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Rock Climbing at The Pond in Queen Creek

March 26, 2012

Yesterday, Sunday 25 March, Thomas and I took advantage of a free day to head out to Queen Creek and try out a few routes. We left at 9:00, and got to the pull-off for “The Pond” before 10:30. From 60, it is the third pull-off after the tunnel. We got our gear and walked down the highway on the side of the creek. At a bridge we crossed 60 and got to the lower pond. Thomas climbed around the right side of the pond and made it to the ladder that Marty Karabin installed (thanks Marty!). I just waded through the pool because my pack was throwing me off balance. We climbed up the mini via ferrata to the upper pond, with a 50-foot waterfall cascading into it. Around the waterfall were some great routes, but unfortunately a couple groups had crowded it and so we continued on. We walked to some short routes and Thomas led Cowgirl (5.9), right off the bat. It was an odd style of climbing for us because it looked like there were so many weaknesses, but our fingers were too small to fit into most of these pockets.

Pockets, pockets everywhere...and not a single one to hold.

The first two bolts were easy, but the third bolt and overhanging finish were difficult, and I didn’t make it.

Thomas attempted in vain to rid himself of the cyclist tan, but just ended up with a sunburned back.

After Cowgirl Thomas led Pocket Warmer (5.6), around the corner. It was a fun climb, and a little bit shaded to get out of the midday sun. After that Thomas took a leak off the cliff onto the highway.

"There's a little radiator fluid for ya."

I gave leading a go and got to the first bolt on Pony Express (5.5). There was one move that was a bit awkward and freaking me out, so Thomas led it and I toproped it. Then Thomas sent Leave Your Money on the Dresser (5.10b). The second clip was a little dicey and Thomas had a tough time on this one. But he got it done. After that we packed our gear and headed down to the car. Thomas messed about near a wall in the canyon.

Thomas climbing around the pond.

The lower pond.

US 60 from the pond.

Another lower pond.

Thomas climbing around the pond.

Thomas and I at the pond.

Thomas messing about.

The third pull-out.

A bolted pitch below the pull-out.

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