More BAW Intros

Special Thanks to Jessie Herrmann for the great photos!

Finally had the chance to take Praters out to Crane Mountain’s Black Arches Wall. The morning dawned overcast, damp, and drear; but by 9:30am, a strong breeze had pushed out the low-level clouds and lent some hope for drying the cliffs, so we called it a “go”, meeting around 11am for the hike in to the BAW. I coaxed neighbor Jessie Herrmann in to accompanying us and taking some pictures while we climbed.
Forty minutes later we stood below the Isobuttress, contemplating our options. Carpenter & Das was streaming. Recuperation Boulevard’s bottom slab was wet. The base of E-Stim was wet, but looking at it, I felt we could make a go of the latest addition to this cliff.
Full Recovery starts on E-Stim, pushing through its crux section, then traverses left to the fixed belay at a spruce tree mid-cliff. The second pitch ran up C&D Without, which was dry. In fact, it looked like the entire route, save for the beginning, was dry.

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Leading through the crux moves of E-Stim. 

I led up, protecting the lowermost moves in case I slipped on the damp start, climbing past the worst of the wetness to reasonably dry rock above. The left side of the wide crack was still sopping wet, but it captured all the runoff, leaving the right side dry, and I made good use of the situation by climbing over there for the most part.
The traverse was easy enough, familiar terrain by now; and in short order I was hauling up rope and belaying Ken for his turn at bat.

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Ken’s turn wrestling with E-Stim 

It was a challenge for Ken, but he made it up the crux section, then wandered over to the belay perch to join me.

Jessie had to leave as Ken finished up the route, so that was the end of the photo shoot. We all said thanks and good-bye from our various stances, and waved as she walked away.

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Ken on the traverse of Full Recovery 

Zack made short work of this, of course. He’s climbing very strongly in the gym, and only needs to develop more endurance for the outdoor stuff.

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Rarin’ and Ready to go. 

 Soon, we three were strung out near that narrow shelf, and it was time for one of us to get off and away. That would be my job: a bit of rope managment and away I went.

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At the Belay Anchors 

The upper pitch was wonderful: dry, airy, pleasant climbing. Only a few spots were wet, no place difficult, and each step opened the view wider around me.
I clipped the top anchors and the other two came up, both climbing this last pitch confidently. We three rested on the little ledge awhile before affixing a rappel.
We had heard Jessie talking to someone shortly after heading out, and soon the mystery conversationalist was revealed: Todd Paris came walking over to say hello to us. He was on the mountain working on a project for the afternoon.
I thought this might be a propitious occasion, and changed plans a bit. Ken and Zack rappeled; I remained with a rope to set up a TR on Black Arch Arête, while they went over to look at Todd’s project awhile.
Once my TR task was done, I joined the gang over by the TeePee (a.k.a. Todd’s Project) Wall. Together, we discussed our options. Ken was pretty tired, BAA was definitely outside his comfort zone; but it would be an excellent challenge for Zack. Todd took Ken out to the Measles Walls to TR Hydrophobia, while Zack and I went back to climb BAA.
That turned out well, thanks to Todd for stepping in with assistance there. Zack and I both pumped ourselves pretty thoroughly on BAA, then headed out, too late to catch Ken and Todd on the rock, as it turned out. They were already well on their way to the trailhead before we reached the Measles Walls.
Todd had already left, and we didn’t dawdle either, pulling out minutes after we last stragglers arrived at the car.
I dropped Ken and Zack at their vehicle at about 6:30pm. The sun was shining, the rain had held off, and we were safely back in civilization. Perfect day.

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