This is the first of three attempts on this climb. My friend and I decided we would take up trad climbing and this was to be our first long climb. The easy grade and beautiful views make this a must climb. We did some trad climbing in MN that summer before the climb but they were not very long.
We arrived at the base of the climb for a bivy and relized we had misplaced the bivy sacks so I rigged up a shelter with a tarp which was more than we needed because the night was clear and very nice.
We get up early and my friend is in a foul mood. We hike to the base and have to wait for an hour for the group ahead of us and my friend to go back down and get his harness. Not a good start.
He comes back with his harness and gets ready to go. He takes the first lead and is leading very slooooow. We climb past two big ledges and I lead up to a hanging belay about two thirds the way up. It turns out my hanging belay is ten feet away from two bolts I did not see. Clouds roll in and the weather starts to look bad. My friend climbs up to me and we discuss climbing the top third vs rappelling down with one 60 meter rope. Mist starts to hit us when I see two climbers 100 feet below us setting up a rap as they head back down. After a quick discussion I try to get the attention of the the two climbers with shrill whistle. A whistle is not a common thing over 400 feet up on a rock face and I see one of the climbers heads twist about as he looks for the source of the noise. Again I whistle and he looks up spotting us for the first time. After a bit of shouting they agree to let us hitch a ride out of the coming storm. On the way down one of the climbers tells us about a death the year before on the climb. Turns out a climber summitted the climb and placed no pro on the last pitch. The wind blew him off the top and he fell to his death.
We make plans to return and climb more than 2/3rds the way up the climb the following year.
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