To die by freezing must be one of the worst possible ways of surrendering one's life. Yesterday was one of the most inhospitable days that I can remember in my six winters in Fayetteville, AR. So ofcourse Jeremy and I decided to go exploring at Lincoln Lake. The temperature stayed in the teens the whole day and felt below zero with the wind and humidity. After three hours of hiking, the cold managed to freeze my beard and the mustache Jeremy so badly wants to grow.
The objective of the day was not this but to visit a potentially special south face of a boulder deep in the woods. For the record, Lincoln is the epitome of Arkansas sandstone in areas where rock quality is poor. The stone here is grossly over featured and yields very few desirable climbing faces. However, that blessed miniscule percentage is spectacular. Rewind nearly a year ago; both my brother, Jason, and I are healing from finger injuries. Four months of nothing had me chomping at the bit to climb something. This lead me to Lincoln in search of hard climbing of any style. I had visited in December shortly after school ended and wanted more. Climbing in Arkansas produces an effect that makes an explorer believe that just around the corner will hold the "next big thing." Couple this insatiable hunger to explore with a maddening desire to climb and you will never want to go on a hike with me again. That late winter day brought me to the "black face" after four miles of bushwacking. Words like "amazing, unbelievable, hard, and double-digit" keep liberating themselves from my mouth since that day, and yesterday's visit reconfirmed these words. I don't know how friable the rock is, but hopefully this 16' face will hold itself together long enough for someone to get up it.
The black face on the Green Monster boulder
A favorite tree of mine on the way to the black face.
Side note: Jeremy and I saw two bald eagles.