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soulreaper

first ascent [TR] Colchuck Balanced Rock - The Tempest Wall (III 5.12d): team free ascent 8/15/2010

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Trip: Colchuck Balanced Rock - The Tempest Wall (III 5.12d): team free ascent

 

Date: 8/15/2010

 

Trip Report:

Ben Gilkison and I made a team free ascent of this route this past Sunday. Rock/Paper/Scissors determined who got the roof pitch and it was Ben! We swapped leads the whole way and neither of us fell all day.

 

My full report w/pictures can be found here at my blog. Unfortunately, my carefully crafted post failed the .html error check so it's a bit wonky looking (thanks Blogspot and my lack of .html coding knowledge!), but it's still readable and I hope it's enjoyable nonetheless.

 

I should add that the YDS grade is an estimate based on my somewhat limited 20-foot-roof-crack-free-climbing experience (including Separate Reality in Yosemite and More Monkey Than Funky in Joshua Tree, which are both shorter and much easier than this one), so take it with a grain of salt if you're a seasoned veteran of this style of climbing.

 

Gear Notes:

We found the following rack to be adequate:

 

-Single set of nuts to #9 Black Diamond

 

-Cams with double .3, .4, and .5 BD equivalent, single .75 C4, double #1, triple #2 and a single #3 C4.

 

-12 quickdraws, with at least 4 slings (ideally 6, including a couple 1.5 or double length).

 

One could perhaps double up in a few of the medium stopper sizes and/or the green camalot range, and possible bring triples in the finger sizes for the long 5.11 pitch, but many gear options exist. You could leave behind the third #2 C4 but I think it's handy for the roof pitch.

 

Approach Notes:

Approach as for Colchuck Lake, then around the north side of the lake to Aasgard pass. Hopefully find a decent path through the slide alder to a gully. There seem to be a couple of good options for this, both of which exit the Aasgard trail somewhat early on and have cairns. Climb the gully through steep scree and some talus. The best way seems to be to move right before a section of bushes, hugging a cliff until a path can be found left across a creek, coming out above the bushes. Several short, exposed third class scrambles are present higher up. The final approach to the climb is through talus. It begins below the obvious roof on the second pitch with somewhat circuitous climbing on the first. Someone else might have better beta for the gully, so chime on in.

Edited by soulreaper

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That's awesome guys! Really really inspiring to see!

 

For people (like me) who aren't able to hang around upside-down in hand cracks, I think it's reasonable to have a great time doing the route at 5.11- C1, with 20 feet of easy aid.

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Way to go guys!

 

That roof pitch is one of the most amazing pitches ANYWHERE!

 

Glad to hear you got it done.

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Way to go you guys!!! Great to see you on the way down. Impeccable style! Holy shit Drew, still can't believe you pulled that off on second. That seems almost harder to me for some reason. Underclinging??? Savage.

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Thanks for the positive comments everyone. Drew was definitely on it! I'd say following is probably just the same when all is said and done (and spookier for sure). We were just so glad to give our all and not succumb to gravity. Not an easy task. I think perhaps Drew's awesome mustache gave us extra powers.

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