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pup_on_the_mountain

Mr. Ponytail linking three climbs in a day

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This is news thats a little old, but I think its still inspiring.

 

On Tuesday, August 16, danielpatricksmith and I did Prusik WR car-to-car. I met Dan at the Snow Creek parking lot at 5:30 am. A few minutes before that, I saw a guy pull up in a truck. I said hi to him and noticed his ponytail as I passed him near the outhouse. In a few minutes, he started running in a direction opposite to the trail. It was still a little dark, and hence I didn't notice his daypack. I forgot about him soon, dismissing him off as a local who had come for an early morning jog.

 

A few hours, miles of trail, and the first four pitches of Prusik WR later, I was at the base of the last pitch belaying Dan. Suddenly, I notice a lonely figure coming up the crux pitch below and traversing the easier pitch 4 up to me. The ponytail was hard to miss as he approached me, and I realized that this was the same "early morning jogger" whom I met in the morning. He was wearing La Sportive Mythos, had his hands taped (for climbing crack), and had a chalk bag dangling from his waist. He said hi to me.

 

"Did you climb something else this morning? I think I saw you in the parking lot at 5:00 am!" - I said.

 

"Oh yea.. I climbed Serpentine Ridge on Dragontail before this one. I'm trying to link up Dragontail, Prusik, and Snow Creek Wall. I was thinking of doing the South Face here (Prusik), but its kind of too warm - and my hands are sweaty!" hellno3d.gifhellno3d.gif

 

I was still trying to bite what he offered when he asked me - "Do you mind if I go ahead of you?". I said no problem, and shouted to Dan, telling him there is a guy coming up the pitch, "Solo" (with emphasis on solo). Dan was a little perplexed. A short wait of about 10 seconds later, I head Dan shouting back to me -

 

"Where is he?"

 

"Right here" - says Mr. Ponytail as he sped up the lower portion of the pitch and was facing Dan at that point.

 

I meet him again at the summit, and he was getting ready to go down. We offered him water, but he said he had plenty at the base of the route. As Dan and I settled down to grab a bite, Mr Ponytail was on his way downclimbing the Prusik WR. I learned from the conversations which Dan had with him that he was planning to climb Outer Space after Prusik.

 

We rapped down, and started our long trudge back to car. After a few more hours, we were almost there, and could see the parking lot. But our feet were feeling it real bad. My heel as well as a few toes were starting to get blistered. I could feel Dan grunting on and off as he was fighting his own blisters and pain. Then we hear almost a galloping sound behind us. We turn back and see Mr. Ponytail running past us at full speed. "Almost there guys!" were his words of encouragement to us mere mortals. I noticed his daypack as he sped past us and around the switchback, and noticed his ice axe. I was feeling my daypack pulling me down for a while now, and thought this dude should be carrying close to nothing!

 

By the time we got back to the parking lot, his truck was gone. Maybe he had to meet someone for dinner at Gustav's! Sitting in front of my wheel and rubbing my toes softly, I could feel the whole day's efforts on each of them, though I was glad we had a great day overall. But I was still finding it hard to believe what Mr Ponytail did in the same time - run up from Snow Creek parking lot to Dragontail, solo Serpentine Ridge, go down Ashgard Pass, solo Prusik WR, downclimb Prusik WR, run to Snow Creek Wall, climb Outer Space, and still had the juice to run at full throttle back to car. In fact, I still find it hard to believe...

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So Peter Croft has a ponytail now? hahaha.gif

 

Anyway, any ideas about identity? That's a big day requiring great endurance as well as superb rock climbing ability.

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He was moving so fast I couldn't even ask his name. I don't think Dan caught his name either. Someone told me about Peter Croft's famous trip when I mentioned about our trip. I couldn't find a good picture of Peter Croft on the web to compare (I did get a good look at Mr. Ponytail).

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His name was Aidan. I told him I thought he was Croft, as he looked very similar, he just laughed. He was a super nice, encouraging guy.

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And he doesn't need Uncage the Soul Productions to prepare a "For Immediate Release" because you guys are doing the job for free yellaf.gif

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Aw shit I know Aidan. I think he was piloting for TAT this season in AK. Did he mention something about that?

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Yes, he mentioned flying to some friends of his who were on the South Face. I got the impression he was a bush pilot of some sort.

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And he doesn't need Uncage the Soul Productions to prepare a "For Immediate Release" because you guys are doing the job for free yellaf.gif

 

And he apparently also didn't have start/finish/summit witnesses and timers either. It's almost like he just wanted to do this for himself!

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His plans must have changed. We talked back in the fall about a possible trip to AK during the spring but I couldn't swing it. Haven't spoken to him since, but we has planning a trip up the West Butt with some friends.

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yelrotflmao.gif Could this be the "You're all gonna die" guy from Stuart? Pretty amazing.

 

Oh yeah, I betcha rat is a real ponytail kinda guy. hahaha.gif

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Has this been verified by mountainspeedclimbing.org? Until it has, i dont buy a word of it. It's obvious you two have been bought off!

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Um, can we go back to the part of the report where Pup says he could "feel Dan grunting on and off"?

 

Sharp

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So Peter Croft has a ponytail now? hahaha.gif

 

Peter blew by me on the east face of Whitney. Day hiking shoes and a fanny pack was all he had. He didn't even stop to talk. I'm sure he was back to the Portal even before we made the summit. Portal to Portal in less than a day. thumbs_up.gif

 

Could have been him. rolleyes.gif

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yelrotflmao.gif Could this be the "You're all gonna die" guy from Stuart? Pretty amazing.

 

I saw the "You're all gonna die" guy on Stuey a couple of weeks ago. While belaying far to the left of the gendarme I saw a solo climbing coming up the ridge. He hollered over to me "You're all gonna die". I thought to myself, what an asshole. I got a closer look at him on the summit. He is definately not Aiden.

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Um, can we go back to the part of the report where Pup says he could "feel Dan grunting on and off"?

 

Sharp

 

Um, let's don't.

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Could have been him. rolleyes.gif

 

Of course Croft's capable of it but he doesn't have a ponytail and I believe has been busy in the Sierras. Nonetheless, folks that can do stuff like this don't grow on trees.

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I count 25-30 miles, 10000 ft.+ of elevation gain, and over 20 pitches of free solo rock climbing to 5.9 and with the hardest climbing on the last climb 2 miles from the car. Pretty rare.

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I count 25-30 miles, 10000 ft.+ of elevation gain, and over 20 pitches of free solo rock climbing to 5.9 and with the hardest climbing on the last climb 2 miles from the car. Pretty rare.

 

Where's the 5.9? I must have missed something.

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pope, this is your chance to show everyone what kind of badass you really are.

Show us how the big boys do it...

 

I've done 30 pitches before lunch. Including Brass Balls, down Canary, up Outer Space, etc. But much less hiking. Not to brag, but you asked.

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Well pope, yours was definitely a worthy accomplishment on the rock wave.gif, but I think it is the mileage and vertical and the free solo of Outer Space (now rated 5.9 in current guidebooks) at the very end (when tired) and not the volume of climbing that makes this gentleman's accomplishment outstanding. To each their own though. I just get a kick out of the endurance aspects.

Edited by matt_warfield

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