Monday, May 9, 2011

Big Science Begins

Dane and Ken finally made it up to the North Rim after an absence of many months. We came armed with some rebar to shore up stances in the Tick Farm area, a re-stocking of bolts and several photos of the steepest sector in the main area. Located just right of QED-MF and about 100 feet left of Shere Khan, this new zone overhangs considerably as it rises about 100 feet to a cap formed by a huge visor. We've stood under there during rain showers and stayed dry as water dripped a good 50 feet out from the base of the rock. We've named this sector "Big Science" and have set to work on its first route.

Due to how much the rock overhangs, plus the difficulty of trying to establish an anchor beneath the visor from above, we're opening this route from the ground up. Having never done much aid climbing, we've bungled our way up the wall turning one roof after another. So far we've found enough holds to tell us the climb will definitely go, but it's far too early to tell how hard it will be. Somewhere in the 5.12 range seems a good guess. Maybe harder, and unlikely any easier. The only thing for certain right now is it's steep and long!

Stay tuned and watch for completion of the Big Science route by early summer. After that, who knows... there are plenty of other lines in the sector just waiting to be explored.