Monday, June 13, 2011

Epinephrine. 2,000 ft. 5.9.

5.9 trad was putting Ryan to sleep, so he inserted a dyno to spice things up.  We decided to do this route several weeks ago.  Stashed gear the day before, and did the uber early start (wake up at 2:30am).  Started the climb at 5:09am.
I think this is me before setting off on penultimate chimney pitch, which i found to be the most challenging.  My foot actually slipped while way above the last piece.  Would not have been pretty.  That was a low point of inattention.  Chimneys felt pretty safe although strenuous.  Didn't feel the need to place pro and instead relied on the one or two bolts in the middle.  Not the most manly approach, since that makes it a "sport" chimney, but burrowing back to place gear looked like a recipe for rope drag.  Surprisingly the #4 Camalot came in handy, easily placeable on practically every pitch.  Not critical or necessary.  Could have done the climb with nothing larger than #3, and single rack.  We followed the handren guide advice of single to #4 and double 1-3.
Ryan on the final chimney pitch.  The fun ended after that when we got hit with blistering sun heat on top of the Black Tower.  I guess that's the price you pay if you climb Red Rock in June.  Was nice to have Black Velvet all to ourselves though.
We topped out the climb (final "scramble") at 3:22pm. Sadly my knee acted up and I couldn't bend it by the time we reached the top and signed the register.  The 1 hour descent turned into a 4 hour slog, as I hobbled and walked backwards to avoid  bending my left knee.  We split up and I got lost, ending up on top of some white slabs.  We also ran out of water at the top, so it was getting a tad uncomfortable.  All in all, a great experience, and relatively casual climbing.  Highly recommended.