I had decided to climb Mt. Wilson two years before when I was climbing in Red Rocks, and after looking at it for several trips, things finally came together.
We hiking in the night before and camped behind the Wilson Pimple. The alarm buzzed at 4:30 in the morning and we were moving, stashing gear behind some boulders and finishing the approach to Pink Tornado Left (5.9). We got a little lost along the way, but were at the base of the climb maybe an hour after sunrise. Not bad we were thinking.
DON'T GO RIGHT AT THE END OF THE FIRST PITCH!!!
After going the wrong way, I had to lead a 5.9 death pitch, complete with crap gear, hollow flakes, sandy breaking edges, and a section with loose microwave size blocks that I really didn't want to kick onto my belayer. This was not going well.
But Owen saved the day with a mellow traverse to get us to the top of pitch two where we were supposed to be. We fired off the rest of Pink Tornado pretty well, no more losing the route and soon we were up in Sherwood Forest, and after snacking we were gearing up for Gwondonna Land Boogie. It was getting later, maybe around 5ish, but we were committed, and ready to bivi if we must.
I led off on the first 5.9 pitch of Gwondonna, and it was immediately 30ft off the ground before I could get a first piece (I chose the more secure face, instead of the "awkward, difficult to protect" crack). Then Owen finished off the second 5.8 pitch, and belayed me up as the sun set. Cue the night climbing.
The bivi ledge was at the top of pitch 5, so we had to keep going. I led the cruz 5.10 pitch in the dark, and with the addition of the most bolts I'd seen on the route the whole day, I really enjoyed it. We swapped two more pitches and finally reached our sleeping spot for the night. What a piece of sh*t! The ledge was not that big, sloped towards the edge, and was covered in thistles. We kicked a small plot of ground clean and proceeded to pass out in our emergency bivi bags.
Two hours later I woke up, shivering and wet. D@%*it, these things don't breathe at all. I once had a friend tell me that it is only an epic if you are spooning your partner. Well, this was an epic. We shivered through the night, and then sat up as the sky slowly brightened, and watched the sun rise over Las Vegas. We worshiped the sun as the ancients did, soaking in as much warmth as we could.
We finished the ledge traverse, then I led the f#%*ing chimney. I hate chimneys. Owen led a corner pitch, and then I led off on what was to be the last technical pitch. And totally screwed it up. Mentally exhausted, I traversed left around the chossy corner to find better gear. I found more gear, although the climbing was still chossy. But now I had traversed left when at the end of the pitch, it went right. So after climbing further up and fighting rope drag, I eventually went back into the corner where I found a stance. Pretty certain that I saw the end of the pitch, I pulled up 30 feet of rope, because at this point the drag was horrendous. Then I led off to the finish, with the slack looping below me. I measured it just right and yelled as loud as I could as I clipped the anchors. A scramble and we were on top, yelling and hugging, amazed that we had finished the climb.
In conclusion, over 36 hours we split 5 liters of water, ~2500 calories worth of food, 18 pitches, a frozen bivi, and 9 or 10 miles of hiking.
P.S. Oh yeah, I twisted my ankle on the hike out and subsequently missed my flight, which cost me $300. Most expensive twisted ankle yet.