Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Tempest VI A4+, solo 9/07

My bro Bobo shows up in the valley with his mom near the end of August. He has everything ready to go solo a new route on El Cap, or so he thinks. He asks me if I will simul solo a route near him, something we have tried but never completed many times before. Then we run into our good friend Matt from Nevada at the bear boxes. 2 years ago we convinced Matt to solo Lurking Fear for his first wall ever. He borrowed what he needed and seriously stepped up to the plate and sent like a mother fucker! He didn't even know where the east ledges were so he hiked down the falls trail and resigned himself to never climbing el cap again. Every man can lie to himself on such matters, with in a year he was back and soloed Iron Son! We knew we could convince him to join us!
We all began hiking loads together to the base of our respective routes, Dave-Dawn Direct, Matt-Mescalito and myself-tempest. We all started out getting ready at the same pace. Then Dave slowed as usual to accommodate for women and such distractions. Matt and I continued on near identical paces. Then Ivo wanted to solo a route too! Four soloists on the face within spitting distance of each other!
Ivo adopted more of Dave's pace and Matt and I blasted without them. We kept pace the whole time. It was cool to have someone suffering alongside you but still getting to solo. Dave and Ivo would blast as we summited nine days later.
Tempest was beautiful, golden granite, steep as fuck and hard aid nearly every pitch. I adopted a casual pace, not too early to start and never climbing past 3 pm. I really enjoy the time in the portaledge plus it was scorching hot, think climbing on a mirror in the sun all day, fucking gnarly. The climbing was fun and hard. Nothing SUPER-dangerous but still huge fall potential on some pitches.
Only minor epics on the wall. I got off route mid way and climbed one hundred feet off route on hard aid only to have to reverse the whole traversing pitch. I almost shit my pants near the top and proceeded to shit on some of my gear while Spaniards on the summit watched. And worst of all I got sun poisoning. My face and arms blistered so badly I was unrecognizable to my friends. It remained that way for almost 2 months.
The route was great and Matt was great company, ask him about rice and water if you ever meet him. We summited with 10 minutes of each other and hiked down to greet Dave and Ivo right as they began their respective routes!

No comments: