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Forum Index -> Trip Reports -> prusik pk west ridge 9-14-08
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b00
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Joined: 29 Sep 2003
Posts: 785 | TRs | Pics

Post Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:02 am    prusik pk west ridge 9-14-08
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prusik pk west ridge 9-14-08
really fun climb that was mostly easier than its rating with a lot of really good solid rock foot and hand holds.
my buddy t-man obtained a permit for snow lake in the enchantments and was nice enough to invite me along.  our party of six
parked at the snow creek trailhead and hiked the easy and fast trail up to our camp at the top of the upper snow lake - a nice
camp site with multiple flat tent spots, water and toilet close by.
we started from camp at 5:30am by headlamp.  in a few minutes i shut mine off, my friends kept theirs on until at least 6:00am.
i was slow and was a ways behind my friends after also stopping for water, photos
and using the facilities.  our thoughts of possibly having the
route to ourselves were soon dashed as i ran into a couple who were also planning on doing the route.  i ran into them at prusik pass.
since i could not see my buddies and which direction the went from the pass, i asked the couple if the obvious climber's path leading
toward prusik peak was the right way.  no they said, so i continued on the trail.  but something inside did not feel right.  after a few
minutes, i looked up and saw them walking the very trail they said no to.  wow!  unbelievable!  well i headed back and walked the trail
and soon i could see the big balanced rock where the climb begins.  i was miffed that these people seemingly obviously mislead me.  i
continued to the balanced rock and caught up with my buddies and the couple.  i usually don't like to speak in anger.  and as most of my
friends will attest, it is rare for me not to speak.  but, i kept quiet.  one of our party had done the route before and his rope team lead out.
my twin sister (not related) actually led up this first pitch for him.  most of the beta talked about heading up and then heading left on pitch 1,
but my twin headed right to almost the ridge.  i was going to shout out, but was encouraged to keep quiet.  she later said the climbing on the
right was quite fun and easy.  back to my favorite couple, who had found a way to have my buddies wait so they could go second.  i find out
they had told my friends i had taken a wrong turn on the trail. huh? wow! unbelievable!  then i listened to them talk.  they talked about
this being their second alpine climb and i could hear a little fear in the voices.  they actually sounded nice.  i then came to a different
conclusion about them.  one i hope is true.  maybe they did not try to mislead me so they could get ahead.  maybe they were so nervous, that they
just made a mistake in what they told me and were so narrowly focused on themselves that common courtesy was not something were capable of.
this made sense.  so i kept my mouth shut.  i talked with my friends and when i told them what the couple had done, my friends were surprised as
this couple acted really nice to them.  i guess people do funny things when they are gripped.  this was also a good lesson for me to learn:  don't
think negatively about what others do as there may be unforeseen circumstances.

the couple led out, then our second party, then t-man led me up by the chain.  the first pitches were really
fun and really easy.  t-man competently and patiently led, doing a great job with gear placements for both himself and me as a follower.
while belaying the first pitch, yet another two parties arrived.  instead of following behind us, the first of these parties decides to pass us.
this is now officially a circus.  this was not a problem for t-man as he is pretty mellow and as this is his second year leading. so he is not a speed demon.  this was not a problem for me either.  a few days before when i was climbing saber on castle rock, a route i had followed numerous times, i was really slow and generally stunk up the route.  since i was worried i might be slow, being passed was a good thing.  pretty soon the next party caught up with us (who were in such a hurry they forgot their rack on the summit - one of our friends brought it down to them).
then another pair, a very interesting pair, caught up to us before the third pitch.  two guys, one older and a 20 something.  the kid told me that his partner, krag was his baseball and soccer coach in third grade and that both krag and krag's father were and are climbing legends.  the kid was climbing well, but was a little gripped as this was his first real alpine climb.
both of them had really great attitudes and ended up playing leap frog with us up the mountain.  krag sang a number of great climbing songs to me, all about death.  one i remember was to the tune of glory, glory hallelujah.  he obviously knew how to have a good time.
the third pitch is considered to be the crux.  it is said to be a runout 5.7 friction slab.  it definitely is not protectable, but it really isn't a friction
slab as the side/corner is a little like a hand rail and the slab has footholds, thin as they may be.

t-man quickly drummed up his courage and competently and confidently led up this "crux".  then the next short pitch had a little jamming and a mantle move.  from here we belayed the 5.6 lieback flake.  the hand holds on the flake were so awesome that i am not sure why this would be rated 5.6, but hey, it was fun!  another mantle move led to a ledge where we could choose between the 5.8+ chimney directly above us or the 5.3 chimney around the corner to the right.  krag easily led up the 5.8+ chimney but had trouble with hauling his pack up behind him once he reached the summit.  t-man led the easy chimney which is
hidden from view around the corner to the right.  since i had a pack, i was worried about getting caught in the chimney.  to avoid getting caught, i basically climbed partly inside, but mostly outside of the chimney.  at first i got a little worried and yelled "up rope" (my favroite command :>), but then it just got  easier and in a few seconds i was on the summit.


this route was a lot of fun, went a lot quicker than i thought and was easier than expected.  now the downer: upon reaching the summit, i looked over
and the peak right next to us was taller.  hey, i bet it isn't as fun to climb.

our first party had patiently waited 2 whole hours for us to finally summit.  so now we put our three ropes to good use and set up a bunch of single rope
rappels in a leap frog fashion
and then downclimbed and traversed back to the balanced rock.  on the way over i witnessed a native ritual:

we gathered up our stuff and thanks to t-man's great suggestion, we stopped at gnome tarn for some classic photos:

we got back to our camp at the upper snow lake and left camp at 6:00pm.  since i was no longer suffering from the morning slows, i got ahead of
everyone.  i waited a few times for folks to catch up.  but then i just boogied down and waited at the car.  i got there about 8:30pm travelling
about 20 minutes by headlamp.

unfortunately by the time we got done car shuttling to leavenworth, all the restaurants, including subway, were closed.  fortunately my good
natured friends agreed to go to safeway, so we had some dinner.  after a great day climbing, the ride back never seems too long :>)

references: climbing wa's mtns, summitpost.org

equipment: 60m rope, 3 aliens, doubles of cams from .5 to #2, set of nuts, no axes, no 'pons


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Ingunn
Hiking Viking



Joined: 01 Feb 2008
Posts: 1720 | TRs | Pics
Location: Redmond
Post Tue Sep 23, 2008 1:39 am   
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Goatenglow!
b00 wrote:


Great report! We met two guys heading for Prusik as we were going down Aasgard on the 14th, and I remember being surprised that people actually climb that thing.. eek.gif That summit photo gives me the shivers!
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John Morrow
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Joined: 03 Apr 2007
Posts: 874 | TRs | Pics
Location: Roslyn
Post Tue Sep 23, 2008 8:35 am   
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Great shots, nice work.  After what seemed like a hiatus it is great to see your frequent TR's again, b00!  Prusik's on the lfe list for me!
John
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Tom
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Joined: 15 Dec 2001
Posts: 14163 | TRs | Pics

Post Tue Sep 23, 2008 8:47 am   
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Nice TR.  FYI, the larger sizes weren't showing up because google/picasa prevents hotlinking images larger than 800 pixels.  I appended an ?imgmax=800 to your links to fix the problem but in the future you may want to use the pics button / choose the picasa option which should automatically do this.
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b00
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Joined: 29 Sep 2003
Posts: 785 | TRs | Pics

Post Tue Sep 23, 2008 11:19 pm   
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Ingunn wrote:
Goatenglow! ...

:>)

Tom wrote:
Nice TR.  FYI, the larger sizes weren't showing up because google/picasa prevents hotlinking images larger than 800 pixels.  I appended an ?imgmax=800 to your links to fix the problem but in the future you may want to use the pics button / choose the picasa option which should automatically do this.

thanks tom - i will try to do better.

John Morrow wrote:
Great shots, nice work.  After what seemed like a hiatus it is great to see your frequent TR's again, b00!  Prusik's on the lfe list for me!
John

i have not taken hiatus, i've just been on so many trips that my wife says i like a sailor - blowing into port for short stays.  i was home maybe 5 days over 3 wks.

btw john, after seeing your name in so many summit registers, i would love to see your "life list" .
:>)
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