Author Topic: Triple Crown  (Read 716 times)

Offline ralbert20

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Triple Crown
« on: May 18, 2012, 09:28:14 AM »
My friend Tony and I used to climb together a TON. At some point,
enchaining NH's three biggest (trad) climbing areas came up in one of
our discussions. The idea had been slowly percolating in the back of
our minds, and the perfect opportunity came up this past weekend. My GF's mom
was in town, and I decided that I could skip out for a BIG day of
climbing. I drove up to Cannon Friday night, and slept in the car. Tony left his
house at 3am Saturday morning, since the meeting time was 6am. As
usual, we were both early, and totally pumped! Looking up at the crag,
we knew W-G was going to be our only option, since everything else was
soaking wet. I ate my breakfast as we racked up. 6:05am was the
official start time. We made the hike in pretty fast - 35 minutes.
Just as we reached the bottom of the route, the sun crested Lincoln/
Lafayette and felt wonderful. I took off on the first pitches -
stringing together the first 200' or so. I got a little off route, and
ended up belaying under the 5.8 loose pitch. Tony came up and told me
I needed to be about 60' down and left, so he built a belay, and I
downclimbed a little, then kept going. I think I had only placed 4
pieces of gear, so I had plenty left. I went up another 100' or so,
and pretty much just lost my mojo. I built a belay, and brought Tony
up. He took off on the next 200', which included the awesome "Pipe
Pitch". The sun was shining, the rock warm, and we had the route
totally to ourselves. It was AWESOME! Tony brought me up, and then I
finished up the last 100'. As I was climbing the route, I noticed all
of the fixed gear and pitons, thinking, "Hmmmm, if I do this again, I
am not going to bring much gear..." Well, I probably should not have
thought that. I topped out at 8:33am, and put Tony on belay. And
waited. And waited. And waited... Finally the rope started moving, and
he came up. I knew I had done something wrong by this point, so I
asked him. He said the link cam I used had snapped a wire, and he could
not retrieve it. Much sadness ensued. That was ok though, just an
offering to the climbing gods! We boogied out, and were back at the
car by 9:35am. Not too bad - 3.5hr car-car, and only hurt that we lost
the link cam.

One hour later brought us to the top of Cathedral, where we dropped a
car off. We pulled in to the Whitehorse parking lot around 11am, and
headed up to do Standard Route. Well, the hordes of people there made
that impossible. After a short discussion, we decided to do Beginner's
Route, which both of us had done only once before, and pretty much
hated. (Oh well!) Tony took off and strung the first 4 or so pitches
together, and I simul-climbed behind. He stopped at the belay before
the 5.5R runout section, mostly because we caught up to the party who
was there when we started about 10 minutes before. They were at the
next pitch by the time I got to the belay, so I took off on the short
100' section, and caught them. Eventually they moved out of the
way, and Tony set off again, stringing the next 500' or so together. I
was almost running up the slabs to keep up with his pace. The climb
was actually rather enjoyable, and we decided that when we had done it
before, we must have been on the wrong route. I would definitely do
Beginner's again. At the top, we were chatting with the party in front
of us, and they said that they were also stuck behind another party,
and were planning on going to Cathedral after this route, probably
aiming for Bombardment... Challenge accepted: beat them to the route!
(They were clearly pretty fast, since we did not see them on the route
after they left the tree belay.) After stacking the ropes, we headed
down the trail, and over to Cathedral. Here is where we took a wrong
turn though. At the bottom of Whitehorse, there is a sign that says,
"Parking area 1.0mile," and "Cathedral Ledge 0.3mile." So, we
naturally opted for the shorter, more direct path to Cathedral. What
we didn't know, is that it was going to take us to the top of
Cathedral, not the bottom, where we wanted to be! So, at the top, we
made the crappy hike down the road (past my car) running bits of it,
to make it faster.

We got to the trail for the lower left wall, and the two from
Beginner's were just pulling up in their car :) We hustled in, and
began to realize just how wiped out we were, when we had to stop a
couple of times on the very short uphill section! We passed Three
Birches and roped up for Bombardment. I opted for the well protected
5.10a variation, but realized very quickly that I was not going to be
able to repeat my on sight from last year. I ungraciously pulled on the bolt, clipped
through the hard section, and continued up to the beautiful hand
crack. Now is when the day really caught up to me. The crack is only
5.8 or so, but I felt like I was going to pop off at any moment, and
really felt like a fall was coming. Somehow I managed to stay on, and
got to the top. I brought Tony up, and he pretty much flopped onto the
ledge. We still had a couple of pitches left though, so he got it
together and hiked up to the base of Upper Refuse. There were a bunch
of people on The Book, and there were some Frenchies with Metro Rock
cards on their harnesses hanging around. I decided that I didn't want
to wait for anyone, and took off up the very wet beginning of Upper
Refuse. After the first 10' or so, it was dry, and I went up to the
tree belay without issue. I looked at the tree, down at Tony, he
shouted out 30' of rope left; so I asked him if I should build a
belay, or keep going? He said keep going. That was fine with me, since
that meant ultimately less rope work. So, I topped out and hopped over
the tourist fence, and brought him up. There were a couple of
old-timers up there, and we were chatting away. (One of them was the
FA of Hotter Than Hell). Tony finally came up, it was about 3:30 or
so. He sat down, and I went over the car and got the beer that I had
stashed in the cooler. It was a perfect way to end the climbing day!
We were pretty much wiped out, and I think I got pretty buzzed on the
one beer (DFH 90min). On the way home we shared a pizza, and I got home to Medford
around 7pm.

All in all, a GREAT day!

TL:DR; Cannon, Whitehorse, Cathedral: 9.5 hours.

Offline fresh

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Re: Triple Crown
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2012, 10:01:30 AM »
sick day, sick time Rob! I was on the WG Sunday and saw your stuck link cam. I think that's a part of the mountain now.

Reggie

Offline Admin Al

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Re: Triple Crown
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2012, 05:11:51 PM »
sounds like it was a fantastic day guys...

BTW you must have met Matt Peer. he did the FA on Hotter Than Hell. he's a great guy,.
Al Hospers
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Offline meclimber

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Re: Triple Crown
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2012, 07:48:58 AM »
great job, link ups are fun
Jon Howard

Offline strandman

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Re: Triple Crown
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2012, 11:22:32 AM »
sounds like it was a fantastic day guys...

BTW you must have met Matt Peer. he did the FA on Hotter Than Hell. he's a great guy,.

I HOPE it was Matt.. he was having some health issues last time.  Maybe Craig ?

Offline Admin Al

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Re: Triple Crown
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2012, 04:28:30 PM »
I HOPE it was Matt.. he was having some health issues last time.?

Matt's doing surprisingly well. he's hiking and climbing and working at keeping healthy.
Al Hospers
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Offline strandman

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Re: Triple Crown
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2012, 06:43:04 PM »
Awesome ! say hi if you see him

Offline Admin Al

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Re: Triple Crown
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2012, 07:32:55 AM »
Awesome ! say hi if you see him

will do - he's out today (beautiful day BTW) putting up some new backcountry climbs with Brad.
Al Hospers
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