Not long ago the fellas of mancamp were sitting around talking endless about some inane subject, probably related to climbing (per the usual) when our boy Bronco struck upon an idea for a little game. He began making a list of the best 5.12 sport routes in Clear Creek Canyon. The list ended up being a perfect 12, “The Twelve 12s of Clear Creek,” if you will. They are (in the rough order we attacked them):
Wet Dream 5.12a
Ten Digit Dialing 5.12c
Anarchy Rules 5.12b
Power Trip 5.12a
Great Escape 5.12c
Quartz Sports 5.12b
Sucking My Will to Live 5.12c
Moving Out 5.12b
The rules and scoring were simple: You have one attempt at each route. If you fall you start from where you fell, and continue to the top. Each fall counts as a stroke. Lowest score wins (just like golf, get it?). If you can’t complete a route you take a three stroke penalty and lower off. However, flashes and onsights get you negative strokes, the harder the route the more negative strokes its worth. This last bit is intended not only to reward the onsight/flashee, but also to even it out for the folks who haven’t had the opportunity to climb all these routes over and over; obviously this leveler was most helpful to our out-of-town friend Andre.
The day was epic. People were sending, falling, screaming, and cursing more than a day at Neverland Ranch (too soon?). The competitive atmosphere was palpable. It soon became apparent that the game would fall to one of two ape-armed individuals – Bronco or Andre. Andre had a few key onsights and flashes that seriously lowered his score and more than made up for his falls on a couple harder routes. Bronco, to put it quite simply, was CRUSHING. Even after climbing the four 5.12s at Anarchy Wall he waltzed up Ten Digit Dialing (5.12c) like he wasn’t even trying, I’m pretty sure I saw him pull out a cell phone mid-way through the crux and text “JIYEAHHHH” to all his friends. After 11 of the 12 routes, Bronco had only fallen five times all day!
As for the rest of us, Les called it a day after six routes. Wig, Cass, and I realized when it got dark that we had no chance; so Wig finished with nine out of the twelve, Cass and I with ten. I had led my tenth route in the dark, had 16 falls so far, was solidly fixed in fourth place (behind Andre, Bronco, and Cass), and couldn’t extend my left elbow fully from the cramping, so I took my gentlemen’s spot just shy of the podium.
That left our two rock warriors to themselves. After route number 11 (Sucking My Will to Live) they were tied at 5 each! The Bronc tied in with his headlamp on, hopped on the final route – Moving Out – and started to crank. Within a few bolts he was stumped, and after slumping on the rope for the fourth time, he took a three stroke shot to his scorecard balls and lowered off. Final score: 12.
All Andre had to do was finish the route in less than 7 falls. I’ll say this, after watching the desperation of those demons of crank on that pitch I was very glad to have bowed out. After many hangs and desperate slaps, Andre clipped the anchors to clinch the title with a final score of 10.
Props. Mad props.
Then it was off to Woody’s and the spot to eat, drink, and give Andre his prize (free drinks for the night, what else?), which one might say also allowed us a bit of revenge…