Sunday, June 7, 2009

Day 5: Drillin' Connelly

Fresh from India and Nepal, and newly moved into the world of corporate finance, The Driller was rabid to get on our route today. I was pretty psyched...Dylan has done loads of aid climbing (loads more than me, anyway). Napoleon was nowhere to be seen but the immense lineup at Starbucks (which you can see from our route) suggested that he was probably there getting his 35th coffee of the morning.

Anyway, Driller and I were a bit late getting started due to nearly running out of gas but up we went. We made it to our high point after I stepped in some shit and we sweated through the oddly humid but thankfully not 32 degree weather.

Dylan jugged quickly, and when we got to the ledge at our high point, he launched into aid. Blicker called this one right-- the dihedral we are now climbing will be harder than I'd thought (11+?) likely with no gear. Here's Dylan on the dihedral pitch:

Drillin' Connelly bathooked and 1/8"'d his way up while I slid down the fixed line and did some serious gardening, which basically meant throwing rocks at the ground and ripping out handfuls of dirt. When the first battery died-- after a mere 2.5 holes-- I lowered the Driller to the belay, and when he started to change batteries, I think I gave him a moment of slack. In any case, the battery fell down, smacked my shoulder, and then fell 200m down the face of the cliff into the talus. FUCK! So with drilling activities over for the day, we turned our attention to P3 and the loose rock and dirt.

I managed to kill the huge pain-in-the-ass tree, while showering Driller (now Digger) with many cubic meters of dirt. The horrifying loose blocks that had scared Blicker were stller there, but no match for the Digger.

So we hacked and grunted and got rid of it. Only problem was, we now have off-width sections on our crack, ha. Oh well, we'll manage. At the end of the day, were pretty satisfied. Here's a pic of the crack, cleaned:

Here's a last photo of Dylan rapping at day's end.

At the base we found the dropped battery, plugged it in...and it worked! A bit more scrubbing, a few more bathook and copperhead moves, and we will have P3 and P4 ready to climb, and then we start either traversing the Green Line, or heading up the black & white flake.

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