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Slick Rock – That’s One Big Slab

By BJ | July 20, 2007

Outside of the town of McCall, about two hours north of Boise, sits Slick Rock. It’s one of the largest chunks of rock in Idaho, about 1200′ tall. It’s a giant slab, so most of the routes aren’t very hard, as you are always on your feet. The regular route goes right up the center of the formation, and offers fun crack climbing interspersed with runout (no protection) slab climbing. Since my finger was still bothering me, I figured it would be the perfect outing: it’s a slab, so I would mostly be using my feet, and it was easy, so any harder parts I could probably get by with my one good hand and the two good fingers on my right.

After an atypical early start, we had to return to the house to grab another rope for our friends Vince and Vanessa who would be climbing with us. Then the ladies wanted to stop at a yard sale, and then an organic fruit stand down the road and then a coffee shop in McCall. So even though we got up at 7am, we didn’t start climbing until about 2pm. Sheesh.

Looking up at the slab from the parking lot.

The climb was super fun, and the setting was top notch. A big valley, surrounded by granite outcrops in every direction, and perfect weather. Tracy and I climbed together, with Vanessa and Vince close on our heels. A pitch below the top, the mosquitoes started bothering us, and as we waited on top for our friends to finish, we got mauled! I bravely fought them off as Tracy tried to cover up any exposed flesh with as much clothing as possible.

Once our friends joined us, we started the rappels. It took about seven to reach the ground, and it got dark somewhere around the 5th or 6th. The weather was still great, and we had head lamps, so we got to see a nice sunset as we continued down the rock. We finally got back to our packs and did the short hike out. When I checked the time at the car, it was 1230am! Yikes, so much for getting dinner in McCall. Some power bars and a stop at the gas station was all we got that night, but we were pretty tired from a long day, and passed out pretty quick after we got our tents set up.

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