I’ll skip ahead to the third climbing day for now since all of the pictures from day 2 were on John’s camera.
It was the Friday after Thanksgiving, and stomachs full of turkey we got up at dawn. This was more of a work day than a fun day. There was still a huge block 200′ up Spaceman that might kill someone some day. We couldn’t get it off last summer with a hammer, so it was time to bring in the crow bar. Jake was nice enough to haul a 25 lb crow bar to the base of the route last week in preparation.
There aren’t too many pictures of this day because the climbing was hard, I was tired, and mostly because I just forgot to snap pictures. I can’t believe I didn’t think to get a video of the rock I pried off. I think it registered on the local Richter scale.
Here’s a picture of Spaceman that I took over the summer with the first 4 pitches of the route marked. If you have good eyes I marked the block that we came to trunnel.
Here’s an un-climbed hunk of mud at the base of Spaceman. Any takers?
Jake is racking up here for the fist pitch. I wanted to try to lead this pitch, but knew that I didn’t have a chance at getting it clean. If the route was going to get red-pointed today Jake would have to take all of 3 5.11 pitches.
Jake cruised the first pitch. I managed to get to the limestone crux before I had to hang.
The 5.9+ “hands” pitch was harder than I remembered.
That brought us to the base of the crux pitch, 130′ of steep face climbing that doesn’t seem to have a single move easier than 5.10. I was already worked. Jake had some issues fiddling in a couple of key blue aliens that protected 5.11 climbing with ledge fall potential, but he held it together. He climbed over the scary block for the last time and got to the base of the crux dihedral.
This might be the most impressive lead I’ve witnessed. The crux is a double-thumb mantle off of opposing half pad crimps on either side of the dihedral. Your face is smashed up against the wall so you can’t see your feet. You blindly skate your left foot up until it sticks on the one and only foot in the area, and desperately stand up. It doesn’t matter how strong you are, it’s a very iffy move. I don’t know how Jake pulled it off first try.
I followed, hanging on every move. When I got to the block I hauled up the crow bar and gave it a good tug. I had to yank pretty hard, but it came out. I dropped the crow bar, cleaned up the scar as best I could with a brush, and continued to hang on every move for the rest of the pitch.
I had been planning on taking the roof pitch, but had to hand it over to Jake. He nearly blew it, but again managed to pull through. I resorted to aid as it was getting late.
Finally I get to take a lead. I managed to find a no hands rest to snap some pictures on the 5.2 space walk pitch.
I was almost too fat to get through the hole on this pitch, but I sent like a champ to keep the team red point going!
Here I am starting up the summit pitch, probably the coolest pitch on the climb.
We almost got chopped by the tourist chopper on the summit. If you look close I think this guy is about to fall out taking our picture!
Check out the moon!
The view from the top wasn’t bad.
And the view from the rap wasn’t bad either.
And so it’s done. I didn’t put half the work into that route that Jake did, but it was still quite an effort. All that work and I don’t know if it’ll even see a second ascent.