September 15, 2012

A good case of the "Giggles"- Wasatch Mountains Sept 14, 2012

It has been far too long since Scott and I got into the mountains together. He and I have had many an adventure together on two wheels, trail shoes and skis. I appreciate him very much. The notion of getting into the more remote parts of the Wasatch is special for me. I love to climb in the fall and when you combine the primitive need to be alone with climbing the outcome can be special.  The route I hoped to climb required a friend to join me and Scott heard the call even though he has never climbed a multi-pitch route. Scott is a strong guy, truck loads of experience ski touring and mountain running and besides, this would be his first time into this unique location. "He will be fine", I said to myself. Turns out I was right.

Yesterday morning we left before dawn broke and aimed our sights high into Big Willow but this time with heavier packs than the usual water bottle and candy bar. Giggles is a 5 pitch special route which is super aesthetic. The climb is lonely, possessing excellent quality granite and encapsulated in a high alpine setting. The route goes directly up the middle of a 500 foot towering wall of rock adjacent to the "notch." On the left side of the notch that is. It was an incredible morning. I feel so blessed to have great friends and live near this heaven on earth we call the Wasatch Range. We reached our cars at 3 PM that afternoon.

The disadvantage of traveling in the dark
Solitude and valley haze
Happy times- Courtesy Scott Wetzel
Scott seeing the rim of sun and getting closer
Heaven. Our route left center (tallest wall before the notch/step down)
Missing a shoe? Besides the oxidized rubber, looks pretty good (I can tell you where it is if it's yours)
Looking down at Scott beginning of Pitch 1
Scott Pitch two
Me beginning Pitch 3 (Scott and I were color coordinated too!!)- Rock was excellent here. Courtesy Scott Wetzel
Scott nearing top of Pitch 3
Scott "Ambrose you owe me for this"
Top of Pitch 3

Me, pitch 4, crux hand crack-- magnificent rock! Courtesy Scott Wetzel
Scott another shot of Pitch 4 with the sun and mottled rock
Me gearing up for Pitch 5 (last one). Courtesy Scott Wetzel
Pitch 5, Me looking down at Scott, checking on his hanging belay. Courtesy Scott Wetzel



Scott enjoying the last few feet of exposure on his first multi pitch and making it look easy!

Scott on top and in deep thought.

Scott coming off the back side

The route
Special gear note: We used a new Edelweiss Energy 9.5 MM Arc. It is an excellent lightweight 60 M rope.  I loved it.

Quote of the day: We were getting near the cirque and when asking Scott if he was ready to see the prettiest thing in this region he said "for sure!" "Oh I guess I should have asked, is Kara up here?"

1 comment:

  1. The way I see it, your ability to safely take a novice, such as myself, on a multi-pitch trad route in such a remote area is a testament to your experience and expertise in the high country. Awesome trip. Thanks for the experience.

    For me, it's just one more experience that leads me to ask the question...."What can't the Ambrosia do?"

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