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notes on stellar eclipse. sort of....


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more adventurous than gato negro even with offwhite's topo....more granola and lichen than we were expecting....engaging climbing on the harder pitches....head colds and lack of enthusiasm had us bypassing the last pitch (5.11-) on the tower with an easy traverse left and 5.8-5.9 pitch directly to the notch....perhaps that bypassed pitch was the "stellar" that "eclipsed" the other pitches?....i think we belayed about 7 pitches total...ice axes were useful on the descent off the backside....appears you may be able to descend the whine spire gully....a worthwhile route that could use more traffic.

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Well, the "stellar" was courtesy of Silver Star, and if fuzzy memory serves, we had a lunar eclipse during the FA weekend.


I do think the last pitch to the Whine Spire is all that and a bag of nuts. I suspect Ross and "Lunger" may have repeated that pitch at the end of their foray on that wall, and I think they called it 5.10d. Sounds likely, Steve called it 11a (he led, cleaning lichen while dangling from finger locks), but given that I managed to follow without falling 10d might be a more likely grade.


If that traverse (from the end of the 5.10- pitch up the ear at the left end of the oatmeal ledge?) and final 5.9 pitch are palatable, this route would clock in at 5.10- rather than 5.11a, a much more friendly grade.


With regards to the first pitch, it was an afterthought added when we climbed it again in 93 to find a way around the stacked card table death pitch. Given that a 4th class ledge system bypasses that initial sparsely bolt protected 5.11 pitch, I certainly wouldn't argue with the term "contrived".


Congratulations, I think that's the first time anyone has covered that ground in 15 years. Some lichen since I somewhat scrubbed it back then is not surprising.

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