Photo TR: Gandalf (Humbug Spires)


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
This thread has been locked
Messages 1 - 20 of total 23 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>

Trad climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 19, 2007 - 01:40pm PT

Every time I have attempted a summit bid on the Wedge, we have ended up getting stormed off. Last year, on two separate occasions I got to listen to the bail 'biners hum with electricity as I waited to rap. This attempt, I figured (with my luck) would probably be no different.

We drove in the night before, and camped near the trailhead. The morning came quite quickly, and we made for the trail. The time went pretty quickly and before I knew it we were within viewing distance of the Wedge.

We came in a party of 6 and were the first to arrive. Travis and Pauly opted for Tiny Tim, a sporty bolt line near the left skyline. Brett and Billy went for the classic Mutt & Jeff, which is the obvious crack line cutting right to left under the 'cyclops eye'. Pat really had been wanting to do Gandalf for some time now. Legend has it that the Dirty Sox recruited Pat Callis for this climb after a few different attempts. It had a reputation for being stout and run out, but Pat wanted to drag me up it, I wasn't going to turn down the opportunity.

To get to the Balcony Ledge you have a handful of options. We ended up doing a mix of Spellcaster and Balcony Direct, and made pretty good time.

Out on the ledge, the wind was really whipping. It was pretty crazy. Pat and I discussed our options: Crux pitches in the super-wind, bail, or wait it out.

So we ended up chilling out on the Balcony for an hour or so, waiting for the wind to die down. It didn't. Finally Pat decided just to start up, wind be damned.

The zig back left through the roof is the technical crux. Quite the seam. Pat styled it, placing a number of BD micros.

When I got to the upper belay, Pat was all smiles, and so was I. I was smiling because I could see Travis on the summit peering over and hooting and hollering at us, knowing we would actually summit this time. Pat, I think, was smiling for different reasons. He points out the bail gear above, and reminds me of the run out that is coming up on the final pitch. After that last pitch I had completely forgotten it.

Pat casually climbs up the petering out seam and reaches the bail gear. "Woot! Woot! I guess this is how you score hb offsets now!" Pat hollers down. We laugh, and Pat fiddles in a couple more pieces at the end of the seam, the top of which is capped with a thin plate.

"I can see the bolt up me"

Pat sets off, reaching high on both side of the plate, mantling into the less than vertical terrain above. His right foot cuts, shooting out behind him, curling like the tail of a scorpion. Somehow he stays on and makes some of the stranger noises I have ever heard from my brother. He gingerly moves up and left, just out of sight, and I feel him make the clip.

"Wooooooooo! Pat Callis is a madman! And it ain't over yet!"

A few long minutes later and Pat tops out to cheers on the summit. I follow behind, and shake my head in disbelief. The terrain above is stout and there is only a single 1/4" bolt protecting the final 50 feet, drilled from the only available stance. Wow, glad I followed this one.....

Some summit shots....




Ice climber
Ashland, Or
Apr 19, 2007 - 01:48pm PT
sweet! I like the wedge, done a few routes on it myself...
feelio Babar

Trad climber
Sneaking up behind you...
Apr 19, 2007 - 01:49pm PT
Kick as TK. Got rained off the wedge myself!

Can't wait to go back! Great Pics as usual!
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Apr 19, 2007 - 01:54pm PT
Beautiful looking crag and nice TR. Pat Callis was one of the early pioneers of Suicide Rock climbing before moving to MT. Would love to visit your neck of the woods for some climbing sometime.

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Apr 19, 2007 - 01:56pm PT
Wow, nice job. Looks like there are some awesome lines on that rock. Good job and tell Pat he's da-man!

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Apr 19, 2007 - 02:13pm PT
Looks like a most excellent adventure, wind, perfect granite, and all.

Apr 19, 2007 - 02:17pm PT
They should have TKingsbury appreciation thread here.

TKingsbury always has awesome TR and lots of different photos of unusual places.

Thanks TKingsbury!
handsome B

Gym climber
Apr 19, 2007 - 02:21pm PT
Great stuff! Being out in the wild puts a whole new spin on the spicy stuff.

belgrade, mt
Apr 19, 2007 - 02:37pm PT
Once again another fine TR by TK. Thanks.

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
Apr 19, 2007 - 02:51pm PT
Great trip report. Excellent series of photos, made me feel like I was there. Look forward to going east this summer!

Trad climber
Butte, America
Apr 19, 2007 - 03:29pm PT
Good tick Pat on "Gandalf"--it's one of the few Wedge routes that I haven't done yet.

Nice photo of "The Edge", a good 3-pitch 600' 5.8
pimp daddy wayne

The Bat Caves
Apr 19, 2007 - 04:14pm PT
Looks sweet

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 19, 2007 - 04:21pm PT
Some really kind, unexpected compliments.

Thanks all.

I thought you'd like that shot Hutch...I gotta get on that thing.


Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 19, 2007 - 04:39pm PT
Nice photos and TR - thanks for sharing. Pat Callis also climbed in Washington state in the 60s with Fred Beckey and others - he has several early first ascents on Snow Creek Wall in Leavenworth. He also pioneered a lot of ice climbing in Montana.

Trad climber
South Side Billburg
Apr 19, 2007 - 04:54pm PT
thanks for the great TR and photos!

Trad climber
Marysville, MT
Apr 19, 2007 - 05:05pm PT

Las Vegas
Apr 19, 2007 - 05:11pm PT
Tom ,thanks .I always look forward to your TR's and pictures and luckily there are lots of them. Congrats

Rolla, Misery
Apr 19, 2007 - 05:12pm PT
Hooty Hoot Tom! Great TR and the photos were killer!!!

Flank of the Bighorns
Jun 7, 2013 - 01:02pm PT
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Feb 2, 2016 - 12:23pm PT did I miss this TR? Awesome!

Tom, remember running into you on a trip out from the Wedge. Can't remember if we all got rained off or not...maybe...

Pat was my chemistry professor in 1981...too fun. Still gettin' 'er done up there, methinks.

Messages 1 - 20 of total 23 in this topic << First  |  < Previous  |  Show All  |  Next >  |  Last >>
Return to Forum List
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks

Try a free sample topo!

SuperTopo on the Web

Recent Route Beta