Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Bear Lodge

Went to the Bear Lodge (Devil's Tower) this fall with Austin, Nick, and Bridget.  Amazing place, amazing climbing.

Bridget leading "Soler"

the gang on top

Nick on the 200 foot pitch of "Walt Bailey"

Bridget coming up "Walt Bailey"

Austin heading down

We didn't have time to make it to the west face, but it looks good!

Cheers, Loren

Friday, August 29, 2014

Post #100 AND Summer Montage

  1. the process or technique of selecting, editing, and piecing together separate sections of film to form a continuous whole.
    • a sequence of film resulting from this.
      plural noun: montages
      "a dazzling montage of the movie's central banquet scene"
    • the technique of producing a new composite whole from fragments of pictures, text, or music.
      "the play often verged on montage"

linea alba

Luke Johnson - Bachelor party on the wall!  

Austin Hart pulling a roof

Jack Clinton in the 'pine


the taste of defeat

Brad Cox on the Montana-Mexico border

A calf-screaming good time

Watch your daughters

It always feels good to work with the Beartooth Mountain Guides and get a family to the top of Montana!!

The top of Montana

Bailing before even roping up (my bad)

But more importantly.  Today marks 365 days and one trip around the sun since we lost our friend Kevin Volkening to a climbing accident.  As I type this I am a 6 pack deep and my mind won't relax.  I still, and will always feel, a profound loss.  I know Kevin would appreciate the beauty and aesthetics of the places we climb at and the partners we share on a rope.  His presence is always with us in some form or another, whether a memory, a spark of inspiration, or a mannerism we picked up from him.  Here's to K-Bone!

K-Bone after climbing Moonlight buttress

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Microwave

Bridget and I bolted a few small routes at the ovens.  Here it is.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Camelot Tower

The Camelot Tower

Had a fun time on the Camelot Tower the other week with Nick Gaddy.  We climbed the adventure route called "Asian Duct Tape" located up the West Resebud a few miles up the trail.  Here are some pictures.

Nick at the top of P1

Nick on P3

Myself on P4 (Photo by Nick Gaddy)

Nick coming up P4

We got rained on a few times that day.  Nick Gaddy:  poops excellence and pees rainbows.

Nick kissing the summit

Me on top (Photo by Nick Gaddy)

We rappelled off the back side and got stuck in a fourth rain storm; here Nick down climbs slick lichen rock while getting soaked.

Cheers, Loren

Friday, August 1, 2014

Eagle Fire Tower - Let er Buck

Eagle fire tower

Luke Johnson and I got out to the desert of Montana to climb some choss towers in a little known area south of Billings.  The area holds great historical significance as an area that was used by indigenous people as a corridor connecting Montana and Wyoming.  This area contains many pictographs and still harbors a wild and mystical aura.  

One of the works of art - red bison and thunder bird

With this in mind Luke bumped his 1982 subaru up the dirt road.  We parked a few miles from the spire and hiked up a draw filled with lizards, slick rock, and cheat grass.  We found the tower and started to get nervous.  The rock looked pretty loose and the tower leaned to one side ominously.  It felt like it was off kilter enough that a climber's weight could cause it to come crashing down, probably just a figment of my imagination, but one I didn't want to test.

There ain't much water out here

I decided to try and climb it.  I did a left to right traverse on overhanging slick rock hand placing one bolt for protection by hand.  I the gained the south arete of the spire and hand placed two more bolts in good rock as I aided up.  The rock then got really hollow sounding and the aid climbing got a bit more real.  I was getting nervous as I sweated in the sun when suddenly a flock of bald eagles started flying around the tower and singing in a way only eagles can, they went on "singing" for quite a long time as they circled, dove, and hung on the up drafts of wind.  I finally gained the summit after some exciting and loose aid climbing and I felt pretty spent and mentally over the experience.

Luke coming up the free climbing section

Luke jugging up the route cleaning

half the aid pieces I placed blew out as Luke Jugged... and I somehow got it on camera

Luke on the top

Luke Rapping off, we placed a good anchor on top.

"Eagle Fire Tower"  5.4, A2.  We equipped the tower to be free climbed and I think it can be (with an R rating in the aid climbing section- not much pro and a sideways swing onto a fixed pin should one fall).  We did strip the hangers from the bolts so you'll need to bring your own.  Be warned though, this is a loose one.

giddy up....

Cheers, Loren

Monday, July 28, 2014

Tower of Poor Rock- East Buttress

East Buttress

I have been excited about the tower of poor rock this summer.  I have ventured up to the rock 3 or 4 times in the last month and have fallen in love with the marvel wall (do spidey!!).

Austin Hart and I walked up to the base of the Tower of Poor Rock with cragging in mind.  We both looked at the east buttress and impulsively decided to climb it to the summit of the tower.  What we found was splitter cracks, choss of all sizes, steep headwalls, jungle thrashing, adventure rappelling, and a whole bunch of fun.

Austin on P1

Austin P2 - Splitter!!

Austin on the upper headwall

looking across at the Tower of Innocence

Austin on the summit showing off his blade

Adventure rappelling

Cheers, Loren

Thursday, July 24, 2014

"Na Piet Say"

Na Piet Say is the Crow word for the dramatic bear's tooth spire.  This spire had such an impact on the local cartographers that the entire mountain range and the 944,000 acre wilderness area was named in this spire's honor.  The Beartooths.

With little planning I got the invite to climb the spire with Austin Hart and Nick Gaddy.  We left Red Lodge at 2 pm on a Thursday and hiked past a frozen Moon lake and down the spirit-rearguard saddle to the boulder bivy.

We noticed the approach slabs were pouring water and  still had snow fields guarding access to the east ridge.  We decided to approach via the winter route, climbing the direct east ridge from the mini-tooth/beartooth col (Austin and Chad Chadwick did this approach last summer).  What we found was a fun and safer approach to the east ridge, I may never go on those slabs again.  We summited the spire and did some anchor work on the way down.  We replaced webbing on most of the anchors and we completely replaced a really manky anchor with new pitons.  We retraced the winter route with a couple of rappels and lots of downclimbing.

giddy up.

A gentleman's bivy 

we simul-climbed the entire approach ridge


Nick on the last pitch, Psyched!

Summit of the spire

Descending the spire on good/updated anchors

heading down the direct east ridge the tooth raking the sky above

some of the tat we cleaned from the spire

Cheers, Loren