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best of cc.com [TR] Index, Vesper, Sperry, Big 4 MadManMisAdventure - 7/30/2007

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Trip: Index, Vesper, Sperry, Big 4 MadManMisAdventure -


Date: 7/30/2007


Trip Report:

the omens were bad to begin with - a wedding full of fat people the night before - bad booze and mind numbing conversation - a few hours of sleep, plagued by half images of Being Behind the Cue Ball again - rain on the road in the dark up to seattle and layton's place - a total lack of mind-altering medications to salve the soul


woken up by a querolous layton in my red devil, parked halfway up on the curb at a non-dmv approved angle outside his swankish new abode - an hour of desperately needed sleep on a couch exactly half my height, a cigarette, a coffee, and an uncomfortable elevator ride w/ a complete stranger later we were on the road to methadonia for steep granite - the spitting rain shoulda been a warning to stay at home - good thing we went though, as quite the adventure unfolded:


1. the rock being completely cluster-fucked for free-climbing, mike and i lucked into discovering a secret project area, just a 30 second walk away from a beer n' tobaco vendor - we dreamed wistfully of the day when the weather would clear and we could take our keenly honed sick-skills back to the wall!


mike near the top of our new crag - the mist enshrouded and verdant town walls beckoning us beyond






2. the second and greater adventure came when layton left his mithril-woven jacket and sacred cell-phone behind on a park bench - we did not discover this till returning to the traffic paradise of seattle and after hours of showing folks at the uw rock how to Get It Done - finally discovered that a hobo named charles had picked it up - only took the 30th call to the phone for him to figure out how to answer - his english was pretty poor even by 13th century standards, but eventually we got to the heart of the issue, which was he'd give us the phone back if we got him some beer, as after all "it's near the end of the month, man, you know?" - getting directions was another affair altogether, and as his last ride in a motorized carriage was probably back during the hoover administration, almost more useless than if we'd just driven in circles around index screaming his name


my cornhole, worried that we might be walking into a deliverance-style situation, which i've done enough times in my life now to know better, admonished me to procure a butter-knife from a fashionable bavarian eatery before the drive out to index - niether of us had planned on what unfolded - charles had been evicted from a derilict trailer by the charming gay couple that had bought all the local land, but they'd been gracious enough to let him keep squatting in a tent in the woods, guarded by 2 ill-tempered horses, which laughed at my wannabe-bowie knife and proceeded to nip layton a couple of times - i tell you, that man has an uncanny, almost animal, allure to him! a whole caste of motley characters enabled this ultimate, and succesful, adventure - the applachian americans who assisted in decephiring our directions despite the fact that mike used the phrase "retarded redneck" within the first 3 seconds of meeting them, the meth-addled teenage redskin standing point on the corner of 2 dirt roads in the woods who, in the time honored tradition of his people, necesitated we barter his useless directions in exchange for our cigarettes, the entire household of budweiser drinking, hungry-man/pot-pie eating folks that somehow seduced mike into their hovel before descending upon him with forks and spoons intent on consuming him raw and screaming, "ger," the land-owning, cocktail-swigging gentleman who was so crestfallen at our refusal of his invitation to come on up to the a-frame for some drinks and a hot-shower, etc.


a night i shall not forget until i also forget the lyrics to "karma chameleon"


on the climbing end of things, and for anyone who's still reading, i recommend as a fun solo outing - linking up the n face of vesper, to a walk/scramble over to the south summit of big 4, then back to a scramble up to sperry - did this over the next 2 days, when my squamish partner went AWOL - my first trip into the monte cristo area and fun to be mostly alone in - the climbing on vesper's quite sane and enjoyable as a solo (the benefit of not taking all that heavy gear being that you can instead carry the same weight in booze and not skimp on the training while pumping-up the party-tude) - bivying in the swirling clouds of the summit while listening to brain-candy only to awake to Rage and a lumiscent moon was ethereal


i'm out of creative things to say


Gear Notes:

Total Consciousness not required


Approach Notes:

many moons, paleface, many moons

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I actually read it twice, digesting it slowly each time. I think I've been on a few boondoggles like that myself. Like when I left my wallet at the burger joint in Concrete with 5 crisp 100 dollar bills in it...ahh memories...


Sounds like the weather at Index has improved in the last couple of years, and that the general population has indeed made an evolutionary leap. At least meth-magnon man could communicate with something more advanced than hand and arm gestures.

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My meth lab scavenger hunt was equal to any alpine climb I've been on. Pitch after pitch of, "No man - it's the dirt road that leads to the van...down by the river" Walking through pitch black trails behind the Martini glass holding ascot wearing gay Lord or Vassel (as is the case) while being bitten by horses to find a jimmy crack corn whistlin' retarded hobo ransoming my cell phone for a case of schmit's ice is like a grade five in my book.

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Sounds like leg-shaking terror. Clearly true Grade V requires strength and endurance, nerves of steel, finely honed skills and the ability to smell danger and dance with disaster while moving quickly and safely. I would have bailed.

There may be more Grade V available in Darrington, Concrete and South Seattle?

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That's an impressive heel-hook there, especially since there was no spotter.


There are some scary, scary places and people up in dem hills. Try the Concrete/Baker Lake area sometime for the northern kin.


Good job on the solo of Vesper. I did the face with a couple of partners many moons ago and remember being happy not falling on my pitch due to a dearth of pro and what I had was somewhat contrived.

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Well done men!

A fine outing indeed,harking back to the days when cooking meth was a gentlemen's pursuit.

Should you revisit such tranquil pastures again, one might reccomend the traveler's best friends: a trusty flask and the fine repeater Samuel Colt birthed to the world.

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