Friday, August 14, 2009

ब्लिक्कर दोएस वर्क

For some reason the computer will only let me title this post in Hindi. So the title above is "Napoleon's 5th Day." As you know we see the end of our route, the so-called "V slot" and months ago Blicker and Ben hiked up a fixed line. While Napoleon is into top-down and rap bolting, Dilly and I are into grounfd up, so our compromise is that Napoleon can deal with the top pitch and Driller and I will work the bottom of the route.

After media reports of an unusual decline in business at the Squamish Starbucks, it was reported that Napoleon got his ass out of bed and did some actual work on our route. The following is his report on the day's activities. My only question is, if you guys are carrying only harnesses, a crowbar and a drill, why do you both have 50 pound packs? Anyway good on you, Napoleon, and here's Napoleon's entry:

Exploring the V Slot

First this post is about climbing and not about Butch's girlfriend so if you were expecting something mildly entertaining and perverse [when have I ever written about my girlfriend?], then you have overestimated my ability to exaggerate and i'll leave that to Butch' future posts. The first thing that was working against us at the beginning of the day became immediately obvious in the morning: the weather. There was an early realization that we may need to abseil fixed lines in a torrential downpour. My friend Mike had heard about the route and was keen to get out, bringing a lot of experience from his developments out in the Hope, BC area. A slow start to the day, entirely my fault and supporting Chris' claim to my preparedness, and we were hiking up the chief yet again with 40-50 pound packs.

Slow and steady wins the race. A group of city slickers, boasting about their hiking accomplishments, meadered their way around our slow footwork and looked back with skepticism, a sign of their lack of confidence that we would never make it to the top with that amount of weight. An hour from the start, we summited our class 2 adventure and moved toward the start of the fixed lines.

Anyone who has ever route cleaned will agree that logistics and efficiency are what will determine success. A previous trip had seen our fixed lines at the right end point before the slot but needed to be rearranged such that the line was a more direct descent to the anchor. I rapped the first fixed line while Mike rapped the new direct line and unfixed the lower section. I jugged out with the gear and rapped down the new fixed line.

We cleaned up the ledge adjacent to the station and proceeded to our main objective: to rap the V slot and start cleaning it. An objective hazard was discovered to be a series of death blocks precariously perched on a small ledge 1/3 of the way down from the top. Armed with a crowbar i rapped off the fixed line, while getting a back up belay and making certain that any rope did not hang below my feet. It will suffice to say that the hazard is now gone and the corner crack is looking amazing and will go at 5.9+ or 5.10a. An anchor was installed at its base and I rapped down further to scope things out.

The irony of the situation was this: Butch is insistent on creating a ground up route and as you all know, this is extremely dangerous both for the belayer and for the leader as there is too much debris that can be loose and does come off. An earlier post by Butch denotes a fearful me hiding below a roof and it certainly was an evolutionary reaction for self preservation as a huge rock was coming my way. Back to the point: we would need to rap down to... do a ground up back out, as the face overhangs slight with no apparent features. A diagonal crack at the base goes up and left to the base of some very good looking cracks and provides the potential to traverse in to the right to the base of the V slot.

The rains started and Mike and I proceed to jug 100 meters (or 1/10th of El cap). After this sweaty and wet affair, our workout continued as we hiked own the backside of the chief and were immediately greeted with beers by some friends in the parking lot. Having no access to water on the way down (as we stashed some up there) we were getting hammered fast and proceeded to the Brew Pub. It rained briefly on Sunday but I somehow got out of bed and actually climbed something. As a side note, if you have never been to 'the farm' for bouldering, big up to all the FA's who put that area together as the lines were immaculate. Did i forget to mention flat landings?

Summary: a lot of cleaning to do still. Butch's shit talking will continue. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. you guys have a lot of pent of tension . hug it out.... =)