Travel Tip: Do not show up at the airport more than 4 hours before your flight. You won’t be able to check your bag and you’ll be extra bored not being able to go through security.
My history with Fly boys is long and storied. But definitely involves dropped phones flat tires and another San Peligrino on my windowsill. After two failed attempts I added Flyboys to my 30 before list. As if I needed any more motivation to get back to Mazama to climb the 18 pitch sport route. When Nick and I were asked to present on our 20 peaks trip in Seattle I jumped on the opportunity to turn it into a climbing trip and Flyboys sat firmly at the top of my to do list. I invited Gage, the first person I attempted it with, Jimmy, the second person I attempted it with, Nick who would be presenting with me in Seattle and Kate who had been wanting to climb it for quite a while. Jimmy bailed, Then Nick bailed. So invited my sister, Sarah. Then Nick was back in. Then Gage bailed. In the end there was 4 of us. Me, Sarah, Kate and Nick. We broke into two teams. I had the most experience and Sarah had the least so we teamed so I would lead every pitch and Kate Nick climbed together so they could swap leads. I took off first and almost immediately I lost Kate and Nick. At the end of pitch 4 I wasn’t having any fun. I was stressed out. I didn’t know how far back my friends were and I wished Gage and or Jimmy was there. I was in this beautiful place doing essentially my favorite activity with one of my favorite people and I wasn’t having any fun. Even then at the top of pitch 4 I realized how stupid that was. It didn’t change my feelings though. I stopped there and let a pair of climbers pass us. And then when Nick and Kate caught up with us I made them pass us. And having the group all together made me feel less stressed. but I still wasn’t present and I still wasn’t really enjoying myself.
At pitch 7 I began to have a bit of doubt about weather or not we would be able to make it through all 18 pitches, before sun down. And started being impatient. Sorry. Rappelling down would have been a pretty horrible so getting to the top before the sun set was our best option. Once the last of us reached the the top of pitch 7 I felt a little bit of relief, but we still had 3 of our hardest pitches to go. And by pitch 10 we were all exhausted. Sarah was having self doubt. Nick was having hand cramps. I was wondering why I ever wanted to do 18 pitches.
On pitch 11 a made split second decision to go slightly off route and combine the pitch with pitch 12. I skipped past Nick and Kate. I decided I was going to try to make things as easy as possible for every one else. Pitch 14 was going to be one of the toughest pitches. I had Sarah leave the quick draws on route so that Nick could lead it with draws in place. I made my sister lead pitch 15 so I could wait at the top of pitch 14 and encourage the other two through it. I yelled encouragement and sprayed beta. And when the last of us reached the top of pitch 14 I knew we would make it through it, but I still wanted to beat sunset. I put my arm out in front of me and counted my fingers. 6 fingers from the sun to the top of the hills. We only had an hour and half until sunset. We couldn’t slow down. I collected all of the draws so I could just leave them on each pitch through pitch 18. Many consider pitch 18 the toughest pitch, but I moved through the bouldery problems quickly and reached the top with more than half an hour until sunset. I let out a yell, something I almost never do at the top of routes and set my final belay for the day. After Sarah reached the top I set our rope as a fixed line and rappelled down to take a few photos of Kate leading the final pitch as the sun was setting.
At the top we all split my San Pelligrino. Probably the best testing San Pelligrino I have ever had.
At the of the day I was excited to have finally climbed fly boys. I was proud of myself and my friends for what we had accomplished, but I was unconvinced that I still actually enjoy climbing. Regardless I was a able to cross it off my 30 before 30 list. Here is my updated 30 before 30: