Sunday, August 10, 2008

Thursday August 7th (Angels Crest)

Jo and I wake up at 5 and are headed out by quarter till 6.

It is a little longer walk that before and certainly more of a hike to the base of the route. Since we would be getting to the same summit as Nathan and I had done previously I was in my mind trying to account how this route could be 9 pitches shorter and still reach the same place.

Well the first 4 pitches or so were made up in that the route starts much higher off the road.

Two grungy pitches lead to the first crux Angel Crack a 10b finger crack with a layback crux up high.

Me moving through the start of Angels. Still looking fresh.

The crack itself was quite easy, maybe 8 or so, but the moves at the top were definitely hardish, though not as bad as I thought. An exposed bolted anchor on the very crest let me view the next pitch. 10c face climbing past bolts.

Jo with her delicate face technique got this pitch, and she was so intent on the moves above she fell almost immediately off the belay on easier ground! Startled but otherwise fine she got back on and easily moved through the rest of the pitch.

Following it felt no harder than 5.9. And now we had the two hardest pitches behind us but still 10 more pitches to go.

We ramble upwards past two more 10a pitches and a bunch others and get to the base of the Acrophobe Towers at pitch 10.

These towers are perched right on the arete and as the name implies not a good place to be if you are scared of heights.

On the walk through the woods to get to the base of the first tower follow the totem who guides the way.

The 5.5 pitch up the tower may be the best moderate pitch I have ever done, rivaling High E for classic position and moves. You start easily up the bottom left of the tower soon reaching the very crest which you hand traverse easily but with absolutely huge exposure to the right. More climbing takes you to the top of the tiny pinnacle and a rap anchor to lower into the notch below.

If you look carefully here you can see me at the top of the tower.

Pitch 10 is actually 4 pitches of work, climb the tower, rap, scramble, downclimb, scramble again. Phew.

A few more exposed pitches over and around towers lead to the base of the final handcrack at 10b. I make it to the top, not too bad, a few cruxes over some roofs (good thing the Gunks have had me training on roofs so long)

The last pitch you literally crawl horizontally through almost a cave and then up a chimney, which starts horribly as all chimneys do, but then opens up higher into nice finger crackcs.

The summit is brilliant as always, and at barely 2 we start the walk down.

Two summits in 3 days not bad at all!

Not done for the day we go to Murrin park and hang out with our friends Dora, Andrew, Simone, and Michelle, at Up Among the Firs

Andrew on Wicker Cranium

Simone moving delicately through balancy moves on Poster Boy 5.10d

Andrew on A Little Testis

Andrew had someone made his arch collapse in his foot, but still wanting to climb and with a better diagnosis from his doctor we would tomorrow attempt Rock On 5.10a to Squamish Buttress 10c to Joes Dyke 5.7. Again all the way to the summit.

3 summits in 4 day? Could it be done?

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