Sunday, August 21, 2011


posted by CBangs
Perfect fingers, old piton

Yesterday was day two in this weeks three day challenge, and a very good day at that.  I got an early start for myself, about 8:20am and went for the Northeast Ridge Route on Bugaboo Spire.  This is one of the 50 Classic Climbs in North America, and it deserves every bit of that.  As I said earlier this week I am going to up the ante.  Yesterday I sure did.  This was the best day I've ever had climbing!  The best route that I've ever done; in the best style that I could possibly imaging doing such a great route in.  Valley bottom to the summit, back to the valley bottom!   And it was also the best day of gorgeous weather we've seen this year in the Bugaboos.    My plan was to not carry a rope with me even though I knew I would need to make several rappels on the summit traverse and on the descent.  This plan involved other people.  I would need other people on the route to team up with once I reached the North Summit.  This is one of the really nice and relaxing things about climbing by myself.  Speed.  When your not roped up you can move so much faster and freer over the rock.  The movement is unencumbered by the rope and all the gear.  Yes it can be much more dangerous.  That much is obvious.  What might not be obvious though is that it is equally that much more rewarding, and the fluid uninterrupted movement of climbing with no attachments is pure joy!
So my plan worked out perfectly.  My pace and my timing was also right on par.  I didn't catch up with any of the other teams on the route till we were all near the top of the North Summit.  The beginning of the route is long and continuous, so I didn't want to have to stop or try to pass another party on the lower sections of the route.  I started up the climb sometime after 12 noon.  With the blood still dried on my hands from the day before, I jammed my fingers and hands into the cracks and with calm and controlled steady breathing started up the crux first pitch.  Finger cracks are my favourite! and this route has so many perfect fingers on it that I felt like a teenager on ecstasy.
The summit traverse; now here's something not to be taken lightly.  The summit traverse on Bugaboo Spire involves 3 rappels and about 3 rope lengths (or pitches) of climbing.  The exposure at the top is as good as it gets.  As I already said, this was the best day every!  And summit traverse helped put that into perspective.  One place in particular had some really delicate climbing directly above the East Face.  Every step sideways bought my gaze downward towards my feet and the 2000ft of air hovering between me and the glacier below.  Just amazing.  It was so riveting that I had to stop, tighten my grip on the rock, and take a picture.  Wow!!
Wow is right.  I didn't make it back to my camp last night till about 12 midnight.  Now it's 9:30am, and I am getting ready for day three of this weeks three day challenge.  I'm feeling really good this morning and I have a couple of options of things I can climb today.  Later in the week I really want to tell you about all this amazing new stuff that I've been learning about with my diet.  It is really making all the difference for me and it is giving me so much more energy and clarity I have to share the secret with you.  Stay tuned.
Different day, same smelly t-shirt.

The Northeast Ridge is the line between the sun and the shade!
Special thanks go out to Maryeve, RJ, Joe, and Scott.  Thanks for teaming up with me and helping me get off the mountain.  Without all of you I would not have been able to climb this great route!  Your awesome, and I hope to meet up with you again some where.

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