I'm not sure if I have ever set an
alarm to go climbing before, but for this monster I did. Of course
it did not make us get up, and we had our standard late start.
It was a fretful night and I did not sleep well with this grand
event hanging over my head. Actually pulling this off might be
a capper to my career as a rock climber... doing a 1.5 hour approach!
I've never done anything that long in my life.
We started the route at 11am. This
is at least an hour earlier than our usual start time of noon
on these long routes. As Bill and Susan worked out the finer points
of belaying, I took off. By the time they had decided that we
did not have the skills to simo-belay two climbers at once I had
already topped out on the first pitch. I think there is one or
two bolts on the pitch.
The next pitch was more of the same
stuff... a nice wide-ish crack with bolts in semi odd places.
I think I ran pitches 2 and 3 together with a 60 meter rope. Maybe
not... you might come up short.... anyway.....
Here is Bill following some pitch. We have never
really brought a camera before as these pics will attest to. Not
sure what pitch this is, but it had a bolt or so and crack to
follow if you missed any of the bolts.
Here is Bill on the same pitch all cheery as he has just
realized that he is about 12 feet away from a belay beer.
to take some obituary photos... here is Susans.
This is my obituary photo, but as you can see I have already
made the trip to the "dark-side".
Here is Bill and Susan at yet another harrowing bomber 3
to 4 bolt belay. Bill is calming his nerves and Susan is GriGri
locked and loaded just in case I pitch. I'm currently off route
and just walking around on a small shelf because it is so cool.....
This is Susan following a pitch near the top. This one actually
had some crack climbing on it instead of just using the crack
as a route finder while clipping bolts. You can run this pitch
and the one below it into one monster pitch with maybe one or
two bolts, an anchor in the middle, then half a pitch of crack
to the next station. Not sure if we had to simo on the pitch or
not.... but I did place a biner as a nut on the pitch right here
at the top. Turns out I did not need it as the move I was protecting
was easy, but getting the perfect biner slot almost killed me.
Sometime after this last photo we were near the top and
it was starting to get a bit late in the day. I think I ran the
next two pitches together and Susan had to simo out of the station
because I came up short by about 12 feet trying to link the pitches.
You can for sure run the last two pitches together and they have
the worst bolts, hardest moves, and most rope drag of the entire
route. Topped out at 4.15 or so and brought up the crew just as
the "lets-get-the-Hell-outta here- gene" started to
In standard fashion we started rapping just as it was getting
dark. The ropes refused to cooperate and they did their best to
hang up on every chickenhead and would continually twist around
each other. It would be safe to say it was pitch dark now and
every rap was totally sketch.... there was no room in the pack
for the three headlamps we had at the base, (those damn Tikkas
are just too big!!) so I would rap down.... kick around until
I heard "chains" and then hope I did the threading right
for the next rappel..... oh yeah, one of the ropes was about 12
feet shorter than the other. This caused a few moments of great
interest as I need to have Bill and Susan tie off the longest
cord on my two rope rappel (while I was clipped to some bolt way
down there) so I could continue a single line rap off that. Just
as the end knot crammed into my ATC, I could hang upside down
and clip the anchor with my daisy. I recommended that they use
the intermediate rap station in the interest of party safety.....
After the mucho problemas on the various rappels
Bill is just about ready to land at the base. After a few beers
we put on the headlamps and started the march outta there. Trail
finding was kinda tough with our puny Tikkas, but all roads were
leading to Rome and we had a fairly uneventful death march back
to the parking area.