Peak Climbed: Lady in the Bathtub

Peak Height: 5,552'

Route: Angel's Fear

Difficulty: 5.9 C2-

Location: Valley of the Gods, Utah

Trailhead: VOG Loop Road

Mileage & Gain: 3 mi & 750 ft RT

Date Climbed: October 18, 2019

Considering this was Mark's first Valley of the Gods experience I wanted to make sure it was an interesting yet relatively pleasant one. The only tower in the Valley I hadn't climbed up to this point was Tom-Tom, but I didn't think that was an appropriate starting point. I didn't want to scare him off and I needed to make sure he understood what he'd signed up for! I chose a repeat of Lady in the Bathtub because I remembered it being one of the coolest formations with fairly reasonable climbing and only a moderate amount of choss (at least by VOG standards).

The day started out with a hefty dose of that eerie Valley of the Gods weirdness I have come to expect at this point. When we got to the base of the climb Mark realized most of the rack was not in his pack! This oversight might not have seemed so crazy had I not done the same exact damn thing earlier this spring when I climbed nearby Hidden Tower! Fortunately it's not nearly as long of a haul out to the Lady, and Mark made quick work of righting the situation!

Mark led the first short pitch which is the aid crux of the route, a chossy finger-sized crack. One small fall when a nut blew served to confirm its non-C1 nature.

I took the second, longer 5.9 C1 pitch, which was the trickiest aid pitch I'd ever led due to the plethora of small cam placements and interspersed free moves. I made my first ever ball nut placement and it rocked! I wanted to give up and relinquish the lead to Mark several times but he was patient and encouraging. The finish involved some mandatory free climbing over the chossy lip of the bathtub. It felt really good to get in a solid lead here after following so much in the past.

Mark led the final, somewhat shorter 5.6 C1 pitch which begins with awkward and strenuous aiding over an exposed roof. Someone had added a new two bolt achor here since my first visit, which made for a more convenient belay.

We topped out at sunset and took turns scrambling the short distance from the top anchor to the windy summit before making two hasty rappels to reach terra firma before dark. Just another highly satisfying and memorable day in the Valley!

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