June 6, 2015

Spring Mountain Travels

The past few days have been really great. Amidst the many responsibilities of life, I have been able to escape to the hills and enjoy the changing season. 

Alex, my oldest son and I were able to get out and climb a mellow but wonderful classic in the Little Cottonwood Gate district. Six pitches of excellent granite helped him to enjoy the activity even more. Climbing as a partnership among father and son is a pretty cool thing. Hearing him call my name in climbing fashion and to see him smile at the end of each pitch is super gratifying. I hope someday he will look back and remember days like these and that they will impact him for good.

Jason and I, after not having skied together in a while, we were excited to be able to get two great ascents done together. 

On Monday he and I, decided late in the day to meet at 5:30 PM and then go up the South Ridge of Superior. We found the route to be perfect, albeit the winds howled from the southwest. We climbed with complete freedom and enjoyed every move up the ridge. The mountain was glorious with the upper reaches still clinging to the story of the winter's past.  The ridge is super aesthetic and the crux moves were enjoyable. After some great rock, snow crossing and photo shoots, we hit the snowy cap 1hr. 15 mins later.

On Thursday night, I got a text "Chad I am going to talk you into West Slabs and Geurts again." Jason, knew I had PTSD from the last time I did this solo because of the close call with the rattle snake in Tolcat. Jason prevailed and on Friday morning we went for a repeat of the fun link-up I did a few weeks ago.

We climbed the West Slabs of Olympus and then dropped down into Tolcat canyon and then up the Geurt's ridge direct route, along the ridge proper to the the South Summit of Olympus. The Slabs were great as always and the Tolcat section stressed me out big-time (even though I sent Jason ahead of me to protect me from the snakes). Luckily no snakes! The direct and then Geurts were wonderful, with stable rock, an impending rain storm and downclimbing both rappel sections. We topped out in on the South Summit in an icy rain. We had an enjoyable pace, time for photos and visiting while climbing.

My opinion, Geurt's Direct is much steeper than the West Slabs, better rock and a great setting.

Another more important note- See this wonderful and touching video done on the Dorais Family. 

Alex rappelling off School Room
JD South Ridge Superior

South Ridge Cont.

Skiing Suicide Chute

Jason eyeing top part of the Slabs

Steep climbing Geurts Direct, exiting Tolcat-Goodbye snakes!

Stowing his camera before the "Catwalk"and an impending storm

One of the crux sections

One of the best upper sections

The man himself!