Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tangerine Trip VI A2+, El Cap 11/07

Onto the final climb of the year, Tangerine Trip once again with Ivo. The fall weather was still holding and was no excuse to pack up and head elsewhere so Ivo and I decided to huck one more lap on the Trip to see what we could do with our time. Any better than our previous 16 hours and we'd both be happy. Still the goal was 10 hours or so.
This time we would climb the route in 2 blocks. Ivo lead us through the traverse and this time he found a better way to clean it. Ivo put leaver biners on all the pieces so I could just lower off the anchor and not clean it at all. Huge time saver!
Ivo got us to the ledge on 9 in 6 or so hours! So we were on pace to do nearly what we wanted. Everything on my block went well until the start of pitch 12. I short-fixed like normal and put myself on belay with 25-30 feet of slack so I could move quickly. The first move off the anchor was a huge reach to a fixed nut so I top stepped and got it after a little struggling. I raced up my ladders to get the next piece and as I top stepped the piece blew!
I then took a 40 footer onto the anchor with no screamer. Oops. It felt like getting hit by a truck. The rope was behind my arm so when it came to it snapped my shoulder really hard and I was bloody from sliding down the wall as I fell. I screamed like a kicked dog and was sure my arm was broken. Ivo told me to stay put but I awkwardly jugged to the anchor and waited for him. I hate hanging from ropes! At the anchor I self-medicated and thought about what to do. My arm wasn't that bad and adrenaline had me all jacked up.
I declined Ivo offers to lead and set off on the pitch. It took him most of my lead to get the clove hitch I just welded in the fall to come untied. I had to place a head to get where the nut had been and then proceeded to weld a pin its place! My shoulder hurt the more I kept climbing but it was gonna hurt no matter what so I kept going. We finally summited after 13.5 grueling hours. It was dark when we topped out and we then scurried about the summit to find warmth and water. Walking down could wait till morning for sure.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Aaron has a blackbelt in "crazy" - thanks for posting up your tales. It helps keep the old and fat crowd (me) inspired!

Bill Doctorman Photography said...

Yo Aaron,

Looks like I won't be in the valley until probably late fall this season, I'm still game for shooting some photos next time we're both around.