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Val Zephyr

[TR] Prusik Peak - West Ridge 10/3/2010

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Trip: Prusik Peak - West Ridge

 

Date: 10/3/2010

 

Trip Report:

The past two summers I've made a Prusik-in-a-day trip. This usually takes just over 20 hours to complete: kind of a long day. This year I decided to change it up a bit: Prusik in 2 days with a little rest right in the very middle of the trip.

 

Allison, Lucas and I took off Friday night and caught a little October-fest action in the beer garden before arriving at the Stuart Lake trailhead for a little sleep. We started up the trail just after 5 am and made good time to Colchuck lake. The larch season is in full swing right now. Enough about the approach though, I think you've heard about this area at least a half a dozen times from me alone. I will leave this at: It was really pretty.

 

We arrived at the base at 1:30 and began our ascent. This was a the first time I've led anything above low-fifth with a pack on. Let alone an overnight pack filled with three mini wine bottles and 3 avacados; so much for going ultra light. The awkwardness of the pack quickly subsided and, as always, I thoroughly enjoyed the five pitches to the summit. We arrived at the top in fading light and wedged ourselves in between the rock “railings” on the summit. These railings were a lot of the inspiration for this climb. It is amazing that this pointy summit has a flat spot big enough for...uh...2.5 people, and a safety railing to keep them from rolling off in the middle of the night. We celebrated our climb with wine and chocolate and then attempted to get a little sleep.

 

We had a range of theories for going light on our ascent. I had a 40 degree bag, ½ three season mat and an emergency bivy. For me, this system was perfect (only 36 ounces) and I'll be doing this from now on. Lucas was inspired to go a little lighter: extra clothes, a full bivy, but no sleeping bag. This also worked to some degree. Allison's theory was: screw light and fast, I'll carry my zero degree bag, full bivy and full mat, but at least I'll get some good sleep.

 

At around midnight, the unthinkable happened: rain! A worried, “are we going to have to rappel now?” came from Allison's bivy. “Nope, we're staying put”. I tucked further into my bivy and began to mentally prepare for a horrible morning full of wet rappels. Thankfully the rain was short-lived and we awoke to an amazing birds-eye view of the Enchantments.

 

We had a few issues rappelling. I will never try to run the rope straight over the lip of the summit block again, but rather down the corner. Though over the lip worked the last two times with some friction as we pulled it, this time the amount of the friction on the rope was completely ridiculous and required all three of us pulling on it to get it to come down. We weren't done yet; as my Petzel Fuse tried desperately to remain on the mountain, sometimes twisting itself around horns and rocks in puzzling positions.

 

Finally though, we were down and motivated by thoughts of a real dinner which helped us book it out fast to the car.

 

I believe that this was Lucas' first alpine rock and Allison's second. They both got thrown in fast with a full-value experience of carrying an overnight pack on a rock route and a nearly 8000' summit bivy in October! Anyways, thanks a ton you guys for going along with me for this!

 

Photos!

 

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If anyone found a red #1 cam up there Sunday, it's mine. I'm perplexed as to how and where we lost it, but it's missing and is likely at a belay somewhere on the route. Thanks!

Edited by Val Zephyr

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nice! Glad you didn't put yourself through another Prusik in a day sufferfest. Maybe it will still be snow-free oct 22 when I finally have a full free weekend.

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nice! Glad you didn't put yourself through another Prusik in a day sufferfest. Maybe it will still be snow-free oct 22 when I finally have a full free weekend.

 

Hopefully! Plus, by the 22nd, you won't have to be concerned with permits. That was also part of the inspiration for our unconventional bivy.

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nice! Glad you didn't put yourself through another Prusik in a day sufferfest. Maybe it will still be snow-free oct 22 when I finally have a full free weekend.

 

I did it on Oct 24 last year and while there was up to a foot of snow on the approach and decent the route was entirely snow free. We ended up doing a couple of extra rappels because the snow was so hard on the north side and we hadn't brought crampons or axes.

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Can't say I ever considered sleeping up there but, heck, why not? Can't go without wine! Excellent trip and photos. Thanks.

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