Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The SW Buttress of the Bear's Face

The SW buttress is the right skyline.
Bridget and I had a fairly successful time in the East Rosebud this last week.  We climbed the SW buttress of the wall above Elk Lake (its been climbed prior).  We managed to make a mostly free ascent of the upper headwall-  I pulled on a cam on a friction traverse (The original rating is 5.9 A2, and Daniel Burson and Ari Greenburg made a free ascent of the buttress a few years ago at 5.11) and we topped the monolith out around 1 in the afternoon.  The unsuccessful portion of the climb was the descent.  We totally went down the wrong gully (the gully below the first wall).  It was the most chossy place I have ever been (and that's saying something).  It was a place you didn't want to linger in as it funnels rocks from high above and they come exploding past like bullets and missles.  It was like a game of Russian Roulete in there, you knever knew if the next rappel had your name on it, and pulling the ropes caused a whole new barrage of rockfall.  The gully was pooring water and we were soaked, leaving nuts and slinging blocks for anchors.  Five hours later we stumbed out into the evenging light at five mile creek happy to be alive.  Aside from the descent the climbing was great and, as always, the scenery was amazing - just never descend down that gully!

Bridget on the headwall

Bridget knocking a big block off the headwall

 Myself climbing steep corners on the upper headwall

The top out

The descent

The rope didn't handle the descent well either

Cheers, Loren

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sunlight Buttress

"The Wet Whitey-Tighty Contest" 5.11. 

A terrible (and awesome) route name I know.... let me explain.

This past winter Kevin Volkening and I went exploring a cool place for some ice to climb.  Well, we didn't find any ice but we did "discover" (I found an arrow head at the base of the wall, which means the wall was probably discovered a few thousand years ago) a beautiful wall of gneiss.  While exploring the cliff we were forced to cross the creek below it - in winter - in our underwear (or lack of...) a seriously cold endevor...

...that's how this route got it's name.

Kevin crossing the creek

Bridget, Scott "Sandbaggin" Salzer, and I headed to the cliff this past Labor day weekend to check the rock out.  Here's what we found:

Myself on the first pitch (The Fruit of the Loom Pitch) in survivor mode.  The perfect 2" hand crack in the back was protected by a wasp nest and a huge spider, both of which I had to climb around to get to the top. 

Bridget on the first ascent of the second pitch (The Atomic Wedgie Pitch) - oh so good!!

Looking down the "atomic Wedgie Pitch" in awe!

Scott following "the atomic wedgie pitch"

The next day we rappelled the cliff looking for a way to link the route together

We linked the route together by climbing the pitches ground up after inspection from above.  We ended up placing a couple bolts in blank sections (i.e. one 60m pitch has 3 bolts)

Bridget following "The Fruit of the Loom Pitch" on the free push.
 On Labor day we climbed the route ground up all free at solid 5.11.

And we were watched the entire time by the worlds boldest climber... no pressure.

Scott on pitch 4 "The Bannana Hammock pitch" - bring very small gear for this one to supplement a couple of bolts.

Bridget on the 3rd pitch "The skid marks pitch".  Bring a clean pair of underwear for this pitch as it is insecure. (the white scars on the slab below are from cleaning the route, there still may be a few loose blocks on route- bring a helmet).

Route cleaning

We bolted every anchor on the route and the route can be rappelled with 2, 60M ropes (3 rappells total)from anchors that have bones tied to them (recommended as you approach from above).

If you want beta for this route let me know, I'd be psyched!

Cheers, Loren