|The view out my window as I started working on this post this morning.|
Its been a busy last few days. Wednesday I took a rest day and spent it mostly getting caught up on tasks I had been putting off.
|A little light climbing to stretch out my muscles on my rest day.|
Thursday I went to the Stanley Headwall with my bad ass mountain guide friend and teammate Jen Olson to climb a recently established route called The Ghost in the Machine.
|The lower end of the Stanley Headwall.|
|Jen getting close to the route we would climb.|
|The Ghost in the Machine climbs the left side of the big arch near the center of the photo.|
|Getting near the cliff and looking back down towards the road. The road is below the clouds way down in the valley.|
|Jen finally getting close to the route.|
|Me leading the first pitch.|
|Passed the crux.|
After climbing up the offwidth chimney I only had the iced up ramp left to climb before the belay. In the back of the chimney there was a nice crack, which I unfortunately didn't have anything left that would fit. Climbing onto the slab I was getting a little run out, but fortunately Jen had brought along a Specter that I was able to pound into the mud filled crack along the side of the slab.
|Climbing into the offwidth chimney.|
|Jen starting up pitch two.|
|Jen getting close to the lip of the overhang.|
|Looking down from the top of the route.|
|Jen rappelling off the route.|
After some instruction and patient coaxing from Jen I started my way down the steep slope. She made it look easy, I found it extremely frustrating. After a lot of falling over, wading through waste deep snow, getting back on the skis and doing it all over again I was down and out of the deep powder and steep terrain and we could follow the tracks from where we skinned in. About that time it also got dark which meant skiing the rest of the way out by head lamp.
As our descent went on the skiing got a little easier or rather I got a little better at it. I avoided crashing into any trees and when I wasn't falling over it was almost starting to be fun. Two hours after rappelling to the ground and about 10 hours after leaving we were back at the road and Jen's truck.
Today Jen and I had planned to do a bigger route in the Ghost Valley, but opted to do a day of training instead. We headed back to the Haffner Cave for day three for me on this trip.I wasn't super keen on going back, but it seemed the best of the "not big day" options.
Climbing the warm up I could feel how tired my legs where when I had to swing them head level up to the edge of the overhang. After warming up we got back onto Caveman, which Jen was hoping to redpoint. I did three burns. Jen did four redpoint attempts. She climbed impressively smooth through the route on her first three tries only to come up short because of broken holds just one move from where it gets easier. By her fourth try she was getting too tired to climb it without falling, but was able to work out a new way to do the last move. After Caveman we hiked down to Lower Haffner and we climbed a route called "Oscar". It wasn't overly difficult, but it was a fun way to end the day and just about the right difficulty for how tired we were.
In the end I had a pretty good day of training and a really fun day climbing with a friend.