Friday, March 21, 2014

Beaking in Tongues

Matt and I had been looking at a route in Moab's Fisher Towers called "Beaking in Tongues" for years.  Finally we got to check it out.  Matt picked me up from work in Cortez on Tuesday morning.  We were in a time crunch because he had to be at work on Thursday morning, so we had 48 hours.  A quick stop at a Moab gear shop to grab some more #1 peckers and we were on our way to the Fishers.

To save time we decided to camp at the base so we wouldn't have to hike more then we had to.  The only problem with that was, the loads were heavier, which we decided was well worth it.

It took a while for Matt to figure out the first pecker move but soon he was cautiously inching his way toward the anchor. As I jugged the first pitch he started short fixing the second which was a little easier.

I started out on the third pitch thinking, "this isn't so bad" and moments later with my eyes caked with dirt started thinking swim goggles would have been nice.

It was dark before I started short fixing the forth pitch, but luckily it was short and went pretty quickly.  With 4 of the 7 pitches fixed we called it a night and rappelled to the ground, leaving lines fixed.

The next morning we jugged back up to our high point and Matt nailed his way to the top of pitch 5.

Pitch 6 was the shortest on the route but still took a good long while.  Luckily it put us at the saddle and offered the first ledge of the route.

Matt took off on the last pitch which ended up being a doosy.  He lowered multiple times to clean gear he needed and took a short fall when a cam blew out of the mud.  On top we discovered our ascent was the 5th ascent of "Beaking in Tongues".  We rappelled and were back at the car before dark.

Matt dropped me off in Moab to stay with Amanda, Thad, and Marie and he continued home.  I later found out that he only got 4.5 hours of sleep before he had to get back up to go to work.  Strong work.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Flag Mountain Falls

Last summer I was on a backpacking trip east of Vallecito Reservoir with David Bruce. Near the end of our trip I noticed this big waterfall about 9-10 miles from the trailhead.  As it turns out, Eric Dixon had noticed it as well when he was in the area rock climbing.  So we teamed up and started making plans. After asking around it appeared that the waterfall had never been climbed, which only added to the appeal.  

We decided to ski in on Saturday and climb the route and ski out Sunday.  I didn't have much time, so Eric skied in during the day before me to find a good route and set up camp.  I started in the light and skied the last 3 hours, of the 4 hour approach in the dark.  Luckily all I had to do was follow his tracks which led to the tent.  Sunday morning arrived and we were both having a hard time motivating in the cold so we built a small fire to warm up. It did the trick, with warmth came stoke.  

The route was super fun, with two 300' flows separated by a 5 minute walk.  Eric took the lead on the first flow, linking it with a little simul climbing and an 80 meter rope.  We soloed the first 100' of the second flow to a bench on the right. I led the last 200' to the top. We didn't see any evidence of previous ascents but snow can easily obscure rappel slings on trees.  Whether it was a first ascent or not it was a great adventure. Thanks for the great trip Eric!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Skylight Area Ice Climbing

Here is a short video from guiding ice last weekend at the Skylight area just outside of Ouray, CO.   Winter is here and so is the ice!