SF to Chicago Road Trip Day 6 | Theater of Shadows

Jonah Fleishhacker, 14 September 2020

Day 6: 223 mi
Day 6: 223 mi

After a long hiatus, I have decided to finish these posts up. Not that anyone reads them besides myself, but good to have an archive of this fun trip (which has turned out to be a major silver lining of this awful year).

Day 6, 9/14/20:

This was a day that I was excited for since the beginning of the trip. It was the entire reason we went on that strange detour to City of Rocks in Idaho. Theater of Shadows is a 4 pitch, 500 foot climb on beautiful granite, in a stunning area, with a moderate grade, and great bolting.

We woke up early, eager to get climbing. Even though we got to the base around 8 or 9, we already spotted a party at the top and one at the base. The approach decently challenging, and had pretty great views from the beginning.

I started off the first pitch, and it was great climbing from the very beginning. Fun moves, totally relaxed because of the frequent protection. After the first pitch, I convinced Max to try out leading for the first time. I figured it was a great place for a first lead, as any fall is protected and there is no chance of decking (plus a fun first lead for the memory books!).

He loved it so much, he begged to lead all the remaining pitches, but we opted to split it 2-2. Here are some photos from the top, with some haze from nearby wildfires.

Arguably, the rappel was the most exciting part of the climb, needing every inch of the 70m rope (+ rope stretch!) to get down, as well as a heart pumping free hanging rappel into a gorge. It wasn’t super clear where to end, and I ended up having to run along the wall to end at a higher spot on my tip toes. Tie your stopper knots!

Finally, we ended the day at an overpriced hotel near the Idaho-Wyoming border and did some outdoor dining. One of the best days of our trip.