My old time-tested technique for managing big, one-day alpine ski descents is also good for climbing more involved linkups on the Chief. Naomi and I took our hard-earned knowledge from Cruel Shoes last Saturday and reapplied it as quickly as possible. Thanks to Barry for allowing me the flexibility to trade a Thursday for a Saturday and so forth. It's Saturday and I'll be heading into the lab in a minute, but being able to take advantage of the fleeting weather windows up here can be the difference between ecstasy and misery!
Instead of climbing The Flake again, another turn on Apron Strings was in order.
The sustained layback with a thin crux at the top was no surprise this time; it felt much better to climb it clean.
Naomi knew where to go this time.
There was some rain earlier in the week and the whole way up Cruel Shoes, the friction didn't seem quite as good.
But I didn't hear any excuses from Naomi.
Doing the Cruel Shoes dance. Based on last time, I knew what to do. But the last bit still took me several tries.
On the previous pitch, I was thinking, "Thanks for getting the rope up there, Naomi." On this pitch, she was probably thinking, "Thanks for getting the rope over there, Sky."
The corner is very fun.
Go, go Gadget leg!
Look at that concentration. Naomi was psyched to get the last pitch of Cruel Shoes clean. I was psyched to follow it clean.
Queue the Grand Wall. Naomi on the Split Pillar.
I was feeling really great at the top of The Sword, like maybe I had a small fraction of a clue what I was doing. Hazel offered to take this picture for me - HI MOM. Thanks, Hazel!
Naomi pulls through the crux on The Sword.
The exposure on the juggy face crack is so delicious.
Naomi's first bolt ladder.
She don't need no stinking ropegun. Perry's Layback is bolted? Let me lead it!
Naomi belays while I climb "the flats."
Naomi moves up the Sail Flake.
Finishing the Sail Flake.
Thanks for another wonderful day, Naomi. Way to stretch those cramping fingers and fight through it.
Wow that was fun! The Grand Wall doesn't feel so big and scary any more. BAM, What's next?