Justin is a far better writer than I am A Message from Necronomicon: TR - I'm Frosty for Prosti-Tots
I'm no hardman, but I've done some stuff, and this is
by far THE BEST alpine climb I've done in twelve years
When Darin sent me John Scurlock's picture of the
face, I pretty much creamed my jeans. The line looked
CLASSIC. Awesome colouir splitting a huge face.
Unclimbed in winter. FUCK YEAH!!! But you can't see
into the gully in the picture, the top looked bleak,
and you can't scope the route until you get to the
base, after climbing around the entire mountain.
Would it go?
Act 1: Snow wallow on skis.
Everyting I hate about climbing, except for the views
and the friends. Exhaustion, equipment failure, deep
snow, and we didn't even SEE the route. I especially
enjoyed being repeatedly assaulted by my pack on the
descent, re-learning how to ski in leather boots.
Build speed/try to slow down/lose
balance/crash/turtle/pack off/skis off/skis on/pack
on/ repeat ad neaseum. Fun?
Act 2: This is why I climb.
Wake up screaming at 3 a.m. after nightmare of being
chased by demonic forces in a cramped earthen basement
while covered in painful insect bites. Fun? The
alarm went off at 3:15.
Dropping down from the Chair Col in the dark over
steep snow. "Could we climb back up this shit?"
Controlled plummet past hidden bergschrund. Fat man's
misery busting through breakable crust.
"How's it look Darin?" "Looks like a blank wall."
Look to the East and the Sun begins to touch the sky.
"How's it look Darin?" "There's a gully!!!...I think
it's gonna go!!!"
And it did.
The normally mild Darin at the crux mixed chimney with
iced-up over-hanging chockstone and failing snow
mushrooms: "Fuck. I think I fucked myself. Fuck.
FUCK. I don't think it will go. We're fucked. Fuck.
Then: "YEAH! FUCK YEAH!!! OH MY FUCKING GOD! FUCK
YEAH!!!!! IT'S FUCKING AWESOME!!!"
And it was.
Pitch after pitch of INCREBIBLE climbing. Ice, neve,
snow, mixed. Simul-climbing on narrow ice runnels
through tight chimneys. Always challenging, never
desperate. Spin drift avalanches, try and wait them
out, balanced on front points, pack pulling you down,
but they don't stop. You could wait forever, so fuck
it and climb through. One swing styrofoam. Good ice,
shitty ice, good snow, shitty snow, good rock, shitty
Past the point of no return conversation with self:
"Will it go? Will I die here?"
Yes and no. A reprieve in the Sun then the hidden
gully past the cornice and to the summit. We did it.
The route, the summit, the friends, the views...gifts
from the Gods.
"IV WI3 5.8R Mixed, 1600'." TOTAL FUCKING CLASSIC!!!
We gave the route a secret name and went home.
This is why I climb.
Later, bitches. See you in the hills.