Trip Report
Evolution
Thursday August 22, 2013 4:47pm
Full TR here:
Stevee B's Golden Incalescent Blog

Aaron cracking the summit register on Huxley.
Aaron cracking the summit register on Huxley.
Credit: Stevee B

Captain's Log, Stardate 2013-08-17, Mount Huxley. The time is 7:45 pm, and we've completed the Evolution Traverse, 17h 12m since leaving our tents at Darwin Bench. I feel like I'm three feet underground, I have to go home. I'm breathing LSD. I need to go to the planet surface and be naked. Permanently.

Aaron on Mendel
Aaron on Mendel
Credit: Stevee B

Our buddy Kiff Alcocer hung with us until the Darwin downclimbs, but then took off and reached Huxley in 13 1/2 hours.

Special thanks to all the S'topians and others for the beta and advice. There's a ton already written, which we've linked to at the end of the blog entry, but on the chance that I don't take the time to write a follow up logistics post, I hoped to highlight a few things.

- The rock is incredible and worth a trip in whatever fashion suits ones abilities. One day, five days, who cares, make it happen.

climbing the 5.6 crack on Mendel, pre-dawn
climbing the 5.6 crack on Mendel, pre-dawn
Credit: Stevee B

 There is plenty of fun climbing remaining after peak 13,332'. Though the crux may be in the rear view mirror, the fun isn't over. This section is worth its own visit if you felt so inclined.

-We found no mandatory upclimbing any more difficult than 5.7. The route we took down off Darwin was 5.8 but so loose as to feel more difficult. I personally am a soft (occasional) 5.9 leader and felt "comfortable" (well mostly comfortable) unroped throughout. Alex Few and Jed Porter wrote a recent TR indicating that competent and perhaps somewhat specialized roped climbing techniques can be employed to provide greatly increased safety at minimal time cost.

 The key to a pleasant Darwin descent may be to drop directly below the summit and cut hard left toward the ridge, even crossing one of the towers on the east rather than the west. The dirty downclimbs are no fun, and we understand the raps aren't much better.

Steve downclimbing Darwin gullies
Steve downclimbing Darwin gullies
Credit: Stevee B

Steve and Kiff on Darwin photo: Aaron Ramras
Steve and Kiff on Darwin photo: Aaron Ramras
Credit: Stevee B

Aaron downclimbing Darwin chutes.
Aaron downclimbing Darwin chutes.
Credit: Stevee B
 We left camp with no puffies, light windbreakers, 3L water each, a 30m 7.7mm rope and a sub-2-pound rack consisting of a #2, .75, three nuts, a tricam, a slung hex, and two alpine draws. We didn't use any of the rack or rope but I wouldn't tell anyone to go without as having bail options may be worth the weight of at least the rope, nuts, and some tat.

 No water on route except the lake below Haeckel. No snow, and only a small patch of ice on Gould that wouldn't have helped much anyway.

-brought light (8oz) harnesses but didn't use them

-better fitting shoes are probably cheaper than the podiatrist appointments I'm now paying for. Sizing down a 1/2 size on Gandalfs wasn't a great way to go. Great shoe for the route but boy does size matter.

-Aaron @ SMC, a big tip of the hat to you, sir.



Full TR here:
Stevee B's Golden Incalescent Blog

  Trip Report Views: 1,611
Stevee B
About the Author
Steve Brezovec lives in Oakland, CA, where he spends his time splitboarding, trail running and wondering why he left Utah.

Comments
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Comment on this Trip Report
Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
  Aug 22, 2013 - 04:49pm PT
+1.

Lucky you missed the big rains the next day....
matty

Trad climber
under the sea
  Aug 22, 2013 - 04:51pm PT
RAD...Thanks for the reminder I need to sierra this season!
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
  Aug 22, 2013 - 05:13pm PT
Excellent! Got more photos?
Stevee B

Trad climber
Oakland, CA
Author's Reply  Aug 22, 2013 - 06:05pm PT
We felt beyond lucky about the weather. Truly blessed. I'll post some more photos tonight and fill this out.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Aug 22, 2013 - 06:36pm PT
Some good beta. Want to do this thing bad!
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
  Aug 22, 2013 - 06:51pm PT
Nice blog post. Appreciate the photos…

What's with the star log-on-LSD two times…??
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Aug 22, 2013 - 06:52pm PT
Killer stuff, good job you guys. I dream of the day I get a chance to do this route.
SeanH

Trad climber
SLC
  Aug 22, 2013 - 07:20pm PT
Rad! Thanks for postin.
GhoulweJ

Trad climber
El Dorado Hills, CA
  Aug 22, 2013 - 07:23pm PT
BOOM!
Nice work
noriko nakagawa

Trad climber
the bubble, co
  Aug 22, 2013 - 07:56pm PT
Steve, you did a great job of capturing the route in pics and in words with your blogpost. Congrats on a speedy send! Second time's a charm (I say from experience) ;)

-Michelle
Darwin

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
  Aug 22, 2013 - 08:10pm PT
just: thanks and nice!
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  Aug 24, 2013 - 03:45pm PT
This TR could use a little more time on the front page.
10b4me

climber
  Aug 25, 2013 - 01:06pm PT
Good job
I like this caption:
"Peter Croft waiting patiently for me to get the hell out of his way on Cardinal Pinnacle. "
Would it be any other way?
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
  Aug 25, 2013 - 01:02pm PT
Nice - thanks!
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Aug 25, 2013 - 03:33pm PT
Thanks to those who bumped, would have missed this outstanding TR without your solid work. Thanks, OP; thanks, bumpers.

Trying to discern whether you meant this literally, or were being cheeky?

I personally am a soft (occasional) 5.9 leader and felt "comfortable" (well mostly comfortable) unroped throughout.

If true, even bigger props to you for going so big!

Edit: just read through the full TR on your blog. Clearly, you are the type of person who means what he says. So, so, so inspiring and awesome! LOVED it. Particularly dug this picture:



As well as the Golden Triangle shot:



Also, great idea to use Strava.

What did you bring for food? Or did you mention that in the TR?
jstn

Trad climber
monrovia, ca
  Aug 25, 2013 - 03:50pm PT
Nice TR~

You say Jed Porter, he isn't from Maine, is he? I crossed paths in a volunteer program for a while with a Jed I-think-his-last-name-was-Porter.

Thanks~
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
  Aug 25, 2013 - 07:29pm PT
awesome, TFPU.
Stevee B

Trad climber
Oakland, CA
Author's Reply  Aug 25, 2013 - 08:16pm PT
@jingy there's a little audio clip in the TR that explains the reference. It doesn't seem to load on iPhones. Just the kind of comic relief that every trip needs to cut the tense moments.

@le_bruce I pretty much meant that at face value. I've led the occasional .10 trad but I hardly thinks that makes me solid at the grade or even at .9. Just trying to be a good student. Highball slot canyoneering has made me oddly comfortable with fairly stiff downclimbs, however. Aaron and I have done a lot of climby routes in Utah, like this one (link) that I think prepared us well for the d/c's on Evolution.

For food I carried a mix of six hammer gels (decaf), six caffeinated Clif Shots, crampbuster clif shots, Justin's PB, Bonk Busters/lara bars, and a pepperonni sandwich. The target was 150/cals hour for 20 hours. In retrospect this may have been a little light, and I should have packed 200 cals/hr and just ate a little heavy on the front end when I had the most appetite. Also carried 2L of water + Gu brew + 1 1/2 L water for the first section, then 2L Scratch + water +1 1/2L water for the Haeckel-->Huxley section. I felt the energy fall off in the last hour hiking back to camp, probably due in part to an excruciating blood blister under my big toe that had me pretty hobbled and a little distracted from the eating & drinking maintenance.
@jstn I don't know Jed personally, just from his online TR and the esteem some other friends on the eastside hold him in.

As a bit of an epilogue, Aaron and Kiff drove to Wyoming and made an attempt on the Grand Traverse a few days after this. They made it a good way but got hailed off before they could finish the last three peaks. Jeez, kids today...

Also, posted a few more photos. Enjoy!
marty(r)

climber
beneath the valley of ultravegans
  Aug 25, 2013 - 10:13pm PT
Super rad! Wish I'd made it back there this season. Keep getting after it for those of us who can't.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
  Aug 25, 2013 - 11:50pm PT
Fantastic!

I still have emotional scars from Imlay...ha ha.

Great TR!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Aug 26, 2013 - 07:41pm PT
Wow, looks like a huge day!!!
Congrats!
splitclimber

climber
Sonoma County
  Sep 5, 2013 - 02:43pm PT
yeah Steve!

congrats! let's climb something less committing sometime. ;)

readers should check the blog. some great photos.
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