month 8 of the Long's Peak Project
KienerÕs Route wasnÕt the plan. Pervertical Sanctuary was the plan. But Mother Nature didnÕt get the memo and ordered up a big rainstorm the night before. We hiked in early, passing one team already giving up on the Diamond. The snowfield at the base of the wall was hard, but there were steps kicked and my hobnailed running shoes gripped nicely. We geared up at the base of the North Chimney and I led upwards on our doubled lead rope. Once I ran out a hundred feet of rope, Hardly simul-climbed below me. We caught a group of four climbers, all soloing up the North Chimney. This is why I donÕt solo the North Chimney any more. ItÕs not any slower to simul-climb the chimney and it is marginally safer.
The four climbers were headed for the Casual Route and one look up at face showed them the route was a waterfall. They bailed down the Fields Chimney rappels while Hardly and I traversed over the start of Pervertical. It too was wet. Most of the wall was streaming with water. IÕve never seen the wall this wet before. We bailed, but not on Longs, just on the Diamond. We continued traversing Broadway clear to the start of KienerÕs Route. We took a short break here to eat and drink and then Hardly led one pitch above Broadway. I followed, simul-climbing, until Hardly went too high, missing a traverse to the right. He set up a quick rappel while I lounged on a nice ledge awaiting his arrival. We coiled the rope after that and soloed the rest of the way to the summit. WeÕd soloed the route before and it is a joy.
We took another break before the summit to shed some clothing and eat some more. The weather was nice and we had a great day out. We didnÕt climb the Diamond, but I did get my August ascent.
And so it goesÉ