James on Wheat Thin
After Tristan and I (ok, mostly me) managed to climb the wrong route, James got the first go at leading Wheat Thin. This flake, just to the right of Rye Crisp, involved stepping up on many small dishes and large knobs with a positive flake to provide a continuous hand rail.
Unlike Rye Crisp, this flake took excellent small nuts and hexes and James elected to protect the entire climb with only hexes. With its large selection of footholds and handholds, It’s a perfect route for a relative new leader, and a great place to take a novice climber. James was taking a friend Tara climbing, who’d not climbed for many years after climbing a bit earlier. Tara commented that she felt much more comfortable on this climb than on some of the other, harder routes that her friends had taken her up.
Wheat Thin, with its two-minute approach from the road, easy climbing, and good protection, tends to get mobbed on weekends. We luckily got on the route with no competition since we were climbing fairly early on a Tuesday morning. If you want to climb this route on a weekend, I’d try for really early in the morning! The climb faces east, and thus receives morning sun, which accounted for our unusually early start (considering that my teenage sun is not particularly fond of the morning hours). The other option is to wait until late afternoon, when the climb is in the shade, but I’d seen many carloads of climbers waiting in line here on the past afternoons.