Tuesday, 23 September 2014

A climber once said...

"Don't over-commit because next thing you know, you're shitting on your ropes!"

Jeez, that's disgusting. Sorry. I shouldn't have posted that. Ha! You might ask who that climber was, and in what context such a disgusting thing was uttered. Well, that climber was my boyfriend, Captain Safety, and why he said it, well, I don't know if I want to share that with you here. You may never read my blog again. 

What I can tell you was that we were high on the 900 m north face of Mt. Sir Donald. Colin and I were in the middle of climbing a new route up this seldom visited north side of Donald. It was June sometime, I can't remember exactly when, it was THAT long ago now. But, the short of the storey is that we made it to the top, and we called our route Sashimi Don, 900m 60-85 degrees M4.

Funny enough, the beautiful north face of Mt. Sir Donald, 3284 m graces the cover of David Jones' climbing guidebook for the range. Somehow, no one else had decided to attempt the obvious line just left of the only existing route on the face?

Colin: How'd you like to go climb a route on this thing?
Sarah: Sure, where?
Colin: I was thinking right up the middle.
Sarah: OK

That's how most discussions go when we're deciding what to climb. 
Our route was a small success for Colin, but for me, it was another huge step in the right direction of becoming a better climber on snow and ice. Recall if you will, I cry very easily when downclimbing steep snow. It's generally quite embarassing, and when I can avoid a scenario like that, I feel pretty good about myself. So, I'm happy to report, NO TEARS! And, I don't think I felt freaked out even once, even crossing the sickly gapping bergshrund at 3:00 am. I have in the passed forced us to retreat from a climb because I refused to move a step closer to a bergshrund I was certain wanted to eat me whole. Yes, I have irrational fears, but come on, looks at this...

Frig' I'd hate to be that guy.
Colin wrote a full trip report, with all the manly details, so I won't bother going into it here; Partly because I just can't seem to find the time to blog, work, climb, and be a good girlfriend these days. Something needs to give, and unfortunately, it seems to be my long winded blog entries. Naturally, I can't leave out the photos though.

Did I mention we got to borrow the FiveTen Sprinter van? Seriously, you could stand up in this thing!

Typical Colin shenanigans. Here he realized that he could spit out his water while I took a picture and it would look like this. Apparently, this was rad. Hahaha...

Approach the beast with caution. Colin is using his James Bond monocle to check out conditions on Sir Donald. 

We hiked up to the high col at the base of Sir Donald's Northwest Ridge to bivy.

Here's a few pretty pictures from the col before we hit the sac. Behind Colin is Mt. Uto and, I think, Mt. Eagle. 

Colin in evening light. The base of Sir Donald's north face is behind him.

That's me, with Uto behind. 

Colin decided to put in some time stretching before we went to bed. Though, it's not entirely obvious to me what's going on here?

I like this picture. That's me, looking up at the Northwest Ridge of Sir Donald.

We woke up at 1:30, so this is me down climbing from our bivy to the glacier below.

And, crossing the glacier to the base of our route. You can see dawn on the horizon. This is the best part about climbing near the solstice. It was still light when we went to bed, and wasn't dark for very long once we woke up.

Colin climbing towards the bergshrund.

Jeez, look at that thing. Surely, it could eat me whole.

About two pitches up the lower couloir. 

...and a few more pitches up.

Colin leading the mixed crux. It looks really easy here. It wasn't.

Colin climbs higher still. 

I'm still stoked.

Climbing some easy snow arete as we get near to the summit.

If you look hard enough you can see our bivy way, way down there, in the upper middle part of the picture.

Colin climbing onto the final summit snowfield.

And here I am, one final slog to the summit. 

Woot, woot!

Colin heads down the South Ridge.

That's him, way down there...

Colin descending.

I thought those clouds were pretty. 

And there, that's me, and Sir Donald. Mission complete! Woot, woot!

And then we went back to Revelstoke to dry out our gear in the Library parking lot. Ha!
























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