I extended my stay here a day so that Marc and I could do Birdland, a highly touted line right next to a route we climbed earlier, Rawlpindi. It was a great day. The weather, the route and the companion were wonderful. Birdland has 5 pitches, with two crux pitches (3 and 5), both rated 5.7+.
I lead one crux and Marc, the other. But the whole route from top to bottom was very fun. No bad pitches and terrific, exposed face climbing up top. This was my best day here.
By the time we got back to the car and were driving away from the cliffs (for my last time, at least on this trip), it was nearly dark. My old body was very tired and sore.
I have had an even better trip than I imagined I would. Good new friends, particularly Marc (who really made the trip the success it has been for me), Johnny and George, excellent weather and some really fun climbing. Mixed in were the trips to places like the Grand Canyon and Zion that I had never seen before. I have become quite fond of the desert landscape, and am already trying to decide when would be the best time to come again.
I am sad to be leaving but looking forward to getting home to Lois, whom I have deeply missed. And, Karen will be home next week on spring break and says she wants to do some climbing. Is this good or what?
Photos from top: Bill leading pitch 3 (photo Marc Jensen); Marc leading pitch 4; Bill about to do the Pitch 5 finger crack (photo Marc J.).