We left Fresno at 7:00am were blowin past Mile High Lookout in no time and were rackin by 9:00.
We did a little trail maintenance on the way in, just clippin some suckers and prettyin' stuff up a bit. Its a 40 minute or so approach to the base.
You get to gaze North toward The Balls, The Minaretes and Mammoth, just a stones throw away. I love looking out, from far away, onto routes I've done yonder.
Eventually, formations start to rise out of the forest.
P1. 190 feet. Starts in a nice crack. Goes to facey knob, over a steep bulge, then into a lil straight in crack action, then straight up a nice pimply face to a great two bolt anchor.
P2. Long one. Prolly 180-190 feet. Bust left 20ish feet and up to stegosaurus-knob-o-ramaland. Then tiptoie back right past a crack, and up a runout 30 feet or so to a bolt. Then dance back left 15 feet, reach waaay up to some funky plates and go straight overhead on massive jugs to a little left facing corner.
P3. Da Crux. Another 200 foot Pitch. Natural Anchor at the top of this one. Step down and right for 8 feet. Then do an unprotected loooong reach to a chickenhead while toes are smeared in a skinny horizontal. Its all there, but is a bit creepy since you'd fall back and down below the belay. I give it a 5.9c+ rating. They say it's 5.8. But I like to inflate ratings since I'm not really strong. It was super cool and I floated it like a superhero. Ironman would have been impressed and Black Widow (The Scarlet Johansen version)would have had a crush on me if she saw me slay in this move. Its that cool.
P4. A short, slabby walk up the right side of the summit, with 6-700 feet of exposure off your right fingertips. This leads to a nice two bolt summit anchor, which will serve as your rap into the notch behind. Legend has it that the first ascentionists "downmanteled" then jumped the exposed gap with nary more than a hip belay off the summit. Yikers.
Without my partner leading the way up and down left to the start of the raps I would have been helplessly lost in a sea of summit boulders and dropoffs to nowhere, but we safely negotiated a bit of downscrambling and five raps. We collected tat and beefed up the raps as a public service and because its not fun to trust your life to rotten webbing that looks like the tattered remains of mummified egyptian chonies.
On the hike back down, I found a sweet little peregrine feather. A great way to end a great day out with a new partner and splitter weather on a big formation. And it now adorns my helmet, Layton Kor style.
It shall give me wings. It will grant me superhero powers on climbs to come. They will call me....Captain Obvious.