Friday, November 21, 2008
We're back in Europe for the moment and will not be updating our blog until Januari... another Patagonia adventure....
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Saturday, October 4, 2008
We just spent four days on El Capitan looking for the Eagle. We know where he is but we haven't caught it yet. The eye of the eagle is the key.
Monday, September 29, 2008
We have moved our jamming sessions to Yosemite Valley (California)... unfortunately the rangers do not seem to recognize musical talent... But fear not... we will not be broken... We have had some good sessions on El Capitan (more news on that soon).
Monday, September 8, 2008
The 3 golden rules of rock climbing:
Saturday, September 6, 2008
It was still dark in the tent even though it was late morning (almost noon)... We didn't understand what was going on until we opened up the tent and discovered that we were buried in snow! It had snowed 20 cm during the night! It was still snowing hard, and everything was white. Visibility was about 2m. Sean went out to empty his blather and almost got lost trying to get back to the tent! It was like swimming in mashed potatoes. Looks like the Bugaboo season is over early this year. It was time for us to pack up and leave. We had 14 days of food left... so we stuffed ourselves, eat as mush as we could, and started swimming true powder snow over the glacier with big heavy backpacks. Suffering. Crawling. Navigating in the white stuff hoping not to get lost...
Friday, September 5, 2008
A lot of snow... The bad weather came in, and we went out for a couple of days... back to Golden to fuel up. We got back up with our buddy Ben Ditto who joined us for a ride, but there was a lot of snow on the peaks. So we opted to try some smaller spires while the bigger ones clean up. We decided to try and free this amazing wide crack climb called "Wide Awake" 8 pitches, 5.10 A2 (400m). With binoculars from the ground, we spotted this huge flake in the shape of a gigantic ear, just to the left of the crux pitch. We decided to go take a look at it. A delicate slab traverse on razor blade crimps and crystals for the feet, brought us to a roof crack followed by a enormous flake (25m) the width of a corn flake... We could see all the way true it! Would have been scary for some! We named our variation "Wide Awake Corn Flake" (5.12). Yeah buddy!!!
Thursday, August 21, 2008
The next day, the weather went rotten... we came back down off the mountain to give you more exclusive news...
A few hundred meters of simulclimbing brought us from the top of the Minaret to the summit of south Howser, just before midnight. Our psyche turned to fear when we saw what was coming towards us from the other side of the mountain. A big black zeppelin flashing and roaring was approaching fast...We rushed down as fast as we could, and started rappelling down the Minaret. The storm was faster than we were and all hopes of survival were lost when our ropes got stuck. We decided to sit on a small ledge (500m from the ground) to await our destiny and pray that being electrocuted by lightening would give us mutant powers. Our fear changed to ecstasy, when for the second time today, we noticed that a thunderstorm was passing right next to us. We just sat back and watched in awe as we admired the best lightning show we've ever seen. The lightning struck hard down below in the valley and started a forest fire.
We climbed back up, got our ropes and continued our rappels. Once on the ground we still had to walk back to base camp... a full 50m away!
1:30 am, after almost 20h of climbing we were back at east creek base camp ready for a jamming session...
Check out the lightening picture we took from the ledge!!! (picture 1)
Picture 2: Cumbre!
Picture 3: Nico feeling the stress during the rappels.
Picture 4: Sitting ducks on a ledge, waiting to be fried
One rivet and 3 copperheads to protect the crux... Snowflakes started falling down, a thunder storm was coming in... Maybe it's time to go down?
To test Sean's back one last time before trying something long and hard we decided to try to open a new route on a neighbouring spire called the "lost feather pinnacle". We choose a beautiful dihedral system leading into an intimidating black roof. We were surprised to run in to bolted belays on the first part of the climb, but after the crux pitch we found no trace of human beings. So we don't know wether we finished a new line or freed an existing aid route, but the climbing was exceptional!! 7 pitches of incredible quality! Some of the more memorable moments were when Sean pulled on a big flake which started moving and cracking and Sean nearly shit in his pants. Or when Nico approached the big black roof which was wet and prayed for our only number four camelot to be wide enough for the crack... Luckily it was and we could finish the route fisting and grunting like a grizzly bear in heat.
Sean woke up one morning and could barely move because of a terrible pain in his back. Carrying heavy backpacks, long days of climbing, hauling, hanging belays, who knows the cause... We ran back down to Golden for a couple of days rest, food, hot shower and the Chiropractor. Feeling a little better we headed back up and fixed the back on a crack named "Fingerberry jam" (5 pitches on the pigeon feathers). Amazing climbing! Thanks to Topher Donehue for this visionary line!