Thursday, February 4, 2010

I think I've already got my first climb after the RMI Alaska trip scoped out

Man, I am getting itchy... itchy like trigger finger itchy to get to the top of some big rocks in serious-ass cold this spring, clad toastily from head to foot in my First Ascent gear--the self-proclaimed largest privately held collection in the world (lol), and then it hit me...

I've already told you about Mt. Timpanogos in my last entry and posted some late summer pics, but THIS is what it looks like all winter long, and well into the spring months:

Pretty cool... and it occurs to me that my brother, and experienced rock climber himself who cut his teeth in one of the golden ages of rock climbing, and who has succeeded on multiple ascents of many routes on the faces of Yosemite's Half Dome and El Capitan, would almost certainly be down for trying the Everest Ridge route up the west face of Timpanogos with me when the time comes.

The route looks like this:

And when you get to the top of the south summit (just a few vertical feet short of the true summit) the Utah Valley inversions common in winter can get you a view like this:

Wow. What better training ground than a mountain that runs in my blood?

Make no mistake... even at ~11.7kft, this is a serious rock, and it can bite--and even kill if you're not paying attention. Growing up, I heard the reports of day-trail hikers who headed off-piste into the steeps or or of those attempting wintry ascents for more challenge who ended up needing helicopter rescue, or even dying on this mountain.

I have tremendous respect for her, but I'm now also completely intrigued by climbing the front. There's another route on the back side -- Razorback Ridge -- that offers some interesting, and even more challenging possibilities, too, but I feel like that's one for another trip farther down the line, and with more experience behind me.

For now, Everest Ridge is enough to blow my mind and fire my imagination until the time comes to do it in late May.

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