I was ten minutes late when I turned the car off Buttermilk Road into the random pullout about a 1/4 mile before the world famous Peabody Boulders. Two unshaven and older mountain characters dressed in grungy Patagonia and Marmot were already lounging in the early morning sun brewing and drinking coffee. I pull myself out of the car and gingerly stroll over to the two mountain men a little weary of my young age, of thirty. I ask, "I imagine you guys are waiting for Doug Robinson?"
"We expect him here sometime today", replies the older of the two men,"You must be one of the kids coming from Santa Cruz that he is passing on the tradition to. My name is S.P."
Ten minutes later and the other climber Brad Larsen has finished brewing me a coffee out of a classic 80's era hanging canister stove. Another ten minutes latter Doug texts,"Hey, running late -- sorry. Be there soon" Thats when Brad let loose that he authored the line, “Time and Doug Robinson have nothing in common.”
8:40 AM brings us Em Holland, the only lady tough enough for the day, must be twice as old me, but seems to know whats up, casually late, she immediately joins the lounging. With all the old school folk in the lot, I started to get worried about the absence of my bros, Connor and Eric. Without them I am a little afraid to bust out my stuffed Penguin, Penny Guino, and her companion for the day, ZAP. I felt relieved when I introduced Penny, and asked how I should carry her, she said,"Oh you're Adamame!"
After more lounging around our motley crew of climbers assemble and follow Doug's ramble by gorgeously blooming rabbit brush and across sandy hillsides. After hiking downhill for ten minutes of listening to Connor’s inappropriately loud rambling about his new girlfriend, we arrive at what appears to be the low point of Buttermilk mountain. Doug begins to solo up the rock, while suddenly an awkward silence overpowered us all. The master of moving over stone slowly and deliberately worked his way up the rock. The journey begins...
We weren't really in rush to get anywhere, much storytelling and laughter ensued.
Doug Really wasn't in a rush at all... He mentioned something about a poetry reading and some wine in a cabin that must have a vortex in it.
But the boys from Santa Cruz had energy so it was time to move on.
Doug immediately stuffed us through some holes in the rock.
Which led to an incredible face climb. We waited in line as Doug soloed up the scary looking face.
Some of us soloed, while others asked for a rope.
Other people were having lots of fun too.
Summits were gained as the day grew hot.
But the evilest of all the chimneys on the rock Course awaited; The Burnt Guano Chimney had been struck by lightning when Smoke was around and burned for a week. It was super intimidating and pretty tricky to get into. But we all made it in without ropes.
The summit block was protected by a cool face climb, and promised a stellar view.