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Avalanche_Lilly

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Everything posted by Avalanche_Lilly

  1. [TR] Mt Stuart - Direct North Ridge 7/26/2014

    Haters gonna hate. Really enjoyed watching you guys fly by (we were the last in line at the cluster at the gendarme), it's like you were running but climbing. When I grow up I hope I can climb that fast and efficiently! Thanks for giving me a vision to aspire to.
  2. Found iPhone 4 on Mt Hood

    describe the case if you think it's yours
  3. Found iPhone 4 on Mt Hood

    The finder isn't a CC member he just posted on craigslist and got spammed so I said I'd try here for him. But good idea I will suggest he do that!
  4. Yes, add more pics! 'second day sun' and 'getting closer' are so beautiful it hurts.
  5. Trip: Beacon Rock - Young Warriors Date: 8/25/2013 Trip Report: Hmm it's forecasted to rain everywhere this weekend, let's stay in town. Saturday morning: hey look it's raining let's stay home. Sunday morning: hey it's not raining, let's hit up Beacon! Climb Team: Preston, Hye, Toddipoo, Dills. Goal: Young Warriors, which all the cool kids keep talking about, and if you know me you know I want to be cool. Preston has climbed the route before so he and Hye go first. Hye leads P1. Then I lead P1. It's 5.8 mellow with lots of bolts. I plug in some gear cuz I can. What is it about alpine that makes you run it out like a badass but when you're cragging you sew it up like a bitch? I don't even have enough slings because I just brought my alpine rack from last weekend. Preston leads up P2. Plaidman appears above us on a different route. "How do you like the butthole pitch?" he calls out. "You call it the butthole pitch too?!" Preston asks increduously. The roof does form a somewhat tubular sphincter. Toddipoo leads up next, he's terrified of the choss below the butthole "That's one dirty butthole" but the crack above the butthole you can sew up nice. It's the only real place where you have to use finger jams on the route as well. Todd made it look easy as usual. Hye has already led up and Preston has taken off by the time I reach the top of P2. "P3, your lead, there is only one move of 5.9" says Toddipoo. Ooh I get to lead 5.9 and be cool? I want to be cool! I go to place my first piece above the anchor and a cute little frog peaks out 2" from my face to inspect what I'm doing. This pitch was cruiser with just a little tricky smeary dihedral with a pin in the middle of it. Hye was belaying Preston out when I arrived. "We should climb something together, just the two of us," I told her. "We need to earn hot crusher babe street cred." "Sure I'd love to!" Hye replies, "Except, you can be the hot babe and I'll just be the crusher. Oh wait that's not what I meant! I mean, you can be a crusher too!" Ha ha ha oh that Hye, so modest! P4. Todd's lead. It gets darker and colder. The wind picks up. He's up and it's my turn to go. I head up and cannot get a #1 cam out of a crack. It's walked too far in, is overcammed, and attempts to pull on the trigger even with my nut tool are futile. I keep at it, trying to manually push back the lobes with my nut tool, and then the cloud above me explodes with fat raindrops. This ain't no drizzle, I am getting soaked in a matter of seconds. I realize time is of the essence. I try, I try, and then I say fuck it, I need to move before the rock gets any wetter and abandon the cam in the crack. Now I realize I was already fucked and should've tried harder to get the cam. Climbing has become an exercise in futility. The rock is not only wet, but the mixture of dirt and lichen powder coating it has transformed into a slick greasy mess, I can barely hang on to jugs. I climb my hardest till I come to the slab traverse with the pin in the middle, and my shoulders slump in defeat. Wet slimey slab with no holds. There's no way I'm getting out of this one unscathed. I begin up the left side, slip, slide down it like I'm on a slip-n-slide, and pendulum oh a good 10 feet. I totally screamed like a girl. It's ok, I'm a pendulum master. My expertly trained senses flare alive, my head snaps to look where I'm headed and I catch myself with bent knees. I head up to try again but my resolve is lost. I inch back out across the slab and I think I might have started crying. Crying on top rope. I was just really indignant that I had lost that cam, and if I hadn't wasted time on that cam I would've been able to climb this part when it was dry, and now I was fucked both ways, and how could the world do this to me, and how was I going to make it across this slippery death slab. In times of extreme duress my mind likes to latch onto a mantra and repeat it over and over. This time the catch phrase was 'I GOT NOTHING!' (in reference to holds of course) . Somehow I made it past the crux slab without eating shit again and climbed the last part of P4 wailing "I GOT NOTHING!" the entire way. They tell you never climb with your knees, but that's bullshit. There is a much higher coefficient of friction when you climb a wet slab with your knee than your slick rock shoe. On the down side, I think my new khaki-colored pants are ruined. LUCKILY Hye was already leading up P5 when the downpour happened, and was able to climb to the top! She saved us all!! We're all climbing the rest of this bitch on top rope. It may be 5.easy when it's dry but the rain has turned it into 5.12. I tie in 10 feet behind Preston and drag up my rope till I can belay Todd in at the top. The rain had stopped and we were in high spirits again and frolicked back down the trail, laughing and joking and none of the hikers could tell that just 30 minutes ago I was having a complete and utter meltdown, desperately cursing "I GOT NOTHING!" at the heavens, alone on a friction slab in the rain. In summary if anyone happens to be on Young Warriors soon and is feeling so kind and gracious as to get me back my #1 cam near the start of P4, I will give an autographed photo of myself climbing Vesper in my bikini, plus my eternal gratitude!!! Gear Notes: single cams up to a #2 although you could find places to stick a #3 if you must, at least 10 draws Approach Notes: crocs
  6. Hey, holmes. Todd Eddie, Brad Farra, and I are giving a presentation on our August 2013 East Ridge of the Devil's Thumb climb in the Stikine Ice Cap, Alaska. The presentation is at 7 PM on January 22 at the Mazamas Mountaineering Center ( 527 SE 43rd Av) in Portland. Here's a sneak peek: [video:vimeo]83999858 Would love to see some of you there!!
  7. East Ridge of Devil's Thumb Presentation -Portland

    Most certainly! Only because you asked so nicely.
  8. East Ridge of Devil's Thumb Presentation -Portland

    Yes, we did make the summit! Climb was 18 hrs tent to tent. Funny, when we did come down Dieter Klaus congratulated me on being the first woman to reach the actual summit, but further internet research revealed I was merely the third. Still, I'll take it! I think Todd was the first vegan on the summit hahaha.
  9. [TR] Vesper Peak - North Face 8/18/2013

    Trip: Vesper Peak - North Face Date: 8/18/2013 Trip Report: After cranking hard all summer culminating in a summit of Devil's Thumb in Alaska the weekend before, I decided it was about time for a fuck-off climb weekend. I am tired of climbing by its stringent RULES. I'm going to do WHAT I WANT! This may or may not include: drinking on the approach, drinking at camp, smoking on top of every pitch, blasting obnoxious music at base camp, wearing definitely non-technical clothing, being slow, lollygagging and dawdling, etc. My friend Azure was the perfect wing woman for this, being a busy mom whose husband and son were out of town that weekend. She doesn't get to climb or party that often anymore so she wanted to make the most of the weekend too! Vesper looked like an ideal climb, we'll crank it out Saturday then fuck off on Sunday. Oh wait the weather is bad on Saturday nevermind we'll hike in Saturday, camp and fuck off then climb Sunday. Friday night! Margaritas and hot tubbin. Azure made me get up at 7 AM Saturday morning cuz she's a mom and they all get up early I think. We hit the road, tried to find the North Cascades but took a wrong turn and ended up at Scuttlebutt Brewery in Everett. OOPS! Eleven tiny beers and some clam chowder later we're going the right direction. We slog up the trail, stop at Headlee Pass for a wine and smoke break, head up to Vesper Lake. ALRIGHT, there is a large group of men camped there! Wohooo! Oh wait, they are all teenage boys. And even the group leaders are too young for me. Sigh, it is hard, being old and haggard. I'm just kidding anyhow, I ain't interested cuz I have the hottest boyfriend in the world. The guys have the best (only) camping spot so we go scrap something out of the boulderfield, moving rocks aside, too lazy to go to the campsites further up the ridge. The evening consisted of drinking wine, smoking ciggies, and dancing to hits such as 'Low' by Flo-Rida blasting obnoxiously from the basecamp speakers. We're gonna get up at 4 AM! 4 AM. I peak out the tent door. There's a cloud over Sperry, Vesper looks completely clear. "UM it's cloudy we should sleep in another hour." 5 AM. "UM it's still too dark why should we futz around in the dark for no reason?" 7:00 AM we get up. Leave camp at 8. Whatever. It's fuck-off climb! WE DO WHAT WE WANT! We scramble up to the 5500' notch and downclimb onto the glacier below. Fuck that moat is huuuge. The gully system at 5200' recommended by trip reports is completely inaccessible unless you can jump a 10' moat that's 30+ feet deep. We wander up another 150' or so and find the only spot where the moat is remotely passable, with only a 4' leap to a ledge. Azure puts me on belay from the snow and I go to jump it and hem and haw for 5 minutes and then bitch out and make her and her longer legs do it. It's so humiliating, being tiny. She makes it look easy and climbs up a short way and builds an anchor and hauls me up. Azure setting up to belay harrowing moat crossing. Looking down at me at the only possible crossing of giant gaping moat Now here comes the fun! Head up this random steep gulley that is the only one you can access and not in anyone else's trip reports. There is not one but TWO roofs I'm gonna have to pull over. I hope there are good holds. There aren't. I can't even remember the details of the first roof I am too traumatized, I just remember wishing one of my stronger climbing buddies were there so I could back off and make them do it and be relaxed and happy. But, they aren't here, and I ain't rapping off no gear, so the only way is up. At one point I really want my #2 cam but my belay device biner's nose is jammed into the wire gate of the cam biner and I can't see what's going on so I wiggle and wiggle and then watch sadly as my belay device pinballs down the ledges below, flashing gloriously one last time in the sunlight before it disappears into the moat. "Hope you like being belayed off a munter!" I yell at Azure. Hot roof on roof action: After the first roof I build the most horrifying anchor I ever have, a tiny cam and a nut in the cracks formed by the same block separating out of the rock face, and a cam in a flake at my feet that I can't equalize but set as a backup. Azure asks for a take at one point and I say "NO!" On the second roof I came up under its right side, performed an undercling no-feet traverse switching to a layback off a vertical crack on the left side, backstep smear and finally heave myself on top of the roof only to find no holds again. "How does it look up there?" Azure asks. "JUST BE QUIET RIGHT NOW!! DON'T TALK!!' I demand, balancing on one tiny foothold. Being terrified makes me unpleasant and bitchy. I end up pseudo-chimneying and smearing up a smooth corner system to finally more moderate ground. "Can I talk now?" Azure asks. "Yes." I say. "GOOD JOB!" She cheers. I'm a pretty solid 5.8 leader and I was struggling so I'd say those roofs are at least 5.9. Or maybe it was just awkward scary smeary alpine 5.8 hard. Every piece of pro in that gully is awful, it's either a cam behind a suspect flake or a nut in the crack of a disjointed block. I can see how easily what happened to Steph Abegg did happen as everything I pulled/stood upon was massive but not solidly attached. Next was two annoying rope lengths of heather benches mixed with granite and then we were to the granite slab! This is where you come in on the bypass ledges. I could see the appeal of quality rock, but did you really hike all the way in here just to do 3 pitches of high quality rock? Why don't you just go to the crag if that is what you are looking for? This is ALPINE, where we like to scrap for what we get! We stop for a smoke break, I need to calm my frazzled nerves. I dunno if I can even call the 1.5 pitches before the open book a climb cuz it's so low angle, it was more like delicate walking on a sidewalk. But I love every minute of it because it's solid and ain't that first gully. Solid slab salvation Eff you, climbing, and your stringent rules! I DO WHAT I WANT! We climbed the open book cuz uhhh I dunno it involves the least decision making and most pro? It was pretty chill, maybe 5.5?, walking your feet up while underclinging/laybacking on the crack. Perhaps staying on the slab would be more challenging. I ran out of rope the last 30' so Azure gladly led us to the top. Freeeeeedom of the Hiiiillllls!!! Open book is easy and fun! Walking down from the summit, clouds moved in and no views. What a wonderful girl-time fuck-off climb!!! In summary: If you are planning on doing the complete NF route this season soon you're going to have a hard time accessing anything due to the moat! It's a take whatever gully you can get sort of deal. Don't be banking on no 5.6 easy climb. Gear Notes: nuts, set of cams up to a #2 with doubles in .3 and .4, a coupla extra micro cams made me happy Approach Notes: aluminum crampons + approach shoes + ice axe was fine for the glacier
  10. [TR] Beacon Rock - Young Warriors 8/25/2013

    In other news, our non-internet-savvy friend just told us he finally figured out he had bootied our cam, hooray!
  11. Trip: Johannesburg Mountain and Cascade Peak - CJ Couloir to East Ridge and NW Chimney Date: 7/27/2013 Trip Report: I've really been in touch with the telepathic climbing universe lately. A coupla weeks ago I thought, "Man I should get up that Adams Glacier." Ten minutes later I get an email from a friend asking me to go do it. On that trip I started thinking about what I wanted to climb next. Nothing really is calling to me at the moment...except motherfuckin' J-BURG!! As soon as I get back into cell range I receive a message from Brad, the best climber I know, tapping me to join him for a Johannesburg. Um, hell yes!!?!? It's ON! I get my friend Jeremy on board so we can justify bringing doubles for longer raps and the trio is set. Since Brad is an overachiever he also wants to bag Cascade Peak the same weekend. What is Cascade Peak, you ask? I didn't know either. It's the mountain on the other side of the C-J Couloir, the 'C' if you will. Brad scoped it out on his first JBurg attempt and Beckey claims there is a '5.8 NW Chimney' route. Photo from my friend Derek who was up on Forbidden the same weekend. That is tiny Cascade Peak to the left of the CJ Couloir. We followed the east ridgeline of JBurg to the summit. Just because you're so lucky as to climb with the best climber you know, don't assume that means he's going to drag you up everything. It could be quite the opposite, where instead you solo everything, because he simply can't imagine why anyone would need pro right there. I got to sample both sides of the coin this trip! Drive up Friday night. Get to Cascade Pass TH, pass out on the ground in the picnic area with everyone else. There is a group exodus at 4 AMish. Everyone else is doing Sahale. We tell them we're doing Johannesburg. They peer up at the massive 5000' menacing face, then look back at us with a tiny bit of awe but mostly horror. Maybe pity. Classic pleasant climbs with good clean lines and good pro are wonderful but there is something compelling about hideous gnarly choss piles that scream extreme alpine adventure. Brad chugs a 5-hour energy shot which kind of annoys me because he's goddamn too fast as it is already, I do not need anymore disadvantages! The best thing about Johannesburg is that it has zero approach! You walk 1/4 mile down the road, then at the hairpin turn clamber down 30', cross the stream (which can be raging early season, but was nothing for us), bushwhack 15 minutes and you're at the base of the C-J Couloir. 3400' above it is the col, our bivy spot. We start two-tooling upward. The Becky book says 5 hours to the col, Brad says we'll do it in 3. I laughed, but we actually did do it in three, once Brad takes the rope from me after the first 1000'. The couloir gets a bad rap it doesn't deserve. It's quite scenic, not that steep till the last few hundred feet, and for the most part is pretty wide, not this death funnel of rock and ice fall that everyone assumes it is. There is a silly patch of easily avoidable ice which the boys climb through for shits and giggles and to break up the monotony. We reach the col and there is a beautiful bivy spot there perfect for 3 people. I'm glad we didn't take a team of 4 because that would have not worked! We take an hour to drop bivy gear and melt snow and then it is time to tackle J-Burg via its East Ridge. Not-so-harrowing stream crossing. We should be teddy bears and this scene should be imprinted on a Hallmark greeting card or perhaps an old lady sweatshirt. CJ Couloir = 3 hours of endless two-toolin' We cross the snow up a finger to the '5.2 white staircase'. It's granite, and the most solid thing we get to climb. Brad calls out to 'let him know if anyone wants a belay.' I can see already see that simul-climbing isn't going to be a viable option. Good spots for pro are few and far between, and there is so much loose choss that a rope would just knock more shit down on top of us. No matter, time to man up and simply trust in my abilites. I was quite late getting into the roped technical vertical world, choosing to instead scramble up easy scary stuff my early climbing career, so I should be a pro at this, right?! We traverse north across 'heather benches', a bit unnerving because I don't know how well I can trust the veggie belay of a handful of heather. It seems pretty strong...but it's kinda small...and just a plant. Up another 4th class gulley with a few exposed puckering moves to another loose awful gulley and we're on the false summit! Time for some ridge running, the real summit looks awfully far away. We get down on ledges on the southside down from the crest and damn the exposure is huge. After endless precarious clinging to the side of the moutain we turn up a pinnacle and we're on the summit! Topping out of the white staircase: 4th classin' it, Cascade Peak in the background: Ridge running! It's choose your own adventure. I choose the easiest least scary way, Jeremy chooses whatever he sees first. Brad being...Brad. We carried up crampons and ice axe but never needed them, fyi. Summit at 12:30. 7.5 hours after leaving the car and a stop to brew up at that. I CAN'T BELIEVE I HAVE BAGGED THE ALMIGHTY J-BURG!! I remember climbing Forbidden West Ridge as a n00b and being so in awe of Johannesburg, not even daring to be so pretentious as to think I would ever climb it. I happily open the summit register like it's Christmas morning and delight in the fact that there are only a handful of signatures since 2006, and we're only the second ascent of the year. ERMAHGERD WE JUST CLIMBED JERHANNESBERG!!! The downclimb back to the col took us a coupla hours longer than the ascent. There is a lot of downclimbing traversing but all the steep gullies have rap stations. You rap below the heather benches directly onto the col rather than going back down the white staircase. We're back to the bivy site at 6:30. I left the bivy bourbon in the car cuz the container is leaking and I hate myself for it. Luckily Jeremy has some sweet bluegrass on his phone to play and make it feel more homey. We melt snow and our brand new steri pen stops working randomly so we give up and brave the red death. I keep looking over at the Fred Beckey '5.8 NW chimney' route on Cascade Peak. It looks GNARLY. Does Brad really want to climb that tomorrow? Is he really going to make us climb that? Hmm there are three of us. I could bail and sleep in. I joke about bailing but then Jeremy says HE was thinking about bailing. Nope, we're in this bitch together. Mt. Formidable makes a great alternate to a tv set. I think he may be my next crush... We're in bed at 9. Jeremy slept good but a rodent tore up the zipper on the brain to his pack and ate half of his bagel. I froze to death because I'm a tiny girl yet I keep trying to be an ultra light crusher by bringing only a 45 deg bag everywhere. Brad's neo-air popped in the middle of the night, prob because we were on a slope and slipped down into the rocks. Which is good, that will make him angrier and therefore better at leading us up Cascade Peak. Morning arrives and I try not to move, not wanting to wake Brad, hoping he will decide to sleep in and not to climb Cascade Peak. Brad doesn't make us get up till 7:30 (10.5 hours of sleep on an alpine climb, when does that happen!!) and we head over to the base of what Brad thinks is the route in the moat around 9. Brad, shoes wet and cold from the snow, fingers also cold from the snow, starts off on what we think is the first pitch, Becky 5.8. His rack consists of 7-8 nuts and some slings. It's a horribly broken, loose 5-6" crack. Brad climbs 5.12 trad and he's working hard for this pitch so I know it ain't no 5.8. I think he places 2 nuts total. I have to give it everything I got to follow, I call it 5.10. Jeremy calls it 5.9+ or 'Beckey 5.9'. The next pitch I think we are back on route, a somewhat aesthetic 'Beckey 5.8' chimney. Of course Brad has to lead it with no pro as we didn't bring a big bro. I don't get to chimney very often so this was pretty fun! Jeremy is carrying the pack so his life sucks even though he hangs it from his belay loop hahahaa. The last roped pitch should be easy but is completely horribly loose so we're required to use thinner solid holds. We simulclimb from the false summit and reach the summit. No summit register here! In fact, I see no signs of humans anywhere. No rap slings no pitons no nothing. Are we the first ascent in decades?? We make all of our rap stations and rap back down the route. Brad on the heinous first pitch. Perhaps it is an FA? Probably an LA too. No good photo of the kewl 5.8 chimney, but here's Brad on the third pitch: SUMMIT! I would love to hear from anyone else who has climbed Cascade Peak. We're back at the col at 4:30 PM. I do not relish downclimbing the couloir. 3400' of two-toolin face-in downclimbing sounds like hell to me. We did see some huge rockfall/icefalls off JBurg although they stopped on the Sill glacier and never entered the couloir. It's late in the day, the snow is slushy. Every other TR recommends something called 'Doug's Direct'. I must wheedle and cajole Brad into doing this descent, as he was super excited to be so close to the car. I claim I have 'used up all of my mental bravery and would just like a nice easy way back to the car even if it's long.' Brad relents, and that my friends is where I get PUNISHED for being a PUSSY. Who is Doug? EFF YOU DOUG! Doug will tell you a good way to get to Seattle from Portland is through Los Angeles! This descent should NOT be listed as a possible descent at all. The only option is the couloir. After the circuitous unpleasant not any safer 'Doug's Direct' I realized the couloir isn't bad at all. I would rather die in the CJ couloir than do Doug's Direct again. Endless heather sidehilling, up 1000' through 3rd-4th class rock mixed with heather, sketchy 3rd class downclimb on the other side (where it started thundering and all I could do was constantly exclaim "I'm STRESSED OUT!" to make myself feel better), endless traversing on snow and navigating through rock bands to 5 miles of trail back to the car. With all our bitching it did only take us 4.5 hours to reach the car from the col but we were also practically running, fueled by anger at Doug. At least DD is pretty, if you're into that sort of thing. Thanks to Brad and Jeremy for the awesome alpine twofer adventure!! Gear Notes: JBurg: set of doubles for longer raps. There is nowhere for ice screws in the couloir so leave those at home. Leave crampons and ice axe at base of east ridge. Rap stations are plentiful. Cascade Peak: doubles, 7 nuts, mank for rap stations, 1 crazy ass ropegun Approach Notes: None! Approaches are for suckers!!
  12. Are you telling me that the name 'Doug's Direct' is meant to be facetious and I just didn't get it?!?! DAMN YOU, DOOOOOUUUUUUUGGGG!!!!
  13. [TR] Beacon Rock - Young Warriors 8/25/2013

    No Ana said she didn't find anything either! Thanks for looking though. Luckily I am INCREDIBLY RICH.
  14. [TR] Beacon Rock - Young Warriors 8/25/2013

    Aw man one day I wanna be old skool cool enough to get drunk on Beacon and party all night! Have you ever hauled up a bbq grill? Thanks for looking in advance, Ivan and Ana! You guys are swell!
  15. [TR] Beacon Rock - Young Warriors 8/25/2013

    That was you with Plaidman, right? Ha ha fortunately I was the only loser slip-sliding away, being last in line. It's prob for the best as I endure humilation quite well and often.
  16. [TR] Vesper Peak - North Face 8/18/2013

    bwhahaaha! Um but I don't understand aren't fleece vests considered technical climbing wear? I may have to give a presentation on Devil's Thumb hence why no TR as of yet. But you can look at this photo of it, and dream...
  17. Trip: Dragontail Peak - Backbone with Fin Date: 7/14/2013 Trip Report: Talking to my buddy Todd, who just got turned around on a Slesse attempt due to shitty snow condtions, I proclaimed: "Climbing in July sucks! I am not psyched about climbing right now. Moats to fall into, shitty snow messing everything up. You need lots of snow or no snow!" The next day. Me, having not climbed anything in a month: "I HAVE LOST ALL STREET CRED! Do you want to climb something this weekend?" Todd: "Ha, I thought you just said now is not the time to climb!" Me: "Yes...but there are things with minimal snow to get to...like Dragontail." I know this girl and she got THREE enchantments permits in the lottery this year. I got zero. Just like I got zero last year. No matter, I don't need one. DO IT IN A DAY! We headed up to Leavenworth Saturday afternoon. Had the willpower to only share ONE margarita during dinner, then hit the trailhead bivy at 9 PM. The alarm went off 1:15 AM Sunday morning. I turned to Todd. "You know, if we get up now, we have to SUFFER for the next 22 hours! If we just lay here and go back to sleep, we don't have to." "Is this the point where you and your boyfriend would just have sex and go back to sleep?" Todd asks. "...yes." I admit sheepishly. I missed three alpine starts last year because my boyfriend is so cute and cuddly. As a result, we no longer get to climb together because we just FAIL! But, he isn't here, so...Todd and I rally and get up and begin getting ready. Around 2 AM we hear whooping and hollering as a team of two triumphantly busts out of the woods. I know what they just did. I don't want to be them. I don't talk to them, assuming they are delirious and manic, and don't want to hear of the suffering they just endured that I am about to. We hit the trail at 2:30 AM. Cruising up the Colchuck Lake trail I somehow get us onto a 'shortcut'. Fuck how embarassing I can't even get us to Colchuck Lake and I didn't bring a map or GPS cuz the trail is so damn easy!! Luckily Todd crosses a sketchy log over the creek and sniffs out the trail. Whew. We get to the lake and cross to the far end and peer up to the base of the route. Only a lil snow. We stash crampons and ice axes, transfer our gear into one pack, take a liter of water for each of us, and grunt up the moraine to the base of route. Todd bravely stomps across the snow. I'm a little more timid and grab my patented 'self-arrest rock', any plate-shaped rock I can find that I assume I can plunge into the snow like a dagger in the event of a fall. We begin the scramble up to the technical pitches and the comforting feel of the rock under my fingers immediately puts my pre-climb jitters at ease. We scramble a bit too far left...if you hit black lichen on the granite you've gone too far, go back right and up towards the middle till you find the well worn open book 5.6. We roped up at 7:40 AM. Pitch 1: 5.6 Todd cruises up the 5.6 placing one piece. Pitch 2: 5.9 Offwidth already! Time of reckoning. Todd leads it like he's sitting on the couch. "This is pretty tame" he calls out boredly as he bumps the monster cam up again and again. With his left foot in the crack and smearing with a right foot, he never has to perform any weird offwidth moves. My turn. I follow like I'm fighting for my life. I struggle, I grunt, I gasp. I begin talking to myself, being my own personal cheerleader. "THERE'S A GOOD JAM! NOW GRAB THAT! SMEAR THERE! YOU GOT THIS, KATIE!" I like to blame my flailing on my tiny foot being too small to acheive a sufficient foot jam, and not the fact that I simply suck at climbing. I carried the pack up. If you have to haul packs you need a more competent second. Here is Todd, calm cool and collected leading the OW LIKE A BOSS: Pitch 3: 5.8? Todd offers to let me lead it but I whine and proclaim I need to catch my breath after the OW. He leads up. Trip reports say go way left of the roof but he goes up to the very left of the roof. If you go right of the roof you must manage another 5.9 OW so don't go that way. He belays me up through a small tunnel. Pitch 4: 5.8? Todd makes a snotty comment about this "not being a guided climb" so it is my turn to lead. I have to start off with a 30' downclimb down a finger crack which is mellow. TRs say go left and I try to go left but end up in right trending gullies. It's supposed to be 5.8 but I never found anything even 5.7. I wander around randomly until I am stymied by rope drag and belay Todd up. Pitch 5-9: Simul-climb! I go first since I am the crappier climber. This was pretty fun scrambling often on the crest of the ridge. Simul-climbing happiness: Pitch: 10-11: 5.6. I climb a ramp then up to the top of a 'dirty groove'. It's dirty, full of sediment. At the top is a sloping ledge. I go to the middle of the ledge and build an anchor, but I can see I should've built it as soon as I reached it. Stay to the left on the Fin always! Pitch 12: 5.8+ twin cracks. Todd climbs up 20’ to the twin cracks. He's up 30' before I yell at him to get a piece in so his girlfriend doesn't kill me. He prob puts in one more piece before topping out of the 80' pitch on the most awesome giant ledge ever. Todd on pitch 12: Pitch 13: 5.9? I think Todd avoided the 5.9 face moves by climbing the 5.8 crack left of it. A beautiful awesome finger crack pitch underneath a crazy looking roof that looks like it's glued on. The Fin is truly remarkable, one of the coolest alpine places to be. Todd on pitch 13: Looking back down at me, Colchuck Lake below: Pitch 14: 5.8 Todd traverses 20 ft out right on a horizontal crack, upward on random cracks, and does some no-hands foot shuffling in another large horizontal crack. He stays to the left of the fin and runs the rope completely out till he reaches a cowboy belay, straddling the crest of the fin. Pitch 15: 5.7 I climb up to Todd, he sends some gear down to me and swats me away. As a result I get the most beautiful exposed mini $ pitch traversing up the top of the fin! I go up and over the back side and scramble through some crap till rope drag stops me. Right after Todd denied me the belay and made me climb on. I dumped that pack on my first piece as revenge!! Mini $ Pitch to crest the Fin!! Pitch 16: 4th class, although we call it 5.9 choss! Todd leads up through the most horrible gully I've ever been in, not only is it scree but the sides appear to be solid rock but crumble underneath your fingertips. You gotta scrap for that summit! We emerge from the gully, do a 200' scramble and we are on the summit at 4:15!!! I CAN'T BELIEVE WE PULLED IT OFF! WE DIDN'T GET LOST! WE AREN'T EPICING! WE ARE NOT BIVYING ON THE ROUTE!! There were no other parties on the rock routes (I assume smart people go on Saturday) but a nice family had come up the backside. I asked them how the snow on the descent was and the girl told me "she wouldn't do it without an ice axe cuz the runout is bad!" I want to say "well guess I'M FUCKED!" but I just smile politely. The snow down wasn't bad at all although I did still carry my trusty self-arrest rock. We left the summit at 5:00 and hit the cars at 9:20 PM, still light out! <19 hours car to car! Todd got dropped off in Seattle where he is working for the week and I continued on to Portland. I stopped at a truck stop around 1:30 AM and was painfully aware that with my bloodshot eyes, messed up hair, and painful limp that all the other customers were warily thinking I was a methhead. Still amped up from the awesomeness of the day's climb, I didn't mind. OH the summit of Dragontail never looked so SEXY!! Gear Notes: #0.3-4 C4s, #6 C4, with unnecessary doubles of 0.5-2 (maybe a single #2 link cam if you want). Don't bother taping up, you don't need it and it gives your climb partner an excuse to mock you incessantly. Approach Notes: 2013 Subaru Legacy, Lil Wayne and Knife Party turned to 11
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