Photos from this trip can be found here.
Overnight combo trip with East Peak Southwest Face.
The four of us rope leads stayed the night in Headlight Basin and came back to climb east ridge the next day. We got an early start and was able to finish at a reasonable hour, whew.
The start of the climb was essentially at the same spot as yesterday’s climb with the basic students, where the ever-so-famous chockstone forever rests. I was glad my partner lead the first pitch because everything looked hard(er) when I was not leading. Mostly psychological I’m sure.
A few interesting spots along the way. The steep, fun traverse along the north face, the catwalk, the awkwardly positioned notch, and finally, the crux. What’s the crux you ask? According to the trip reports we came across, it’s the spot where the #4 cam is your ultimate best friend. I was really hoping not to lead this pitch because it sounded rather intimidating!
Alas, stars aligned and I got the honor to lead this pitch. The big rocks were stacked in a way that I needed to get my body to lie 45-degree backward while holding myself up with one hand and placing the #4 cam at the very top of the crack. Holy cow, I actually did it, today was my day, woo hoo! 🙂
The crux made the rest of the climb seem like a walk in the park. After getting onto the summit, I decided that this was more of a fun climb than anticipated. The group took a half hour break at the top and then made the descent down the standard basic route back to Headlight Basin.
Access: Esmeralda Basin Trailhead
Gear: helmet, rock