First off, I LOVE to climb mountains and am very un-lazy on the mountain, but once I come home that all goes out the window and I'd rather do something like read a book . On multiple trips I tell myself "Man, I will definitely write a report on this one!" then I get home and am succumbed to the window (and a book). So anyways, here it is...my first TR and more than a 10 days old (hey, beggars can't be choosers)
I climbed Sherman, Gemini and Sheridan on Thursday then hit up Elbert on Friday then returned home on Saturday. I found myself awake pretty early on Saturday already planning a trip for Sunday with a killer group I joined a few weeks earlier. So Saturday evening, I convinced nkan02 (aka Natalie aka "The Badass") to give me a ride down to Pikes with her. Quite a large group of us stayed the night at the Crags Campground on Saturday night and the goal was to hit the summit via the Heroes Traverse to the Y couloir the next morning.
nkan02 and rest of group at the Devil's Playground
As we reached one of the switchbacks in the road around 13,200 I believe, we scoped a place to enter into the Heroes Traverse. Jason, who from here on out will affectionately be referred to as Mr. Insaneo, decided that he wanted to tie off to a rock and rappel into the traverse. That was basically the face I made and proceeded to comment how crazy of an idea that was. Mercifully, Mr. Insaneo gave in and we decided on a more sensible way to get into the traverse.
Me waiting on top as Mr. Insaneo descends (Photo by Natalie)
Picture taken by Natalie
I was told by Leonard (ljmadrid) and Natalie that below us was basically sheer cliff and that if one us were to fall it would not be a good day. I just remember not looking down that much and being quite focused on all my moves. Thankfully, the snow was quite good with some icy areas but overall good. Also, the weather gods were cooperating with us because of all the cloud coverage that was keeping the snow pretty hard.
Path we took down
View of whats ahead
Some wicked downclimbing
Me on a little tricky spot
After downclimbing at least 600', we finally made it to the climber's right portion of the Y Couloir. Ok Cool, time to go home. haha not . Now the summit!
View looking up
Casey Jones, drivin that train, high on cocaine
Weather moving in but we made it!
On the way down we started to hear thunder and were looking up into some pretty ominous-looking clouds. Naturally, we got a little off the path (2 drainage gulches off to be precise) while it was thundering and rain/snowing, you know, typical 14er descents. Thankfully, Leonard, the big cheese, waited for us the whole time and we met him back down at the Crags campground for our ride back up to Denver.
Overall, it was definitely an amazing day! I am certain it was the most gnarly snow climb I have done and thank Mr. Insaneo so much for being a great lead during the traverse (this was a very normal climb for a very normal insane person like Jason). I learned quite a bit about myself as a “mountaineer” from this climb and I recommend it to anyone else who is pretty experienced and also willing to be safe and assess the situation appropriately like Jason and I were.
It's fun to stay at the Y-M-C-A.
You can get yourself clean, you can have a good meal
You can do whatever you feel ...