Tuesday, January 27, 2009

On to the route.

After the short break in town to restock we went back into the park to begin the real suffering. We were initially greeted by some promising weather, we only had to spend an hour and a half digging for our haulbags before finding that the meters of snow that had built up on them had in fact broken the sling of the cam that they were tied off to!

(Haul Bags!)

That afternoon we managed to drag the bags up a few pitch´s while getting up to our knes in the deep snow. The next day came and we started to think the previous weeks had just been a bad spell of weather and that we should knock this fella over in no time and move onto something else. We jugged back up to the bags and dragged them a bit further and I actually put my climbing shoes on for the first time in a few weeks for the routes first pitch of technical climbing. In what is become a trademark me thing to do I added a new variation through a process of bad route finding. The obvious line was totally snowed up and didn´t look so obvious to me at the time, maybe just the idea of dry rock was what drew me out onto the blank slab. Someone had been there before, there where bathook holes and some ridiculous bolts(5mm diameter, sleeve bolts) needless to say they werent comforting. The pitch was not too hard in the end and we were both psyced to be underway doing what we had come for.

We rapped off still only 6 pitch´s off the deck but having exhausted our fixing capabilities(about 200m) the next day on the route we would be going for it, for up to 2 weeks.
There is an obvious Ledge on the route at about the 500m mark that has typically been the one and only bivi for other ascentionists. This though has only been possible with bigger teams, the other few ascents the route has had in the 18 years have all had at least 4 people and have done more extensive fixing, requiring loads of rope and a hell of a lot of cash in excess baggage. Not keen on this approach we decided to embrace life on the wall and pack a heap of food and just get on with it.

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