The Callahans

October 6, 2007

The original plan was to spend a day climbing at “Flagstone” in the Willamette National Forest. But the early arrival of cool fall weather with predictions of low snow levels made the comparatively low elevation of the Callahans seem like a safer bet for successful rock climbing. So six Obsidians made the trek down to Roseburg and the Reston Ridge. We were armed with a copy of Rock Climbing Western Oregon, Umpqua, volume two in Greg Orton’s new three volume rock climbing guide. Volume 2 is hot off the presses and had been much anticipated by our group as the most complete and up to date guide to the Callahans sport climbing area as well as other rock climbing areas in the Umpqua basin. Orton dedicates the book to our fellow Obsidian Gary Kirk, saying: “Gary... spearheaded the first technical Umpqua climbs...” He quotes Gary extensively in his discussion of the history of Umpqua basin climbing. Orton says, “As climbers we learn from those who came before us.” I agree. I am grateful to Gary and all the others who pioneered routes and techniques and took the time to share them with others.

Our group certainly didn’t pioneer any routes! We took advantage of the work of others and had a fine time doing so. A dry day Friday had allowed the sandstone to dry enough to provide good climbing, and the weather continued to cooperate. Though cloudy and cool the rains held off until well into the late afternoon, allowing us to enjoy our day of “clipping bolts.” Everyone had a good time. We all practiced our skills and stretched ourselves a little. I believe everyone got “on the sharp end” at least once and we climbed and lead routes ranging in difficulty from 5.7 to 5.10b. I confess, we did the 10b on a top rope, but Chance and I are determined to lead it next time. Chance “put up” his first 10a outside. Congratulations Chance.

I really was pleased with the day. Those of us who have been enjoying the sport climbing game for a while had a great time. And it is really fun to see how far and how quickly our newer climbers have progressed. A light mist was starting to fall by the time the rest of us, tired from a good day’s climbing, were able to call our youngest member down off the rock. Good thing it started to rain. He might have done a couple more routes!

This was the last regularly scheduled Obsidian climb for the year. After we got back to town several of us, reluctant to have the day... and the season... end, went out for dinner together and enjoyed the good company and laughter for just that much longer.

Climbers were: Sue Carey, Deb Carver, Chance Fitzpatrick, Juli McGlinsky, John Pegg and Doug Nelson, leader.

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