Wednesday, May 20, 2009

T1.5 and Werk Supp / Bastille variation

I met Buzz at our usual location outside of Eldo at 5:30 a.m. and we cruised into the canyon. It was warm and I went in shorts, but did put on a long sleeve shirt. We were hiking towards the start of Touch and Go by 5:45 a.m. We had a rack of double units and a 100-foot rope. Our intent was to climb something we call T 1.5. This is basically climbing T2, but avoiding the very hard and very dangerous 5.11 start of T2 and replacing it with the first pitch of Touch and Go (5.8). Then we substitute the very nice 2nd pitch of Jules Verne (5.9) for the less fun 2nd pitch of T2 (5.9, as well I think). Once on the Upper Ramp we just follow T2.

I led, as usual, and zipped up the first pitch of T2. A little ways above, I installed the first Ropeman to protect me in case Buzz fell off the tricky start to that pitch. I traversed left into Jules Verne and enjoyed the fun climbing up to the cool crack. Just below the crack there was tons of bird shit, but I could mostly avoid it. When I hit the Upper Ramp, I placed the second Ropeman and then moved up the ramp to the base of Upper T2. I stopped here and brought Buzz up so that we could re-rack.

Freshly stocked with gear, I led the 5.7 pitch with a single piece of gear, clipped the belay, and then clipped a high fixed pin with a long sling before making the very cool and delicate traverse left to the T2 fingercrack.

The crack went nicely and I continued up the leaning hand crack above to the ramp. I placed a Ropeman here and climbed up and right along the ramp with the tricky rotten band. I placed a couple of small cams and clipped a fixed pin here. After placing a high piece for Buzz, I continued up easy ground for a bit and then placed the second Ropeman to protect me from Buzz falling off the rotten band.

We simul-climbed to the top, doing the route in 90 minutes and topping out at 7:25 a.m. (10 minutes per pitch). We descended the east slabs and it was still early, so we went and did the first pitch of Werk Supp to Shadot's Revenge (5.8 pitch), to the 5.8 variation to the 4th pitch of the Bastille Crack, and then did the 5.7 direct finish to the Bastille Crack. I led the four pitches as one and Buzz simul-climbed behind.

We topped out, coiled the rope and hiked back down the base. The roundtrip on this climb took about 40 minutes (10 minutes per pitch). For our 50-pitch day we need to average 15 minutes per pitch if we want to get it done in 12.5 hours. That includes hiking, resting, drinking, eating, etc. So you need to keep the pressure on for over 12 hours. Right now things are on pace, but it's easy to keep on pace for 3 hours... Actually, we started at 5:45 a.m. from the car and got back to the car at 8:40, so call it three hours. We did 13 pitches, so just one pitch ahead of 15 minutes/pitch pace.

We've set our plan for the big day as well. We'll have to pre-stash water at the base of Rewritten the day before. Then we'll climb with a 100-foot tag line on our backs to use for rappelling. I'll probably also where a Camelback with more water and gels/bars. We'll meet at 4:40 a.m. Start hiking at 4:50 a.m. and start climbing up the Bulge at 5 a.m.

We'll leave any extra gear at the base and simul-climb the 4 pitches (with the 5.9 finish) of the Bulge and then climb down the East Slabs back to the base, where we'll pick up our stashed gear and tag line. Then we climb T1.5 (9 pitches) and do the Vertigo rappels to the ground and then descend the trail to the West Face of the Lower Ramp, which we climb up to Ruper and do the complete Ruper (7 pitches with approach pitch, 20 total now). We do the Vertigo raps again and now hike uphill to Rewritten. We then climb Rewritten, Great Zot / Zot Face, and Green Spur, hiking off after each. These are all 5 pitches long, so we now have 35 pitches done. We descended a bit and climb the Yellow Spur (7 pitches, 42 total now) and descend the East Slabs. We then climb whatever is open on the Wind Tower and/or the Bastille until we're at 50 or more.

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