Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Day 5

Day 5 dawned and it was back to the unfamiliar sight of clear skies and sunshine. We were underway in no time and had soon hauled to our high point. Jake then lead the following pitch, cruising up over loads of loose blocks amid a constant shower of small chunks of ice that were peeling of the wall in the sunshine of the early morning. Initially this was a bit scary, you were constantly waiting for the mamma of ice chunks to put a hole in your helmet but she never came and it started to become quite novel that you could just pluck these chunks out of the sky and keep hydrated.
Next was a 40 meter diagonal traverse across some terraces, not ideal hauling terrain. We had to fix a line across it, pull the shoulder straps form the cows and kind of do a walking jugging combo, really fun stuff!
This put us at the point that is for all other ascensionists the end of the line for the hauling, about 500m off the deck and 700m to go. As mentioned before our budget I mean ideals didn´t allow for the kind of fixing that would facilitate that sort of approach. This would just be another bivi site along the way for us.

After erecting the Black Diamond Hotel on the luxurious ledge we got into the next couple of pitch´s, the first of those clean golden granite pitch´s that we had been romantising about for months. Jake blasted the hands to fists to off-width glamour pitch, I cursed myself for leaving my watch on, making the pitch the normal thrutchy struggle that I associate with crack climbing. I was glad at what came next, after most cracks I love the sight of a good face pitch even more, it was one of the 2 hardest pitch on the route 7c/27. Bring it on I thought the weather was great and we were keen to get one of the crux´s out of the way. After a max of about 15mins I´d onsighted it. It was a little on the sneaky side with a very funky rockover leg press to blind foot swap to little campus move but all in all not too bad. Jake then had a crack and cruised on up to the sneaky bit and seemed to be lacking some oomph downstairs, in his legs that is. After a few attempts at the move he decided it might be better left to the following day. Note 1- If climbing in Patagonia and there is no snow, rain or wind DO NOT STOP CLIMBING UNTIL THERE IS; YOU MAY NOT GET ANOTHER CHANCE.

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