Crimson Chrysalis, grade whatever, 5.something
Russ Walling, Susan Peplow, and Bill Russell

Gear list: 10 -12 expandable quickdraws, 10 -12 beers, 1 Rack Caddy, 2 belayers.

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.


We decided 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 kick in......

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.