Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lines on a topo map

The back side of the Dog's tooth at sunrise

Scott Salzer and I ventured into the Crazy Mountains for our annual pilgrimage. We choose to explore a theoretical cliff located N-E of twin Lakes. The lines on the topo map made the area look promising. We started hiking at 5:00am and arrived beneath the mountain at daybreak, the problem was the cliff is located on the other side of the mountain. We climbed for 2,500 feet up following a rib of perfect pink granite. We hoped that this granite poked out the other side at the unseen cliff. It didn't. We arrived at the top of the cliff and looked down on a 600' cliff of choss. We decided to try and climb a line on the cliff that looked somewhat safe. It wasn't. After climbing around a huge chock stone I stepped to the left and placed a piece of gear, just as I did this half of the bottom of the chock stone fell off, the size of a kitchen table. Lucky I was out of the way, and Scott was hidden in a cave. Shaken I climbed the last 25 feet of 5.10- climbing to the top of the chock stone where, after finding nothing but rotton rock, I placed the only bolt I have ever placed in the mountains and bailed. The climb had a very sinister feel to it. The entire time we were climbing we had to brush off small bones from the holds. It turns out that the chock stone was home to a large owl (we never saw) and the ground was littered with owl pellets and bones. This is one cliff I don't think I ever need to go back to and honestly I don't recommend any climber going there unless you like bad rock. However, It was great learning experience and another 'crazy' climbing experience with Scott.

Cheers, Loren

Scott on top of the ridge before dropping down the other side to the base of the wall.

Scott splunk-climbing

Scott rappelling off the wall

I know this is cheesy, trust me.

A video of the day.

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