Crack in the Cosmic Egg V 5.8 C2
Trip ReportZNP - Cosmic Egg: Trip Report
It was 11:30am and Chris and I were still sitting around drinking coffee. The aches and pain of the Streaked Wall still lingered with my muscles in my neck and back. The thought of putting on my harness on my bruised and raw hips made me wince. I sucked it up, gave Chris a smile and said, “Let’s send it”.
We headed into the park toward Mt. Moroni intending on climbing the Smoot-Ellison, also known as Cosmic Egg. I’ve always heard really good things about the route and it has been on my “must do” list for a while now. We arrived at the parking area, pulled out the gear and realized we hadn’t even packed a lead line. Oh man, great start. We definitely are not on the top of our game today, I thought.
After going back into town and retrieving a lead line we were back at the parking area, ready for the approach. A “park visitor” asked us as we were crossing the bridge, “Are you guys camping up there or just practicing?” We assured her that we were merely practicing and that we would be back in a few hours.
It was a little tough to find the trailhead once we hit the Springdale Band and ended up just bushwhacking to the base of the climb. For some reason I figured the climb would be a semi-trade route since I’ve always heard such good things about it. We figured out that it hadn’t seen a ton of traffic and reasoned that it was most likely because of the first pitch.
The plan was for me to lead the first five pitches, which where mostly aid, then Chris lead the last five, which were mostly free. This was a perfect combination for our strong points.
I took off at 12:45pm, not exactly an alpine start. The first pitch got my attention immediately. It wasn’t difficult at all but had to get on a small cam thirty-five feet off the deck. It was an ok piece but if it did blow you would hit the ground for sure. I hurried up my ladder and placed another one, trying not to think about it.
We brought a couple of pins and hammer but tried not to use them. I hooked instead around pin placements. We were able to climb the entire route clean, without placing any pitons. The one thing I wished I had brought more of where medium nuts. I also wish we would have had some off-set brassies. We had zero.
The pitches fell quickly and my five pitch block was soon over after two and a half hours. Chris took over and flew up the next pitch. He did get off route a couple of times but quickly saw the errors and was back on target in no time.
Chris was leading the last couple of pitches, which he linked, and I was jugging the line to the belay. At one point my rope knocked off a basketball sized rock and I had to high-tail it across the face to avoid getting hit. I got up to where the rock was a saw ledges littered with rocks of all sizes, just waiting to get the next party.
I got to the belay and Chris was having a tough time leaning around a corner, trying to clip a fixed angle. It took him a few tries but finally busted a half free move and sank the biner in the eye hole of the pin. A few more aid moves and he was at the top of the route. I sped up the rope while cleaning the gear and was at Chris’s side in no time.
Four hours and ten minutes!!! We did a high five and quickly started the rapells. We were able to do it in five raps, using sixty meter ropes, avoiding a couple anchors on the way down.
We packed up, ate a snickers bar and headed to the parking area. On the way down we found the actual trail that was well marked by cairns. Half way down we managed to get off route, again.
My excuse: Both, my brain was still not functioning correctly from the epic on the Streaked Wall AND I’m still not in sync from the disturbance in the force caused by “yo”.
We headed to the Bit&Spur where my girlfriend, Cheryl had a gift certificate waiting for us to celebrate.
We INDEED had a celebration!!!
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