Author Topic: South Face of Washington Column  (Read 3002 times)

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Offline mungeclimber

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South Face of Washington Column
« on: March 16, 2012, 06:06:12 pm »
This is a trip report. Mundane and inconsequential. This is a story about a 'tune up' - much like your auto, it can't run without making sure all the parts are working properly.

It started with Karodrinker recounting some of his adventure doing the Regular Route on half dome last year. His was a superb effort loaded with unknowns and huge possibilities.  Success was met!

But Karodrinker had experienced a lot and took a bit of a break.  Come 2012 and a bouldering session at Castle Rock State Park, where many plans begin, Walls become a subject of discussion again.

Freak Show had eluded the Triple M project (Mooch, Mucci and Munge) due to storms, park closures and inability to get consistent time off.  But the monkeys sending in the middle of Winter with sunny skies and cool evenings seeds the imagination.  A weekend became free, and plans were hatched.  Busy work schedule meant I had little time to pack. I hate that and almost called it off. But a cool head prevailed. We racked some stuff at Karo's place. 



and by late Friday evening we were on the road to 140.  Perhaps with road closures and "winter" time being around, there wouldn't be any cluster frig of people sacks jacking up my program. It's a popular line. It seems everyone except me has been on it before. Karo has been on it twice before. With it's convenient ability to rap from anywhere on the route. It lends itself to learning to Wall, but it also means it is popular.

But on the hike in... not a soul, except us. Gorgeous sunny skies, but not hot. Perfect temps!  We got a late start, neither of us were feeling too fast with a crappy night sleep. Karo napped a bit, I sorted some gear and used the convenient nearby facilities.



The 5.8 grunt first pitch went pretty smooth. I did a couple steps of aid right before the slab. The slab I thought I could run out, but in the end chickened out and put a piece in which meant the haul line would end up getting a touch in the way of the lead line forcing me to stop hauling to prevent rubbing of the lines.

Karo made fast work of the second pitch by climbing the 10a crack, which is superb, but had some bitey ants. Since he was moving fast, it wasn't a problem.



I got the third pitch, which was great because it meant I was leading the pitches I didn't get to lead last time when Uber and I tried for a push.

I was a bit worried about the step across, but it turned out to be ok once I figured out to put a piece in the crack, and use the pocket to lever up and over and then just run it on what are fairly positive holds. I had thought a large alien would work well, but it fills the pocket that you want to use.



We landed on Dinner Ledge with daylight, energy and water to spare.

Water is life!



It was an awesome feeling just chilling up there. The reason why?  NOT A FUCKING SOUL IN SIGHT, except us.  It was like I was Layton Kor or something before the dawn of climbing gyms.



At that point, the end goal became a distance thought. The 'being there' became something unto itself. We were awash in wonder at how nice it was. How beautiful it was. We decided that we would just enjoy the waning light and appreciate having the ledge to ourselves since it probably would never happen again for us.

Beers were cracked, photos taken and cell phones checked and Facebook updates made. There something quite fun about being able to share the experience with friends at the moment.



After dinner and much chill time, we final decided to crash out. Anyone that has been on this Wall knows that at lights out time, the ring tailed denizens come out. 





to be continued...

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: South Face of Washington Column
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2012, 12:48:12 am »


The Kor was the next morning. Leisurely start. Food and more water! With all the talk of a long reach, I found the bolts were perfect. The cam placement had to be an offset because someone didn't bring a full rack of regular cams. ;)


white and sunny granite! 




Remembering to leap frog gear, I hit the alcove in no time and got some great pics.



including starting the next pitch...







Not wanting to free climb, I cut loose on the last section of that pitch. little exciting. Sadly out of shape, I was willing to do the next pitch, but we both knew that there probably wasn't going to be enough daylight to push much higher, rappel, hike down and drive home in time to be able to work the next morning.... unless I was super fast, which I wasn't.



The 5.7 move in the middle of this pitch was exciting with gear and ropes hanging off your ass. But it is totally do-able.





At some point we decided that an extra 10m on the lead line didn't make sense on this particular route, especially when the other line was only 60m. After finishing the pitch, Karo made me rappel and clean it, which wasn't real fun with my hands cramping up. Karo backed me up on the rap as I leaned off

The rap from Dinner takes you to the top of p1 with 60m ropes if you pull correctly.



the hike down was fast, faster than I can ever recall doing it. Apparently the running was paying off a little.  Now that I think about it the approach was slow, but not agonizing or anything for out of shaper like me.  Time to get it going again.



Karo's super psyche and mellow vibe was awesome. Great wall partner! Probably one of the most pleasant Wall trips I've done so far.

I mean, hell, we had Dinner ledge with perfect temps, beers and tons of water and food to just chill on.  As Karo said, "best campsite in the entire Valley"

skully

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Re: South Face of Washington Column
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2012, 10:06:04 am »
I can Dig it. Right on, Rob. Thanks for the pics.
I've been workin' on the Jeep all day. Stupid machines. MUCH rather be there.
Cheers!

Munge info edit: HeadGasket. 243,400...it was time. Head's in the machine shop. We'll get a few more RoadTrips out of her.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2012, 04:58:35 pm by skully »

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: South Face of Washington Column
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2012, 04:26:47 pm »
thx


not the jeep!  :(

Offline Beautiful_Corn

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Re: South Face of Washington Column
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2012, 06:20:04 am »
Thanks for the trip report!  I enjoyed it very much.

Offline Mike.

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Re: South Face of Washington Column
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2012, 10:20:50 am »
Sweet ringtail action...and you other cats look pretty relaxed up there, too ; )
Say no to limbers, excavators and retro-bolters. No matter how much he smiles.

Offline lambone

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Re: South Face of Washington Column
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2012, 11:58:59 am »
nice gettin after it...I'm feelin overdue for a tuneup as well...

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: South Face of Washington Column
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2012, 12:14:09 pm »
Sweet ringtail action...and you other cats look pretty relaxed up there, too ; )


soooooo chill.  Like a weekend backpack trip in the Sierra. Yeah you breathe hard here and there, but overall, usually pretty relaxing.

Offline mungeclimber

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Re: South Face of Washington Column
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2012, 12:15:53 pm »
nice gettin after it...I'm feelin overdue for a tuneup as well...

finally got some blue skies today in Cali.

word on the street is Kings Canyon might open sooner than expected. Feeling another trip coming on soon. :)


edit - after this last bit of snow melts out.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2012, 12:19:58 pm by mungeclimber »