As some recovery from my Borah trip, we hit up some sweet Oregon limestone. We made the approach to the French Gulch spire. We racked up a couple of pitches before the sun warmed up a couple of hornet's nests and they wouldn't leave us alone.
We didn't climb anything harder than 5.9. Which was perfectly fine with me! We retreated down to the car and had lunch. I admired some climbs across the river on the Timewave Wall which are currently not accessible due to the river being up. This is the highest I've seen the Burnt river in October. I also spotted an apple tree chocked full of apples! I noticed this before at some of the possible miner's homesites. By the time the river is down, the apples will probably have fallen.
After lunch, we climbed two more pitches on the French Gulch slab. It has three climbs (5.8+, 10-, 5.7) on it and it's very close to the parking area. The weather started to turn cool, so we packed it in. I was very happy to have to put on a long sleeve!
A lot of the climbs out here that were put up awhile ago have SMC hangers and extremely small chains to lower off of. Felco's Demise (5.8+) on the Slab is especially sketchy. The anchors are showing some rust. Every time I rap off of it, I think that I need to upgrade them to some new hangers and chains. Then, I forget and we come out again with nothing to upgrade with! With a drill, $50 in hangers and bolts I can upgrade the Slab and give the two right climbs their own anchors. Then there wouldn't be a goofy 15 foot traverse to Felco's anchor. Going a step more, a few pressure treated boards and some concrete stakes would make a couple of staging areas on the climbs up on the spire a lot nicer for the belayer. Maybe next time! I really like Burnt River and hope that others can come out to enjoy it, too. There is enough limestone to make it a true destination. It's an easy 2 hours from Boise and makes a great day trip. The best seasons are when it's too early for the snakes and ticks, and then when gets cold enough to keep the snakes and ticks at bay. It's not that bad!