Here’s a video showing most of my project. Before I left for my trip I had a goal of linking at least one of the two halves of the low traverse, then finishing the upper traverse to cap it off.
The first crux was just getting up there. A series of warm storms made the approach a bit of a post-holing nightmare. Once there, conditions were also fickle as the spring freeze-thaw was keeping things pretty soppy. I only found climbable conditions once, during the late-afternoon of my last day before we left.
The vid requires some interpretation. On the first angle a snow bank obscures my feet, but you’ll get the idea. I don’t have a tripod so I’m limited to where the camera gets set up. The low and high traverse I’m referring to are very close together. An obvious break forms the higher, which goes at V4. For the low traverse, everything below this break is on, meaning that your hands are often inches from a jug that you can’t touch. A large boulder also sits in the way of linking the first few moves. I’ll dig it out at some point. There are a few moves to link the two low sections I’m trying in this video. I move up after the first section at a natural transition, which leads into the upper traverse beyond its rest and straight into its crux section, making it a better boulder problem in itself.
For reference, every single move of the low traverse took numerous attempts to work out. Most of the holds are quite small, requiring me to have my body in just the right position to hold on. Some look easy as I’ve wired them, but I’ve fallen off every single move at least once. This means that I must fully concentrate on every move. Currently, when I reach the first move of the second half I can no longer hang on the holds–which are the best on the route–much less make a fairly difficult move. Linking this is miles away in terms of fitness needed. At least I have some new boots on the way that will hopefully solve one dilemma.