My plan was to remove a bunch of useless gear/trash and send it to my friend Sarah who does these very cool art projects with retired climbing gear. See the whole thread here.
We will then auction off the art and send all the money to the Access Fund and/or other worth climbing non-profits.
Back to the climb. Here is the gear we brought below. Neither Sean or I had a decent rope so I stopped by Berkeley Ironworks on my way up. It took me a little time to select the rope because I have been climbing El Cap so little in the last 5 years I forgot whether 9.8 or 10.4 was the appropriate Nose In A Day rope. Sean laughed at me and explained 9.8 is a SUPER BEEFY nose in a day rope. Luckily I chose a 9.8 x 70m.
We got a super non alpine start of 8:30. Just like last week, it was warm. I started in a t shirt and stayed that way until back at the car.
Climbing with Sean is like climbing with a true rope gun: on most pitches, the rope would go from my belay all the way to next belay with only a few pieces clipped. And a few pitches, he clipped 0 pieces. And of course every pitch he led in 5-15 minutes.
On top of Sickle we passed Vitaliy and Alix. It was pretty classic as exactly two weeks before we ran into them on their way to send Lurking Fear. They clearly have the hunger! They sent the Nose in two bivies, what is next guys?
Right after these photos were taken, I attempted to remove a mangled cam with the hacksaw. It was buried deep in a crack and unusable as the sling was gone. After 10 minutes of effort, the blade stop cutting the cam lobes and hit the rock. Turns out, cutting out cams is way harder than I expected. I needed a nimbler saw and a lot more time.
Despite moving at a snails pace compared to the last time Sean climbed The Nose. He was pretty pumped.
Below, Sean shows how to send the King Swing.
Sean got us to the Great Roof in 3 hours even with a long lunch break on Dolt and slow jugging with hacksaw. I took over hoping I would be faster than two weeks ago. Not so much. After my Lobster claw debacle, I tried to going bouldering to build up some free climbing muscles but just could not motivate. I lasted about 4 minutes at my local boulder before throwing in the towell and going mountain boarding. I am psyched to climb el cap these days, and THAT IS IT. Which is a long way of saying, I still had to aid the Pancake Flake... unacceptable!
The upside to my more sluggish leads was that Sean had time to put the hack saw to work. He got out a mangled Alien from the Pancake Flake.
By the time I got us to Camp 6, I had taken us from a sub-6-hour pace to 8+. So I gladly handed the reins back over to Sean.
Since our last ascent, Camp 6 pitch had gotten more wet despite even more warm weather. It's not really wet, just a little wet.
In under an hour we were on the summit with plenty of sun. our time was 6:39.
We only managed to get one cam and some tat. Not enough to make a very exciting art piece. But we agreed to come back soon for more!