This winter has been all about the classic moderates. When Andrew was in town we talked about getting on Geronimo (5.6), a nice 4-pitch climb on Jackrabbit Buttress in Juniper Canyon. We never got to it. So when Irene Yee and I were brainstorming climbs to get on this week I brought up Geronimo. We agreed it was the casual climb we were looking for and planned to meet on Tuesday morning at 8:30am.
The approach went smoothly. It helps that you can see the climb the entire hike in. We passed one other pair of climbers on the trail, but they were heading to another climb. When we got to the base of the climb we were the only ones there. We had the climb to ourselves.
It turned out to be a splitter day in the sun, at least for the first three pitches of the climb. By the time we started the final pitch the climb went into the shade. It got cold quick. Luckily, I clipped a light wind jacket to my harness, so I put it on. Irene wasn’t as lucky. She left her jacket in her pack at the base.
Irene didn’t tell me but she brought chocolate chip cookies to the summit. We toasted our cookies and ate them quickly. They were delicious. Then we started rappelling the route with the first of three double rope raps down the route.
On the second rap we got our rope stuck. We tried flipping, swinging, tugging, and jerking the rope down, but it didn’t work. I ended up leading up 40 feet to the snagged rope to free it. Then I down climbed back to the ground. It added a little excitement to the day, but wasn’t too bad.
(Local Tip: Travis Graves, co-owner at Desert Rock Sports, explained that you can avoid getting your rope stuck by switching to single rope rappels down the chimney on the climber’s right after the first double rope rappel off the top of the climb. Mountain Project gives the same rappelling beta.)
Then we did the final double rope rap back to the ground, backed up our gear, and headed back to the car. The day felt like a huge success so we decided to celebrate with all you can eat sushi at a place Irene suggested. Good times.