Ken Reville: "Ahhh.... Wolf's Head.Cirque of the lightening rods. I've got my own story on that "5.5". Ha! I can only imagine yours'!
Remember Warbonnet smartpig?
Crazzzieee St.Elmo's FIRE. Like THIS IS IT THE ROPE IS WIRE I"M ABOUT TO VAPORIZE electrical phenomena.
First and hopefully last time I've ever been zapped."
Oh yaha, Cirque of the Lightning Bolts.
Navigating on dirt roads via Big Sandy at night: after the glow of the pipe, Reville turned to Cunningham and said, "Oh, shit, fork in the road, which way to go?" BLAM! FLASH of light. "That way," pointed Cunningham with his finger. Reville matted the rental car right, fish tailing the curves in the road and bounding madly over the rip rap bumps at suspension breaking speed. The two Hunter S. Thompson wanta-bees had begun their day from Logan Airport in Boston. Drove from Denver to Big Sandy, hiked into the Cirque at night, roped up by sunrise, and climbed some route that looked good on the left side of Pingora all in one frenzied push.
Freaking out in the tent in the middle of the night as lightning bolts blasted all around us. Rapid fire, alternating, black and blinding flashes illuminating Ken's anguished face and stand-up hair. We were certain we would be found as a pile of crispy black carbon mixed in with the melted remains of our green tent and blobs of climbing hardware. Longest half hour I ever spent with Ken.
Baling Wolf's Head in a lightning storm, arbitrarily retreating off the middle of the ridge, to make a bee-line to the valley floor we were forced to rap from one found manky pin backed up by a rp. The knife blade wiggled and could only be loaded in one direction. I drew the short straw and Ken rappelled first. If memory serves me: I elected not to tie into the anchor while Reville descended. I stared wide eyed at the suspect set-up, looking for any signs of movement that may give me an instant of time to yell down to Ken to unweight the rope and go solo. I had no guardian to warn me other than blind faith.
....and of course the Warbonnet on another trip that Ken refers to!!! Ken is on the last lead to tag the summit via a groove (aka a conduit water course) that terminates at a notch just right and 40' below the top. About 20' before Ken reaches the intersection of the groove and the summit ridge, the granite rock begins to buzz, crack, and pop like a short circuiting transformer. Freak out!!!!! Ken, who thanks be to St. Elmo, is on 5.3 ground, yells down to Tom Roth and I to take him off belay as he scrambled licitly-split up and over to the other side of the mountain and well below the exposed summit and groove. Meanwhile, Tom and I being pelted by rain, madly pull off our packs and pile up the rope to stand on as insulation, strip ourselves off most metal hardware, and slacken our tie-ins to the anchor, being sure to not touch the rock with our hands, then wait for the imminent strike. We were certain we would experience the end of our lives there in one blinding and booming blast of electricity surging skyward from our mortal brains! Ka-Blam! The lightning blasts the very top of the Warbonnet 80' above us. We feel the tingly exchange of ions through our feet and all our hair stands on end. Moments later we hear Reville yell, "rope's fixed! BATMAN THE FUCKING ROPE!" Hand-over-hand Tom and I, each in turn, go up and over the mountain to join Ken on the other side. We then rappel about 800' down into unknown terrain to scamper away happy to have escaped the wrath of Thor with our lives. BAM!
A bit of irony: Ken is an electrical engineer! OHM!!!!!!