|Happy Birthday to Me: on top of Gorillas in the Mist, blizzard-style.|
I recently turned 34. I had one birthday wish. To climb in the mountains. Unfortunately, our never-ending heatwave drought of a summer decided to end that same day. No worries. Just call up Jens. If your psyched, he's psyched, and even if your not psyched, he's psyched enough for the both of you.
So there we were, driving over Blewett Pass in a steady rain at 5 in the morning, laughing at our determination, curious to see how the day would go. We left the Ingalls trailhead late, knowing that if we really were going to climb on the West Face Wall of Mt. Stuart it would have to be during the peak warmth of the day.
Light snow pelted our faces in a steady wind as we rounded the first pass and soon became gale force as we creeped closer. Nonetheless our charge remained steady, we at least had to look at the wall.
|Uncharacteristically NOT dusty and hot...|
|The one and only West Face Wall|
Somedays you just gotta believe. The wind was so rugged towards the end of our approach that I couldn't take a deep breath and honestly worried about getting blown off the pass. Nonetheless as we descended into the basin beneath the face we realized that it was surprisingly calm and pondered the idea that we might actually get to do some rock climbing.
|Add in that song from Ferris Bueller's Day Off when they open his friends garage and see the Mustang: oohhhhh yyeeeahhh, BUMP BUMP!|
Jens lead off for the first two and I took over for the monkey traverse. The traverse was a bit moist. I took off on pitch four in a light snowfall, which soon picked up. Before I knew it it was dumping and the rock was soaked. Soon thereafter the holds became covered with ice.
|Jens going ape on the monkey traverse, love that pitch!|
|And the adventure really begins.|
|The O.G. GITM storm traverse in classic stormy conditions.|
|Summers over suckas!|
|Jens simply adding another hardman point to the collection|