Saturday, March 12, 2005

Eldo with John Christie

After riding I went to climb at Eldo with John Christie. This guy has climbed Honeymoon Chimney with Conrad Anker, was part of the support team for Skinner and Piana's freeing of the Salathe (mentioned as "Scottish Big Wall Master John Christie"), is good friends with Rolo, has climbed Rainbow Wall (Eldo 13a) free, etc. He knows about everyone. Anyway, we went out and did Rincon. I strung the first two pitches together in a 200-foot 5.9 lead. The first pitch is pretty stiff for 5.9. Very technical, very Eldo. Pretty good gear but difficult stances for placing it, in general.

John did the heavy lifting, leading the 5.11a/b pitch and I surprised myself in following cleanly. The business is super short - it is really more of a boulder problem - and involves some cool, very technical stemming to a thrutching move over a bulge.

I strung the next two pitches together as well in another 200-foot 5.9+ pitch, though the technical bit is pretty short and this felt way easier than the first 200 feet.

We descended back to the base where we saw Bruce Miller (see Steve House's article in the latest Alpinist magazine for more on him) belaying Jeff somebody (Achey? But it didn't look like him) as he absolutely walked the Evictor on toprope. This route is rated 12c on TR, 13a R on lead. It is prominently featured in the film Front Range Freaks.

Next we did Over the Hill (10b). John strung the first two pitches (10 and 10b) into on pitch, as is usually done, and I led the final super classic 5.9 pitch. The climbing on this route is so cool and so non-burly. Very neat stemming on the first pitch and really technical footwork and small holds, but not that steep. We called it a day and headed for home.