August, '03

 

Another great route together...

Astro Elephant with Guillaume

 

 


     All summer, I had wanted to try something harder on the Elephant's Perch.  The Mountaineer's route had only whet my appetite. 
Unfortunately, the routes are pretty darn hard and that meant that having the right partner was crucial.  Guillaume and Jenny were the 
obvious choices as they are the strongest climbers that will associate with me.   However, I wasn't sure if they were going to make it to 
Idaho before they moved back to Europe.  Well, they did make it, but Jenny had re-injured her leg in the Wind Rivers and was forced to 
take a break from big mountain routes for a little while.  Fortunately, she healed quickly and spent the next 4 months climbing 
everything from Smith Rock to Cochise Stronghold with Guillaume!   Think I'm kidding?.. READ THIS.

    Thus it came to be that on a beautiful, september morning, I found myself scrunched into a cave-like fissure with Guillaume, 80 feet 
above the steep talus, trying to rope up on an approach that was spanking us.  We were off to an auspicious start! Nothing new for us 
though, we had done this a couple years ago approaching the Diamond.  Hell, we even did this on an approach to the north side of DEVILS
TOWER now that I think about it!!! Anyway...

     I won't bore you with all of our detours but suffice it to say, we had a grand adventure trying to stay on route and get to the top.

     Here are some pictures from the day's shenanigans... 
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This is me on the second pitch. The first two pitches are the hardest and I was fortunate that Guillaume wanted to lead them both. :)

Guillaume sets off in hopes of finding the actual route. We had a little trouble staying on route this day. That is so unlike us. :)

Leaving the 2nd belay with a lot of rock still looming overhead.

Guillaume, wondering which way we should go.

Leaving the 5th belay.

I think I see where we're supposed to be.?.?

This can't be right. That looks way too hard. That bolt must be on a different route. Hmm...

We may be lost, but we're still having a great time!

No No, that was the off-route bolt! Looking good though G.

Traversing back to the actual route after a spooky adventure in routefinding.

Finishing the 7th pitch.

Do you mind moving your foot so I can belly flop onto that stance?

Nearing the top of a great route. It would be an extraordinary route if it didn't have any traversing.

On the summit we were rewarded with wild raspberries. We didn't linger too long though as we had to catch the boat or walk an extra 5 miles.

Beginning the descent... The Saddleback Lakes make for one picturesque valley.

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Here is a shot of the Perch with the upper part of our route marked. This picture is from a different trip.

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