Tuesday, November 30, 2010
On August 21, I became the sixth person to solo the Nose of El Capitan in under 24 hrs. Rode the bike from camp 4 and stashed it in El Cap meadow. Roped up for the whole route minus the sickle ledge traverse. Ran into a team of 4 Koreans on the ledge, told them "don't touch me" as a nod to Potter in MoS V and put in an anchor when I reached their leader. This team of 4 would end up being rescued in the gray band's later that week, I'm glad they didn't touch me. Rope soloed the stove legs to Dolt where I took a break and drank tons of gatorade left by a team bailing earlier in the week. Took the Jardine traverse as I was roped up the whole time and would feel kinda dumb jugging the 5.6 from Dolt to the Boot Flake. I took another break at Camp IV and fueled up for the coming darkness. Linked the great roof into the triangle ledge after Pancake flake and rap cleaned the great roof so I could lower out it's whole distance while cleaning. Took a final break at Camp 5 as darkness fell. I could hear all my friends in the meadow cheering me on so I knew I couldn't stop now. I didn't even pause on Camp 6 because it is to tempting to sleep on that late in the game. Finally tagged the tree after 20:43 on the route! I was very happy and very tired on top. Staggered down the east ledges until reaching my bike in the meadow. I drank an IPA as the sun rose and had a very wobbly bike ride back to the lodge!
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Our first stop on the trip was the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. We spent 3 days hiking loads into Campamento Torres at the head of the Ascencio Valley. Our main goal was the South African route on the MASSIVE east face of Torre Central. Unfortunately a heavy snow fall winter had formed a massive snow patch covering the intial pitches. Lesson learned-you have to be flexible in Patagonia! Hiked back around to the Silencio Valley for a free attempt on via delle mamma on the shorter but beautiful west face on Torre Central. This line is 20 pitches of SPLITTER cracks on a beautiful golden face. Unfortunately on our only weather window the bottom pitches were covered in rime ice and what should have been 5.6 was more like M-16! Hayden led these pitches in full Gasherbaum conditions, ice tools in hand and approach shoes! We also attempted Ultima Esperanza (V 5.11+) in full conditions! Alpine climbing constantly stresses the fact that it doesn't have to be fun to be fun!We did send Torre Norte by the Monzino route. We ran up the mixed climbing to the col and summitted from there in 56 minutes. What an awesome route and a great day to be in Patagonia.
(photos by Hayden Kennedy)
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Saturday, November 28, 2009
I've been kicking it in KY with the fam and climbing in the Red River Gorge for the past month. Now I'm headed to Colorado with Hayden to get our ice climb on! Then we are leaving December 14 for Patagonia, can't wait to wait around down there! Also got a new website in the works, let you know when I got it...
Hayden and I took a couple days off and decided the logical thing to do next was trash our previous time of 12 hrs on the nose. We once again changed up our blocks to try a new strategy. As opposed to our 2 block strategy, we tried 4 blocks. hayden took us to dolt, I led to the boot, Hay-gro went to camp 5 and I took us to the top. This is a WAY BETTER strategy, the leader can leave more gear as we meet up more often and psyke levels remain higher as the blocks are shorter. We charged past the usual crowds down low super excited to be crushng el cap with a mini-rack, water and the shirts on our backs...actually I believe Hayden had no shirt on! We matched our previous record of 16 people passed but crushed our time and finished it in 7:59! Not much feels better than cruising El Cap and then hanging with your buddies bullshitting with daylight to spare!
Hayden and I once again roped up together for the reg on Half Dome in Septmeber. We were shooting for a time of 3:30 or less. This time we switched blocks to try something new and I led the first 17 pitches while Hayden simuled under me. He led the last 7 or so pitches shortfixing but we soon realized our rope was about 25 m long, a little too short. We got hung up in the zig zags unable to lead after fixing the rope due to our short rope. Oh well, we still smoked the route in the 3:27. everything went smoothly and we were back at the lodge spraying to our friends before 3 pm!