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[TR] Enchantments Link-up Light - Acid Baby and Solid Gold Thru-Hike 06/23/2018


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Trip: Enchantments Link-up Light - Acid Baby and Solid Gold Thru-Hike

Trip Date: 06/23/2018

Trip Report:

My last time up in the Enchantments I remember hiking out past Snow Creek Wall, feeling totally destroyed after climbing Der Sportsman car to car, and thinking how cool it was that the hard climbing locals can crank out big linkups in this alpine playground in a day.  Inspired, my buddy Tim and I settled on a goal of getting as far as we could on a linkup we’d seen done by Jenny Abegg and Whitney Clark where they climbed Acid Baby, Solid Gold, and Iconoclast in a day.  While we’re nowhere near the caliber of climbers they are, the linkup is so logical and laid out so cleanly along the thu-hike we just had to see how far we could get.

The quick and dirty blow by blow:

-Leave Portland after work and hit the trailhead by 11:30, alarms at 1:30 for a 2:00 start time.

-Tim wakes to some unfortunate lower GI issues, no TP in the toilet, great start.

-My first time on the approach from this side and in a hurry, we blast pass the turn for Colchuck Lake by almost a mile, adding nearly 2 miles to the day right off the bat. Awesome!

-Arrive at the base of Acid Baby, stuff one pack into the other for the carry-over, rack up and get climbing by 5:30.

- Climb Acid Baby. Great route, that’s highlighted by the spectacular and exposed position on the “summit” knife edge ridge traverse. Photos:

Route.thumb.JPG.00a04957b9c006b2ac6d47deaba5eae9.JPGThe route, tiny me can be seen belaying P4

5b315e1f15251_AB3.thumb.jpg.35e1c975c622406d8bb729a766e92c5f.jpgDork starting Pitch 3

5b315f5889d62_AB3-2.thumb.jpg.3f2ede03bd422501cc47c523b4084f40.jpgTim following P3


5b315ee8eb8c9_AB4long.thumb.JPG.227a0ca94b4e2b09cd6ac7eb8301c914.JPGLong shot of P4.  Thanks Adam for the photos!

5b315f14b5e86_knifeedge.thumb.jpg.1f57c6831a8d9b5c08683d77f8a07eee.jpgKnife edge traverse, Dragontail in the background

Hero.thumb.JPG.c863ea86223af27ce29be1fa59b7bfe6.JPGHero Shot

-Finish around 10:30, not fast by any stretch of the imagination, but not super slow considering we were onsighting and not exactly sure what to expect. We’ll take it.

-Hike up to the plateau in the Core Zone.  Not sure where to go here, fearing getting cliffed out if we stay high and needing water, descend into the lake zone and what we hope is a straightforward way to Prusik Peak.  It wasn’t.

-Wander around the Core Zone as inefficiently as possible, down climbing slabby rock, hopping across waterfalls, and eventually hiking on snowy slopes around Perfection Lake, slogging our way up to Prusik Pass.  In total this took about an hour and a half longer than what we were hoping for. (Anyone know the best way to do this!? Do we stay high? Just move better?)

-Tim’s gut bug is catching up with him. He is less than psyched but marches on.

-Start Solid Gold around 1:15, feels great to be climbing again! Solid Gold really is amazingly good climbing. We hit the West Ridge in 3 pitches and simul to our way to the summit by 4:00.

SG.thumb.JPG.40f9b370deb29cb8b8619e56a7cf073a.JPGSolid Gold P1. Linked this to just past the little boulder problem around the roof on P2 to make linking 2-3 easier.

Prusik.thumb.jpg.05544d1aadd8581c356779c8244a61f0.jpg Top of Prusik, look how psyched!

-Tim’s psyche returns, amazing what a little rock climbing can do, we may just be able to pull this off!  We rap and rally for the long 8 mile haul to Snow Creek wall.

-Fast forward 8 miles, we are hurting.  I’m totally worked and Tim is stumbling and hallucinating by the time we hit Snow Creek Wall.  Side note, if there is ever a true champion it’s Tim Bemrich, he pushed through some serious pain and discomfort to get us to this point and didn’t complain once.

-Decide it would not be reasonably safe to try and descend off SCW in that state, so we make the prudent decision and bail on the last route.

We had done what we came to do, get as far as we could.  All in all a great and tiring learning experience with a great friend.  We’re already excited to give something like this a go again!  Thanks for reading!

Gear Notes:
Nuts, double rack tips to 3. Brought a 4 for P1 on Acid Baby but didn't place it all day, booo. Lots of slings.

Approach Notes:
Colchuck Lake
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sounds like pinchy wasn't pleased!

How about 2/2 instead of 2/3?

It's all contrived anyway and no one has actually fully repeated ALL of Acid Baby (one more pitch up top). Besides no one will ever top my feat of summiting everything in each Beckey guide in the exact order of the index in the back of each volume in a day on foot starting at sea level.

Anyway Jenny and Whitney benefited from not having a set of male genitalia which Rolf and Dan can attest to being a significant benefit to one's performance in the alpine 

Edited by layton
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/25/2018 at 10:03 PM, layton said:

It's all contrived anyway and no one has actually fully repeated ALL of Acid Baby (one more pitch up top).

Where's that final pitch go? My memory is foggy but I don't remember there being much more above...

Great linkup guys! That's a yuge day out.

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