our first “real blowout”…while he bolted pitch one on lead. Nate went and hid for an hour, returned and joined the rope team as we headed up the wall.

As it turned out, Andrew and I had an amazing conversation about our personality differences. I recall there being very productive relational outcomes from our conflict resolution. It was a meaningful moment for me. I am thankful that Andrew leaned into that conversation, and our friendship grew deeper through it. I took the drill for the next pitch and walked up 5.6 bolting and enjoying the great rock. The next three pitches were easy climbing on good rock. The route was accessible and fun. Day 7

I am thankful that Andrew leaned into that conversation, and our friendship grew deeper through it.

A new Route, and new partnerships

The next day Nate and Andrew started up Voltswagen with trundling in mind. We called Nate “The Trundler” for a reason. He was in his happy place while seconding and cleaning…for hours. The leader would sit at the belay and take a nap while Nate cleaned and cleaned. Thanks Nate! Toby von Butler and I headed up AA to give it a clean and to meet the others at the ledge before its final pitch. We had a few bolts left and had visions of a harder alternate finish to AA.

Eventually, we all met on the big ledge and I started out on a lead to the left. It was harder than it looked and the most difficult part was weaving around a tenuous, coffee table sized, block mid way up the route. I carefully tucked my rope behind the block and continued upward to a location where I could develop an anchor. Everyone joined us at the station and the last climber sent the block for a ride with a tiny tug. It was an intrepid combination of terrifying and exciting. Day 8

Tobi Von Butler

Toby Von Butler

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