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[TR] - Link-up: Acid Baby to Solid Gold 6/3/2009

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Trip: - Link-up: Acid Baby to Solid Gold


Date: 6/3/2009


Trip Report:

Jens and I had a blast in the Enchantments yesterday linking up a couple obscure area classics. I picked up Jens at the Icicle 76 station at 5:15, Jens having taken the early bus in from Peshastin (green commuter/dirtbag points). We made quick time to the lake where the view just never gets old (note aasgard conditons for those interested):




Up first was Acid Baby, III 5.10+, on Jabberwacky Tower. This is a cool tower near the top of Aasgard Pass. As seems to be a tradition in the Enchantments, a proabale first ascent/first recorded ascent was claimed by Michael Layton a few years ago, though it is quite likely this route was climbed in the late 70's by Julie Brugger and company. Either way it's great climbing and much thanks to Layton for the topo, inspiration, and hilarious name (my wife couldn't stop laughing when I told her i was going to climb Acid Baby :lmao:)


Jens starting the day off on P1:




Topping out on P2, the crux:







P4, the other crux:




The final pitch goes across an amazing knife edge ridge, it's completely wild, so rad:




This really is a classic route, great situations, it's littered with knobs, and provides a moderate alpine rock climb in a cirque composed mostly of really hard or pretty easy alpine rock climbs. It could definetly use some traffic, highly recommended. Some scrambling got us to the summit of Enchantment Peak where we gained an alpine ridge that provided a nice high-traverse to Prusik Peak across the Enchantment Plateau. Up next was the masterpiece known as Solid Gold, II+ 10+/11-, this too could have been climbed previous to Wayne Wallace's probable first ascent claim, but really, who cares? Solid Gold holds some of the best climbing in the range.


Pitch 1, the "Solid Gold" pitch is definetly one of the top 5 classic pitches in the Enchantments:













"Solid Fucking Gold!" (how many times did we say that?):




This time around we managed to find the perfect dihederal last pitch (so obvious, how did I miss it?). A great finish to a great route.






This pic shows the changing corners variation I took last year on the right, don't fuck around, climb the corner:



In '89 you proabaly did need to use a bunch or RP's, nowadays it takes bomber aliens:




The W Ridge to the summit is always a great way to end the day:







Gear Notes:

Double set of cams to #2, single #3, set of nuts with 2-3 rp's.


Acid Baby Topo

Acid Baby TR

Solid Gold Topo

Solid Gold TR

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Nice! Looks like a great link up. Definitly worth repeating!!


Just for the record, Acid Baby was climbed by Dan Capellini, Rolf Larsen, and Mike Layton. Not to disrespect my good friend Mike, but I believe this line was also scoped out and developed by Rolf and Dan.

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SFG looks amazing. Another Layton route I presume?

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Great pictures! It looks like some awesome cilmbing. I like the various colors of lichen on the SG pics, but i imagine they aren't as pretty when you have to climb around them :)


Mega dirtbag/green points on the bus ride, Jens. :rocken::brew:

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k. even though im going skiing this weekend that was enough stoke to get me to change gears! time to put the skis away :(

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SFG looks amazing. Another Layton route I presume?


Not a Layton route. But, who did the first ascent is hard to say. Wayne and partner climbed it in 1989. Blake just posted this on the Giving it up - Topos thread:


Hey Wayne (or Sol?) I wonder how Solid Gold relates to the 4 various Fred Yackulic routes on the South Face of Prusik? I found a couple entries from the AAJ, routes were in 1988 and 1987 .


Prusik Peak, South Face of West Ridge. On August 16(1987), Rich Romano and

I ascended the leftmost crack system on the south face of Prusik. The large

overhang on the second pitch was passed on the right. A short overhanging

hand crack and airy face moves brought us to the west-ridge route. (The climb

is left of the Boving-Christensen route.) (II, 5.10.)



Prusik Peak, South Face of West Ridge.


On August 3 (1988), after being stopped the

previous day, Rich Romano led through the large overhangs 50 feet to the right

of our 1987 route. A pitch higher in a big alcove, we crossed left of the other

route, then climbed a beautiful white dihedral by a thin finger crack, gaining the

west ridge (II, 5.11+). The following day, we climbed a diagonaling crack

system up and to the right to a belay on the southwest arcte and ultimately to the

west ridge (II, 5.11). On August 11, David Goland and I did a route that starts

further left, in a striking right-angle dihedral. After two pitches, we were forced

out of the dihedral by the lack of protection. We entered a curving slot up and

right, which placed us at the base of the now familiar finger crack (II, 5. IO+).

The climbs are named Double Bein, Keep on Belton. and Notley’s Direct.



The more I read these entries, the more confused I get. The one thing that does strike me though is this passage:


A pitch higher in a big alcove, we crossed left of the other

route, then climbed a beautiful white dihedral by a thin finger crack, gaining the

west ridge (II, 5.11+).


That sounds exactly like the top of Solid Gold. But really that type of terrain exists all over the face. I think with climbs like this that follow such natural lines, the first ascent isn't going to feel any different from the fifth ascent, provided your embarking into the unknown. The adventure was still there for each of the early parties: lichen covered jams, re-setting your feet on each and every smear as the top layer of grit falls away, the trepidation of pushing through the next overhang, wondering if the route will go. Whether first or not, the adventure of forging ahead into the unknown remained exciting for all i'm sure.

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Like you say, it doesnt make the climbing any worse knowing who did it first. It is cool though when you are climbing and you dont have all the topos and beta to draw from.

It might as well be an fa if you know nothing of it.

I am just glad to have done such an incredible route and to have helped document its appeal.

There was a large back off set up below the poison pill that blocks the top of the 1st pitch. We cleaned it and at the end of a long pitch, I drilled a belay bolt below the roof, was it still there? With old gear would it have been possible to make a good belay there without that bolt, and I believe I put in a good pin there as well? I saw no evidence of a belay set there prior. This route though- It is the real deal.

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Great idea for a link-up! Rolf, Dan, and I had each noticed the Acid Baby arete and all decided to do it together. We spent about 10 seconds scoping the line, it just unfolded nicely. We still weren't sure if it was the "snakes and ladders" route put up in the late 70's. One of those I don't think so but maybe they did - there's a lot of stuff in the area that fits their description.

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Wayne: your bolt is still there, it's pretty camouflaged but is a nice addition to the belay, I also used a yellow tcu and a bomber blue HB brass nut. We found a tattered brown tri-cam to the right of the poison pill in a horizontal crack, that looked like a bail peice, belong to you?


Layton: it is just amazing how Acid Baby unfolds. Both of the arete sections on the upper pitches really come together nicely. If it was Jabberwacky Tower that Brugger and Co. climbed in the 70's the routes proabaly share some pitches but have different variations.

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acid baby is not on jaberwocky tower. how could layton claim a first ascent if he was guided?


your right dan, not Jabberwacky, know what it's on? FWIW, i talked to Julie Brugger last summer and she does not think she climbed it previously, but i'm sure someone did...


we'll just let you guys figure out the "guiding" deal on your own...

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Thanks for the inspiration Jens and Sol- did this link-up c2c on Friday. Both lines are stellar. Acid baby could use a bit more climbing to clean it up. Can climb the first pitch on a 60 with about 10-15' of secure simul-climbing. Pitches 4 and 5 present minor route finding issues. Not certain we took the "correct" line, but aiming for the obvious prow/spire will get you where you need to be. Solid Gold was amazing. The two .11a pitches were fairly straight forward, easy to protect and had short (fierce) crux sections. We found the namesake pitch to be the stoutest on the climb. For brevity's sake, it's easily possible to extend pitch 2 to the top of the "fun offwidth" - more of a wide pod with a good crack in the back - then combine the .10a slab/mantle pitch and the dead snag pitch (there's a live tree hear as well - good land mark)to eventually make the base of the West Ridge friction pitch in 4 leads.


Do this link-up. You'll love it. Guaranteed.


double rack - real small to #2 c4, #3 c4, nuts, etc...

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