We finally did it!!!
After driving down and carbo-loading on Saturday (Sep 17), we went to sleep ealy, and got up at 3. At 3:22AM we left the car and started climbing at 3:55. It was still dark when we reached Sickle Ledge and scott started his block. We passed two climbers in a portaledge at the end of pitch 6 (Mr and Mrs. Impossible!) and quickly made his way around them. As it was getting light we were on the stovelegs. The 10d face climbing after the Jardin traverse was easier that I remembered (I made good use of the bolts...) and we continued onwards and upwards. Under the great roof we ran into a slower party of 3 that were taking their time cleaning the roof. After a longish pitch, we managed to pass them and reach camp V with a spanish party. They were hauling, but unfortunately (for us) relatively fast...so it took until camp VI before we passed them. In the meantime we climbed side-by-side and managed to annoy them a little :-(. By Changing Corners they had fixed their line and gone back down to sleep on camp VI. It was getting dark and late. As we were in the huge diehedral, the moon wasn't helping much, so the headlamps came on. We continued toward the rim in the darkness. At the rim there was one last party to pass: a rope-soloist who was having a lot of trouble hauling, but he was basically stationary so even though we had slowed down considerably, we managed to pass him. At 10:30pm we got to the tree at the top; 18.5 hours of climbing non-stop!
We ate while belaying and even that wasn't for long as we had to deal with ropes and were short-fixing as much as we could. We found lots of nice shiny gear including a #5 Wildcountry Friend! We took (only!) 7 L of water and it was just enough (just!). We got to the top with enough for a last mouthful of water to wash down the Ibuprophine and took the east ledges way down. On the way we were surprised to see a trickle of water that we felt was too dirty to drink without iodine...but we regreted not having Iodine tablets. Food-wise we had each two bagels with cheese, a small pastry and 3 bars. We had some emergency clothes/blanket in case we get stuck but basically nothing else.
Gear that we took:
- Stoppers: one set of nuts and one set offset HB's
- Aliens: Black; 2 of blue, green, yellow, red; and one orange
- Offset Aliens: Blue-Green and Green-Yellow.
- Camalots: One green; two red, yellow, blue; one purple.
- runners: 12 some long, some double-long
- loose biners: about 6 total, 4 lockers, 2 non.
(I think that's it.)
Trying again for 2005! We borrowed from Mark:
- aliens: y/r/o
- hybrids: g/y b/g
- 21 neutrinos
- 3 yellow slings
- 4 blue slings
- 2 positrons
- 1 cordellette
Third and successful attempt! Total hours:34. Climbers: Scott Morrison & myself.
We started at 4:30am on Saturday. In 1.5h got to sickle, after just over 5 hours made it to dolt. As evening approached we were tired, and both knew that we are not going to make it to the top that day. We got to Camp V at 7pm had a dinner, re-racked and went to &amp;amp;quot;sleep&amp;amp;quot;. On Sunday we started climbing around 7 after a quick breakfast and made it to the top around 2:30pm after some mishaps involving yossi rappeling down and jugging back up....
Conclusions / Comments
- Take less food! we hardly ate any dried fruits or nuts. We managed (just barely) to finish one yogurt container of pasta (the second was munched on at the top, but only because it was there. We could have given that up). The breakfast foods was spot-on (two pastries) and a power-bar type thing each for lunch was good.
- Would be nice to have more water.. we had 10 liters, but took an extra 2 from dolt when we passed there. by the end we were dehydrated and empty. Luckily we found water at the top so we could drink that. But relying on that is a little risky...
- Take less gear! Three #2 cams were too much. but two #3/4,1,2,3's and one #4 are vital. No hooks, less nuts (one set should suffice), less 'biners. I think that getting used to working with a bunch of slings and 'biners might be better because of the weight issues. Offset hb's were vital in the changing corners pitch. Hybrid aliens were not crucial. Can do without them. A double set of aliens was also key for the small pitches, except the black one. One black is enough.
- fifi hooks on the end of daisy-chains get caught while jugging. I found them very useful for the bolt latter on the last pitch but not for any other place. I recommend carrying three in total but using two only for the bolt ladder.
- A square piece of foam will go a long way to make a short night more sleep-able. It weighs very little and can be put in the back of the pack, taking up very little room (esp. if not a ridge-rest).
- Times on the second go...
- Pitch 1 start 6:22, finish 6:48, jug/changeover 6:58, total time 36 minutes
- Pitch 2 6:58 - 7:37, 39 minutes
- Pitch 3 7:37 - 7:58 (includes short-fixing above pedestal) 21 minutes
- Pitch 4 7:58 - 8:18 (including lead change) 20 minutes
- Total time to Sickle 1:56
- Pitch 5-6-7-8 8:18-9:35, jug/changeover 9:55, total time 1:37
- Pitch 9-10-11, 9:55-11:45, total time 1:50 minutes
- Total time to Dolt Tower 5:23...
Comments... We took 12 minutes off the first four pitches. There's probably still room for improvement (another 10 minutes?), especially in the second pitch, (eliminate rope-drag!) We took 17 minutes off the next block, but climbed a slightly shorter distance (because we stopped at an intermediate belay). There's probably another 10-15 minutes to shave off here, by having jumars with the right person, and using the fixed rope better. It's a little hard to tell on the next block, because our timing was a bit fuzzy last time, but the third pitch (to Dolt tower) was probably 5 minutes faster -- which is a good improvement considering it was longer than it should have been!
- Times on our first attempt...
- Pitch 1 21 minutes (Yossi)
- Pitch 2 40 minutes (Yossi), 10 to Jug.
- Pitch 3 25 minutes (Yossi), 10 to Jug.
- Pitch 4 12 to fix (Yossi), 22 total.
- Total time to Sickle 2:08
- Pitch 5 until L.A. 8, 1:26 (Scott). 28 to Jug and change-over.
- Pitch 8 through 9.5 40 minutes (Yossi).
- Pitch 9.5 -- 10.5 1:05 (Yossi)
- Pitch 10.5 -- 11 (Yossi) + 11 -- 13 (Scott) L.A. 50.
- Jugging + Changeover + J. Traverse + Face + Little Shortfix 1:05 (Yossi)
- To Eagle Ledge 1:30 (Yossi)
Total Time : To Eagle Ledge 9:12
- First Trip July 30th -- August 1st. We did pitches 5 through Eagle ledge on Friday and The first 4 on Sunday.
- Second Trip, September 18. Was meant to be a full climb, over two days, but we aborted at Dolt Tower.
J. Traverse -- Green Alien
New distribution of blocks:
- Yossi -- START to Sickle ledge
- Scott -- to top of first pitch of the stove legs
- Yossi -- to Dolt Tower
- Scott -- to above J. Traverse pitch
- Yossi -- to just below the Great Roof
- Scott -- to top of Changing Corners
- Yossi -- to TOP
- Sun Screen
- Harness watch
- Big wall gear harness
- Knee pads
- Tape gloves + Tape