Trip ReportWindfall to 1/2 of Wind Chill
Headed up this way to do the linkup in April, got off route on the second half of Wind Chill, escaped.
Rrrrracking up, not all that early
The approach is like Manure Pile but different. Sixty red-blooded American minutes for us.
Tape: your friend on anything gold and up; your enemy on anything red and down. This linkup has plenty of both categories so it’s a head scratcher.
The Windjammer corner, roof, chimney, roof combo – not headed here today. Came back and did this one two weeks later. Oh my god it's good.
Stroll on out the ledge at the base, tie in to a mighty pine at an exposed perch, and head off p1 – bit of funky rock at the start, a sheen of lichen throughout with some tough liebacking before the anchor. The lichen stays with you on this climb but you get used to it.
The winds were waiting for us here, making things semi-cold and intimidating.
Then p2. May the gods be with you on pitch number two! The gods were not with us on this day. Stupid beautiful stout roof splitter mumble mumble.
It would have been hilarious to watch us turn the lip on this roof, Benny Hill music and all, too bad there were no witnesses. Comedy gold down the drain.
P3 is a stunted little traverse across more iffy rock, lil bit jingus through here with goofy pro and easy climbing. Saw a bit of chalk, maybe from Vitaliy and partner the week before.
But then you get THE pitch of the day, or in my case, the pitch of the season (so far). The rock is diamond grade, the jams are mostly thumper, the gear is A-OK, the steepness is bananas.
This pitch is like free real estate. That’s the voice I hear in my head when I come upon a pitch as good looking as this one - not often.
Adding webpage videos to the TRs, that's how the kids are doing it these days? I'm getting the hang of the LOL and other youth expressions. My daughter will be thrilled with her cool dad's credibility!
Yay for Tim and Eric! Funny how their bizarre stuff can stay in the mind and percolate up at unexpected times.
Not steep yet:
View all around blowing your mind throughout the day. Someone is going to FA the living sh#t out of this wall at some point.
Getting there on the steepness meter
We both fell on this pitch too – me from a slipped foot while stem-scumming the crux top section (lichen pfft actually just weakness), my partner from flaming out while placing gear on the lead.
Taking in a part of the park that not many visit. Nice!
Luxurious ledge awaits on top of this killer pitch
Not sure how he got the blood up there, but it looked cool.
Was trying to think of other pursuits in my life that I regularly bleed from trying so hard to be decent at. Dental hygiene? Shaving?
After the glorious steep pitch, guess what – you get a glorious non-steep pitch, a wavy super-splitter that vies for best pitch on the day with two or three others.
Fat grins, cheerful feelings, cold temps on route. Views get better with each pitch.
At the top of this pitch, Windfall is under your boots, but why stop there with another 8 or 9 pitches to the top of the formation.
Valley floor to rim linkup, that’s become my favorite pursuit in the last year or so. Think about it and there aren’t too many that qualify at a reasonable grade, especially if you don’t count the Cathedral routes, which go to their own A+ summits but not to the rim proper.
So on to Wind Chill, yeah, momentum! Hardest stuff beneath us, feeling good, making fine time… Except this day we f’d up the routefinding, and our cheer turned to ashes in our mouths (distinguished GoT ref). After two more increasingly lichen-covered pitches, we were pretty sure we done goofed.
A look of growing doubt, a whiff of where did we F this thing up? We’d later realize we were standing directly under the correct line. Just looked too improbable, and too unlike the topo, for us to commit to it. The very hard .10c comes up the corner in the background of this pic. Hard pitch, lots o' lichen. We didn't even do this pitch this day because we couldn't find it from below, but did it next time.
We traversed a long ledge about 130 degrees, east and west, around the buttress, and couldn’t figure out how to punch through this headwall:
This is what stumped us, from Reid:
With only one 60m, we didn’t like the idea of rapping the route, so we pushed the ledge west, past some sketch exposed low 5th class, left some gear, and luckily dodged an epic by finding a relatively mellow escape to the boulder field below the falls. For a moment before it worked out I experienced flashbacks to the NutAgain! partnership (love you forever, buddy).
Look at all of this stuff over that way. Phew! Odds are that none of it has been climbed – even the mini-pinnacle? Maybe someone has summited that? Or maybe Castaways is in this frame? Peregrine was on site and upset when we made our way past this amphitheater.
We dried our tears of defeat and loss on dogwood petals, hugged it out, turned tails, and went home, two cams down, too late for the Agave, bleeding, but filled with all that good stuff you get from a day in the Sierra.
Two cams down though!
Knew before we’d hopped 10 steps through the boulders that we had to get back up there, recover the cams left behind, and send the rest of Wind Chill. A couple of weeks later we went back, this time linking Windfall to the Wind Chill summit.
The ponderous path we took this day, including the yeller belly escape
Well yeah, now I see the weakness in the headwall. I pestered the hell out of Rhodo and Vitaliy to make sure about the line for rd 2 - thanks fellas.
Some helpful pics of the area, yanked from other ST threads
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