Thursday, June 26, 2008

Welcome to the real Mountains

Meeting up with Tim and Peter proved an interesting experience. Both are very accomplished climbers and very different. I felt like we were getting tested almost to prove we could hang with the big boys.

Upon rolling in to Hailey on Tuesday nite, we picked up Tim and headed up Trail Creek Ridge to a Tony Yaniro crag. Yaniro was a beast and on this wall the warm up was solid 12. Even getting to the wall is a challenge, the road is dirt with a 2000 foot steep scree slope to the creek. Then you scramble up 5.0 slab for 70 feet to the base of the route and you jump on this route "Muscle Beach" aptly named and it is just in your face bottom to top. Talk about pumpy! Pete led it and everyone TRed it. Got it with one hang. Phew!

If that wasnt enough the next day we did a route with Tim. Where Peter is the hardcore sport man, Tim is the consummate mountain professional. He has been climbing for 28 years. Mountain and river guide. We wake up at 5:30am drive an hour to the Sawtooths and Redfish Lake.

The grand Mogul looking out of the back of the water taxi (not mine)


The beauty of this place is hard to explain. These are not just little mountains. It is a serious mountain range with no easy way to cross country travel.

We take the 8am taxi across the lake which avoids the 5mile approach. Still after unloading we have to climb 3 or 4 miles and nearly 3000 feet to the base of the elephants perch.

Along the way there is a stream crossing over class 4/5 rapids with the water lapping over the logs. And a snow crossing where we kicked steps and used our ice axes/hiking poles to get up the slpe without falling into the creek.

The perch is a 1200 foot tall piece of perfect pink granite.

The route we did was around the cornerto the right and started from the approach gully. Sideline 5.9+R 4 pitches with a short 5.7 pitch to approach.

P0 5.7 - just getting around the giant chockstone blocking the gully
P1 5.8 - Tim leads up avoiding the big loose flakes and connects us up to the tree
P2 5.9+ - My lead, great flake system to some runout face up to a roof, step right then back left over the roof on small pockets. Exposed!
P3 5.8 Tim leads moderate stuff to a fun pull over a roof
P4 5.9 connect two flakes via some face climbing, and on last friction crux to the big ledge.

500 feet in an hour and a half!

Walk (scramble) off right to the descent gully and one rap gets you back to the ground. What a day in the mountains!

Might do it again on Friday.


Anonymous said...

Love the scenery but always worry about you as usual. The lightning picture is awesome. Jeanne is fine but still pregnant. CAF

Jason Page said...


I love reading your blog. It makes me happy to see you enjoying the country and being able to see so much of it. I have to admit I am a bit jealous. Keep up the good times brutha. Your presence is missed around the office.

-Jason/JP/Page aka- "beetus"

Dominic said...

Nice to hear from the buds back at the office! You know its alot of work helping you all live vicariously through me ;-)

I might be back soon actually. Im sure ill keep everyone posted.