Sunday, July 10, 2005

NW Arete -a Wheeler peak solo

I was inspired by a friend, Sam's photograph of this arete that he posted online. So much so that I packed some minimal gear and drove down to solo the arete.
Note: This route is called N. Arete in Secor's 3rd edition. At the time of the climb I had no info on this route.

Climb: Wheeler PK (CA)-NW arete 
Date of Climb: 7/10/2005

Trip Report:
Set alarm for 4am the day prior. Ah forget it.
7/10: The alarm in my head goes off, 03:30. I look overhead for the 'pretty lights,' no... that was last year. Stumble around getting dressed.
"What are you doing"
"Go back to sleep honey, you're dreaming"
Out the door, no coffee. Damn! getting a bad start.
7am: Arrive trailhead, The campers are beginning to stir. Discover I forgot the camera in the dark lack of coffee fugue. Shit! Pictures are overrated anyway
7:12 Start hiking. Arrive in basin below arete around 9am. Discover I forgot the food in the dark no coffee fugue. Shit! Food is overrated anyway.
Climb up couloir a short distance to crack system that appears to lead to arete. A bit of 5.8 climbing leads to crest of arete. Discover I have no partner to belay. Cool! Partners are overrated anyway. Pull a huge block out of the ridge on top of me, Shit! Manage to deflect it into the couloir below. Cool! I'm alive!
Climb arete staying true to the crest which yields fun climbing from class 3 to about 5.6
11:45 Arrive summit. No writing utensil, Ah ha! I know this! A small wound has opened on my thumb providing ink for summit register.
7PM Arrive home. 15 hrs door to door, including post climb beer.
OK it aint Serra 5, but its a good day.
Photo by Sam Mills. My route overlay.