Tanner and I had plans to go climbing on my birthday, you know the drill, grab some churros for breakfast and go out for a few hours of good climbing. We were tossing around some routes in little cottonwood and the plan was set, I would meet him bright and early.
So there I was Monday morning at 7 am banging on the door of Tanners trailer that he lives in to get him to go climbing. On the drive up Tanner said he had gotten a call about Arm and Hammer up Bells Canyon and that it would be the best plan for today. I immediately began to make excuses, I had hiked that long approach before and it was my after all my birthday. Tanner persisted and after some Dell Taco breakfast burritos we were in the parking lot around 9 ready to start.
We hiked up passing some weird old ladies who threatened to take off their shirts because ours were off, we hoped they were joking but weren’t sure so we hiked even faster. Eventually there we were staring up at the proud line know as arm and hammer. The plan was to swing leads with me taking the first. This went off without hitch. Tanner decided to do the friction traverse on the second pitch, after a few pendulum falls trying to go up the seam and a quick photo trying to look like the David Lee Roth album cover, Tanner quickly climbed the rest and was at the belay. My turn to follow.
I stood there with the rope taught thinking about the best way to do this friction traverse. I had lowered tanner so he could reach the bolt but I was already pretty low so going lower didn’t make much sense. Having done quite a bit of aid climbing growing up, I decided I would go for the swing and just sorta run out and pendilum across until I stopped my momentum and grabbed the sling, it was a fool proof plan and it would have worked great, except I tripped on the first step out of the gate. Tanner just heard a loud yell and saw my feet, the soles, swinging out across the void. I had slipped and scraped my back along the whole pendulum, I was over arm and hammer at this point. Tanner pushed me to continue and soon we were at the bottom of the last pitch.
Andy had told us where we needed to go to get to the anchors, we just went the other way for some reason. We even saw the anchors to rap on he was talking about. So after a phone call to Andy from the top, some repelling on some ratty old slings probably left by a Lowe brother, and a small pitch with heinous rope drag we were rapping down. Finally we were done hours after we thought we would be.
Getting to the car at 6 that evening Tanner and I were all smiles. Even though my back was cracking and bleeding for the next 2 weeks and we both felt like we left with our tail between our legs, we did it. And it felt really really good.