Sunday, May 23, 2010

Beck's Tower Must Go Free!

Beck's Tower East buttress, day 2. Logan and I set out once again with hopes of being on the summit by the end of the day. Logan jumped on the first lead braved the potential leg breaker fall to clip the second bolt and punched through what we are now calling a 5.11a face section, he quickly gained the last bolt I had drilled the week before, added 1 more bolt to the pitch and climbed up to a decent stance and added an anchor. I climbed up to Logan grabbed the fat crack rack started up pitch 2 for a wide crack adventure. Right away the need to put in another bolt, to climb through a lose section leading to a chimney flake, slowed down progress, I added the bolt and wrestled my way into the chimney. Once in, the climbing was enjoyable with great quartzite chunks for face holds and a decent crack eating up the oversized cams which where weighing me down. I finished the pitch under a roof about 50M up and added another anchor, Logan and I both feeling the pitch was 5.10b. Logan then stepped up once again and quickly lead out a small quartzite roof and jammed up a splitter hand crack in beautiful orange rock. He ended the pitch at a natural stance where an anchor already existed, that pitch going at 5.10a. The anchor was the top of the SE Dike project, one of the last generations attempts to conquer the face of Beck's Tower. I headed up from the anchor and came to a 2 bolt ladder and a hard slab move to another bolt. From that bolt it was easy to gain a slot which lead up easy climbing to a ledge. I lowered down and tried to see if the 2 bolt ladder could be freed. After a couple of futile tries we realized it was getting late and we retreated, 1 pitch from the summit.
The plan on return will be to add a bolt to the 1st pitch, climb quickly to our shared anchor and spend whatever time necessary to climb that last pitch free and hopefully no harder than 5.11.

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