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wayne

Watusi Rodeo/Colonial

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David Parker and I wrenched or way up this amazing climb in a 16 + hour marathon from a camp low in the cirque. We also came all the way out in the dark.

There seems to be an unwritten code with the people capable of doing these type of routes. It seems to say dont let em know how hard or commiting the climb is in general.

Well.... In this case I will say it is a route not just anyone should jump on. To say it stretched me is an understatement . I simply wasnt that comfortable with the realization that a fall in many places would have been unacceptable or fatal. Maybe we didnt catch it in the best shape either. The crux bulges went rotten at the steepest parts.(verticle,though the book states 70-80 dergrees).

I forgot the ice screws ,though they wouldnt have been usefull throught the cruxes. We tended to rock pro when we could excavate them and THANK YOU MICHAEL LAYTON for the use of your picket. I just wished we had borrowed another.

Keep this route in mind only when your experience /fitness level is at a high state and be safe always on your adventures , Wayne

p.s. Lets hear from the group that was in the pyramid peak area

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Davids camera battery probably froze up along with my toes,face , fingers, etc. We only got a couple down low. cry.gif

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Way to go guys!

 

That route is one of select few routes that may be significantly underrated in terms of overall difficulty in Jim's select books. I wonder how often that route comes into what might truly be called "good" condition?

 

 

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Nice work guys, I figured you'd make it up good conditions or not! Do you think Justin and I made the right call to wait for thicker ice concidering WI5+ is my limit (i.e. Kitty Hawk near the time you did it) I'm glad my picket could help. It's hard gulping down one's ego and admitting it may be too much for you (as in my case). I'm glad to hear it was hard, cuz my self-esteem has been shot since we made out call. Now it's fine, cuz I realized that I KNOW MY LIMITS and know when to push them. Hopefully my fragile little ego has been vindicated. I assume you guys are on top of the world still, and hats off to you once again. I've only been climbing for 4 years now, so I can wait for my chance.

I'm glad my picket came in handy too.

 

bigdrink.gifbigdrink.gifbigdrink.gif

 

Rolf,Forrest, and Daylward, does it sound similiar to your experience or do you think these hombres had exceptionally challening conditions?

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wayne and david - congratulations. nice to know that you never have to go up on that face again, right?

 

sounds like you had pretty bad conditions for the route, although i don't know if it often gets much better. when dan and i were up there, we had a lot of problems with loose, unconsolidated snow and spindrift, but we were able to get some solid ice screws in on both of the ice pillars (sometimes tied off short - we didn't have stubbies). the ice was often very thin but generally not rotten. we carried one picket each, tied off as a deadman, these were often the only pro or belay anchor. retreating off the route would be very hard, since the rock is really bad in most places. did you find our fixed pin at the base of the crux pillar?

 

wayne, as to your questions about underestimating the route, maybe you're right, but it seems to me that the route has a very serious reputation. i don't think you can see the face from the highway without knowing that it is going to be big, shady and scary. along with the twight connection, i think this serves to deter most of the people who might "get into trouble" up there. there's no question that it is a very committing route, it would be quite difficult to retreat from the middle of the face.

 

again, good job! bigdrink.gif

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Wayne. Nice work on the climb man. I am guessing it was you we saw descending yesterday from the route as we were walking off of Pyramid. I was hoping you were Mike Layton so I could conratulate him as well but I guess it was not to be. Sorry once again Mike. It sounds like we got to enjoy the same rotten snow and ice conditions on our respective routes. Kept it interesting for sure. Sure was a beautiful weekend in the mountains huh? Well done guys.

 

Edited by Climzalot

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Nice work!! Mike and I were giving you guys the "muy loco" swirling-finger-to-temple move. Truly inspirational.

 

I spent yesterday second guessing myself, but we made the right call. The sight of the upper pitches pushed me outside of my comfort bubble, given the snow conditions.

 

(I had a dream last night that Mike and I were high on a north face. It was my lead, the snow was totally rotten, and I couldn't move off the belay. The anchors were pitons in rotten rock, which I could pull apart with my hands. I realized I wasn't even tied in.)

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I definitely feel I had some "firsts" in doing this route. I think it was one of the most committing climbs I've ever done: retreat would be very difficult especially with one rope. I think I experienced the most constant flow of serious spindrift ever. My crux lead, encompassing two vertical sections with a move or two overhanging, unable to look up for most of it due to the spindrift, were by far the most run out leads I've ever done. My first foray into serious "X" territory with only 2 pickets for very marginal pro low down. I normally think of my tools as pro, but too many placements were not capeable of withstanding a full body weight pull. I attribute my confidence to keep moving up to 20 years of ice climbing and understanding 2 things. You climb with your feet and you must never fall. I have a few photos that I'm sure won't give justice to the route and unfortunately the batteries went dead on the upper section. Wayne's leads were equally impressive and the final crux rotten pillar/corner/mixed ended up being a joint effort. I went up part way and spent over 45 minutes excavating for rock pro. Screws were useless, not to mention we didn't have any. (Wayne has this propensity to save weight as much as possible and I found it visionary on his behalf to leave them in his condo. He also didn't tell me this until 1/2 way up the route.) I finally got a baby angle pounded in 1/2 way and an ushba titanium blade in a seam. I equalized them and then clipped a screamer. The pull on them would have been straight out if a fall had happened. I got one stick over an overhanging bulge, but by then my arms were feeling pumped from screwing around with the pins and I was so unsure of getting a good stick with a left tool I backed down to give a very cold and wanting to get going Wayne the lead. He did a nice chimney move to save pulling too hard on his tools and I ended up doing the same to get over. Over all, I don't really think the conditions were that terrible, as much of the climb up to the upper face went quickly. The first "scottish gully" was really fun, thin mixed climbing and the snowfields were fim enough that we weren't wallowing or anything. We took about 3 hours to do the first 3,000 ft. and another 4.5-5 to do the upper 1700 ft. Oh, and I'm pretty sure it was my first screw-loose (less) ice climb.

Edited by David_Parker

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Hey Dave!

 

I talked to Wayne on the phone and when he mentioned that you didn't bring any screws I thought I had misheard grin.gif I didn't realize you also had only one rope.

 

bigdrink.gif guys

 

The real question is, when did Wayne realize the screws were at home...?

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Davids comment after summit," I feel like I just climbed f'n Mt Everest. Mine;" One of the best things about the climb is I never have to do it in the future"

David" If you had told me what this would be like before the climb, I wouldnt have done it."

We are already thinking it wasnt that bad though.After looking at other accounts we got lucky with the snow conditions yet unlucky with the ice.

See you at pub Club

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Wayne, about the "If you had told me what this climb would be like..." That was when we were flailing badly in the blowdown in the dark, after 12 hours of climbing. Keep it in context! No regrets, eh? The pain is already subsiding, as usual. bigdrink.gifbigdrink.gif

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Rolf,Forrest, and Daylward, does it sound similiar to your experience or do you think these hombres had exceptionally challening conditions?

 

sounds like worse conditions than when we climbed it. we bivied way up near the base of the face and carried the gear over--training for a trip to ak. i don't remember anything unreasonable except for traversing deep and scary flutings under the cornices--we remembered the screws/pins but forgot the picket.

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Hey guys,

 

I tried to think of something cool to say in congratulations, but the only thing that comes to mind is....fuckin A! Sweet! the_finger.gif

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sounds like worse conditions than when we climbed it. we bivied way up near the base of the face and carried the gear over--training for a trip to ak. i don't remember anything unreasonable except for traversing deep and scary flutings under the cornices--we remembered the screws/pins but forgot the picket.

 

Forgive me for not spending the necessary time to research, but did you climb it in '85 with Twight et al? Otherwise I didn't know it had seen another ascent... In any case, fantastic job to all!

 

The conditions for Forrest and me were much less scary than this sounds. Our problems had more to do with too much deep snow. It took us a painfully long time to slog our way up to our high camp near the base of the first pillar, and we found very little in the way of rock pro (and most of that required lots of excavation). Spindrift and unconsolodated flutings were a constant. The ice on the pillars was for the most part solid for us.

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sounds like worse conditions than when we climbed it. we bivied way up near the base of the face and carried the gear over--training for a trip to ak. i don't remember anything unreasonable except for traversing deep and scary flutings under the cornices--we remembered the screws/pins but forgot the picket.

 

Forgive me for not spending the necessary time to research, but did you climb it in '85 with Twight et al? Otherwise I didn't know it had seen another ascent... In any case, fantastic job to all!

 

The conditions for Forrest and me were much less scary than this sounds. Our problems had more to do with too much deep snow. It took us a painfully long time to slog our way up to our high camp near the base of the first pillar, and we found very little in the way of rock pro (and most of that required lots of excavation). Spindrift and unconsolodated flutings were a constant. The ice on the pillars was for the most part solid for us.

 

daylward, I know rat dog did not climb it with twight et al. His climb was just never documented. I think he posted something in here a few weeks back about doing it in the late 80s or something... Knowing rat dog I dont doubt it at all.. bigdrink.gif

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Forgive me for not spending the necessary time to research, but did you climb it in '85 with Twight et al? Otherwise I didn't know it had seen another ascent... In any case, fantastic job to all!

 

spring, 1989 with john mailhiot.

 

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