Today was our weakest day at Devil’s Head. I woke up with a splitting headache and a weak will to move about. Rob & I decided to go to a new area so I ramped up some enthusiasm and got working on the morning oats. Our guidebook lacks apparent scale so we stumbled down a switch-backing trail into a valley of aspens. The wind was stifled by the trees and the temperature rose rapidly. The climb up the other side of the valley was sweltering hot. I swear even the leaves were sweating. The heat is starting to wear us thin. We tromped through some scrub by the base of a cliff and looked at our altimeter, 9,250 feet and rising!
The granite cliffs here are pink with feldspars. We have a lot of experience on New England granite but the way these cliffs have eroded resembles sandstone. The towers that were in front of us had horizontal cracks with weathered round edges. From a, far the rock looks molded by a novice potter. We struggled greatly to find the routes up the cliff we desired. Rob leading, we ended up scrambling up a chimney into a small wooded glen high up in the spires. Many flowering plants crowded the trail and created a nervous obstacle: bees. Rob & I treaded through these gardens like sloths, carefully disturbing branches in our way.
We found the cliff, The Arena. The sun was out and we were able to get one tall climb in. We wandered through the maze of rock until we found a shadier cliff. By now, the sun had robbed us of much of our energy for the day and we decided to hike back to camp. I immediately fell asleep with my journal in hand and awoke only long enough to cook and eat our dinner.