Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Week in the Rockies

My girlfriend, Sarah Hart, and I just spent a week climbing out in the Rockies, enjoying perfect late-summer weather. Mostly we climbed at the Back of the Lake, which is I think one of the highest-quality crags I've ever climbed at (right up there with the Lower Town Wall at Index, and the Motherlode at the Red River Gorge). I did spend two days up in the mountains though - one climbing the Greenwood-Jones on Mt. Temple with Rockies badass Jon Walsh, and one climbing the "Cardiac Arete" on the Grand Sentinel with Sarah. The Greenwood-Jones was a perfect intro for me to alpine rock climbing in the Rockies, and although there were sections of choss, the upper pitches were on very high quality limestone. The Cardiac Arete, a four pitch alpine sport climb, is very fun climbing on very high quality rock - highly recommended!

Jon at Lake Annette, below the north face of Mt. Temple:

Colin simul-soloing low on the Greenwood-Jones. Photo by Jon Walsh:

Jon following our second roped pitch:

Jon heading up our third roped pitch:

Colin back on simul-soloing terrain. Photo by Jon Walsh:

Colin simul-soloing higher on the Greenwood-Jones. Photo by Jon Walsh:

With the rope on again, Jon heading up a funky little roof:

Jon coming up the last chossy pitch:

Colin following the second-to-last pitch, an excellent corner system on good limestone. Photo by Jon Walsh:

Nice views from the north face of Mt. Temple:

Jon finishing the last 5th-class pitch of the Greenwood-Jones:

Colin on the upper East Ridge of Mt. Temple - a nice snow arete, which makes for a classy finish to the route. Photo by Jon Walsh:

Simul summit photo-taking:

A raven joined us on the summit. Deltaform Peak behind:

A view of the Grand Sentinel (the quartzite rock tower) from Sentinel Pass:

Sarah nearing the base of the Grand Sentinel:

Steep, juggy climbing on the Cardiac Arete:

Sarah following the second pitch of the Cardiac Arete:

Nice exposure on the last pitch of the Cardiac Arete:

Pretty damn nice scenery - Larch Valley, and the Valley of the Ten Peaks behind:

Larch trees with fine, fall colors:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Forbidden Peak and Mt. Dione

In the past couple weeks I've been mostly just rock climbing, but made a couple quick trips into local mountains. First, my dad, brother and I made a reunion climb of the West Ridge of Forbidden Peak - a climb that we did all together fifteen years ago, and was an experience that really sparked my passion for climbing mountains.

Afterwards, I went into the Tantalus Range, just outside of Squamish, with my girlfriend, Sarah Hart, along with Bruce Kay and Chris Christie. In two rope-teams of two we climbed the south face of Dione, by an alpine sport-route established last year.

My dad, Jeff, my brother, Booth, and myself at our camp in Boston Basin, with the awesome north face of Mt. Johannesberg in the background. We adhered to a family tradition of carrying a pie to the bivy:

Jeff and Booth on the small glacier below the south face of Forbidden, with morning alpenglow on Jo-berg and other Cascade Pass peaks:

Booth below the West Ridge Couloir, which was quite broken up. This late in the season it is certainly easier to just climb the rock to the left of the couloir, but climbing the couloir itself maintains the mixed alpine nature of the classic route!

Jeff coming up the glacier, with Jo-berg behind:

Booth and Jeff climbing in the moat of the West Ridge Couloir:

Jeff on the West Ridge, with Mt. Torment and Eldorado Peak in the background:

Booth on the West Ridge, with Eldorado Peak and Moraine Lake behind, and Mt. Shuksan in the distance:

Dad and bro taking a break on the West Ridge, trying to re-create a photo from our ascent fifteen years earlier:

My dad is now 63 years old, but he can high-step better than I can! Down-climbing a gendarme just before the summit:

Hombres Haley on the summit of Forbidden:

One of the short rappels on the northeast ledges descent route:

My dad and brother were both using pretty old boots, and it would be the last climb for both pairs:

Haley bros on the descent, trying to re-create an old photo:

OK, these boots are really done for now!

Bruce Kay on the first pitch of the south face of Dione:

Sarah leading on the south face of Dione. The lower half of the route was mediocre, but the upper pitches make it worthwhile. Photo by Chris Christie:

Colin leading on the south face of Dione. Photo by Chris Christie:

Sarah leading near the top of the route. Photo by Chris Christie:

Colin leading the last 5th-class pitch - a fun pitch, steep and juggy. Photo by Chris Christie:

Bruce Kay on the descent of the SE Ridge of Dione:

Sarah descending the SE Ridge:

Chris Christie hiking back to our camp at the Red Tit Col, with the south side of Dione in the background. Photo by Sarah Hart:

Colin above Lake Lovely Water on the hike out to Squamish. Photo by Sarah Hart: