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Nez Perce behind Nearing the summit Heading down the snowfield to exit South Garnet with the dome behind
New climbing partner, new summit. I had been up the south fork of Garnet but not up to the south to approach Cloudveil. Steve had been up The Grand a few weeks earlier and took a few pictures of our approach. It looked like we might have to cross a few snowfields. I've been on probably as many snow climbs as I have been on rock and felt fairly comfortable without crampons with the slope not being very steep. Steve on the other hand didn't really like the snow and had better rock shoes than anything that would get a grip on snow. After a few falls but no loss in elevation, we were back on rock and scrambling on. The second snow field was a bit tougher, steeper, and harder to get off of, but we made it again. The scramble to the col off the east ridge was long and monotonous. We geared up and away we went. The climbing was simple with the exception of two short pitches. I scooted right on a short friction pitch and when I belayed Steve up, I pulled the rope a little tight and he had to go straight up and over a slight overhang instead of around the corner on the friction slab. He was excited that he got to test his climbing skills as the route was supposed to be class 4. I think those two short pitches were definitely fifth class but on the way down, we decided it probably would have been fourth if we would have gone to climber's right a bit more. The hike out was grueling but we made it in around 14 hours. Not bad for Steve's first non-guided climb. As for any Teton summit, the view was spectacular and the thought of having to descend was a bit depressing. The best part of the trip besides the summit view of course, was Steve let me sleep for a good hour or more on our 3 hour drive home. I guess it will be my turn to drive next time. Yipee!
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