Daily Archives: August 9, 2013

Return to Whitehorse Ledges, July of 2013 marks the full ascent!


Return to Whitehorse Ledges

Weekend of July 26th – 28th

Friday, 26-Jul-13

  • Leave work early, so I can bike over to the RMV to get a renewed license
  • Renewal actually goes really cleanly… no trouble, nice person behind the counter.  I even get a massage in a cool massage chair while waiting.  Cost a whole buck.
  • Bike to Davis and grab a few steaks for the weekend – incentive to finish the route on time!
  • Bike home, pack the last few things, eat a bit and pack up the car
  • Drive onto the open road!  … Huh.  Not so open.  Traffic!
  • Finally break free, and after stopping for the rest of the food I finish the drive up to the Loj in peace and serenity… turns out the thing I was missing recently?  Driving fast down an open road with the roof down.  Really helps the whole “happiness” thing, heh.
  • Arrive at the Loj to a completely empty parking lot.  Drive the Mustang up to the LC lot, pull my gear, and start the walk up.  It’s nice… nostalgic and relaxing
  • Open the Loj up after seeing a terrifyingly low propane tank, but not a full open.  Windows?  Meh.  Stove, cocoa, and a fridge are all we need
  • Pack everything away and lay out for some more reading of American Gods ‘till Daniel arrives.  Once he does… we basically continue chilling and reading; crash early for an early morning.

Saturday, 27-Jul-13

  • Wake up early… like, normal working day early.  Maybe even earlier.  … I woke up at 7:00.  Daniel was cranky about it, but making breakfast convinced him to get his ass off the couch.
  • Scrambling eggs, eating apples and snacks, and making of lunches occurs.
  • After reviewing the route again, we roll out toward the cliffs!  Pack up the Mustang and hit the highway.  It’s a quick drive, but amazingly fun going through the mountains with the music blaring.
  • Arrive, park, pull gear, and walk over to the base of the cliff.  Racking up takes a few minutes, but it’s a good thing – there’s a team ahead of us, and we give them enough time to move ahead of us enough that we’ve got a good three pitches free ahead.
  • Move out!  CLIMBING!
    • (Official Pitch 1) walk up: we just walk up the slab to the Launch Ledge.  It’s a simple easy thing… I think it’s officially rated a 5.0, but since it’s such a shallow slab…
    • Pitch 1: I take the lead up to the toilet bowl.  It’s wet and gross, but a simple climb and an easy belay.  Daniel gets cranky about me getting his rope wet.
    • Pitch 2: Daniel leads the route over to the bottom of the Arch.  It’s clean and simple.
    • Pitch 3: The Arch.  My favorite pitch… super long, good pro, and fun moves.  I think it’s ~170 ft of climbing, but a low angle and with a big crack to the side.  FUN!
    • Pitch 4: I take the lead again, leaving the pinch belay and moving up to the Lunch Ledge.  I take a slightly non-standard route, but it’s fine and fun.
    • Pitch 5: The crux.  The evil pitch.  This is the one that’s stopped me in my tracks before… either by just being too hard, taking far too much time due to route finding trouble, or just generally being evil.  We had a choice: easy way that takes longer, or quicker hard way.  I decided to cut to the chase, and take the hard way.  It was terrifying; tons of thin moves on tiny holds, a good 700ft off the ground.  But I did it.  And soon enough we were moving onward again…
    • Pitch 6: Daniel led this one.  Sort of.  Instead of taking the well-worn simple way, he took the straight-forward way… which was quite harder.  Not due to the rock… but due to the massive amount of lichen encrusting the rock.  But Daniel beasted it out, and we continued climbing…
    • Pitch 7 & 8: We strung these two into one pitch, thanks to Daniels 70m rope.  Fun and simple – very run out though.  Like… this was a full 70m pitch (215 ft), and I had… two?  Maybe three placements?  Yeah.  Easy climbing, terrifying head games.
    • Once we finished up the route, we hung out with some of the folks we had met on the route – taking in the view and the beginnings of the sunset before starting the walk down the trail.
    • Guh… climbing is fun, but hella-tiring.  Walking off is almost worse.
    • The drive back to the Loj is epic – perfect sunset, just the right temperature to have the top down, and we get back to the parking lot just in time for dusk to finish falling.
    • Meet a few NUHOCers at the Loj who’re copying Mike and my “ninja camping at the Loj” weekend… but they’re not particularly good at it, because we meet up with them as they’re stealing firewood.  It’s all good though, and we hang out for a bit.
    • Porterhouse T-Bones, cooked cleanly with just salt and olive oil, with side dishes of garden-fresh (from my garden) tomatoes and some seared summer squash
    • Holy crap, so good.
    • And to top it off?  Mason jars full of Champagne.  Because that’s how we roll.  Also?  MaCallan 12 year Scotch.  Hell to the yes.
    • Relax for the night, and crash semi-early.

Sunday, 28-Jul-13

  • Wake up… meh.  Nah.  I’ll get up when I feel like it.  Have a few good dreams before finally getting mobile and making up some breakfast
  • Relax out on the back porch and read, nearly finishing up American Gods.
  • We debate going out to Rumney… but it’s one of those “I just… I wanna relax!” sort of days.  So we do.  Instead of rushing out we take our time closing up the Loj and packing everything… finally leaving around one or two.
  • Drive down 113, taking in the scenery and scouting out a few places to do some climbing later on in the season
  • We take the Kancamagus highway back toward I-93, grabbing a bite of dinner/lunch before taking the main highway all the way back through to Boston.