Hatcher Pass 2012 – Day 2

WHAT A DAY!  Good weather, good company, good scenery, and 35 new problems done in Hatcher’s!

On Saturday, Elijah and I headed up to Hatcher Pass with bikes and pads for a day of exploration.  As we drove out we couldn’t believe how good the weather was.  Not a cloud in the sky to start the day.

Drew, Will, Tanya Cathy, David and Jo were all planning on heading out and meeting us, so it looked like a fun group.  Cathy and Tanya headed up first and started the hike in.  Elijah and I showed up at about the same time as David and Jo who were also biking in.

Biking up Archangel Road

The bike up was much faster than hiking in and we caught up to Cathy and Tanya about 3/4 of the way up the road, just past the Reed Lakes Parking.  The bike got much less fun here as the road gets pretty steep.  You don’t really notice in the car, but with only a couple of exceptions on the lower road, you are going uphill the whole way up the road.  We did see some guys working on clearing the alders from next to the road and widening it.  They said they were going to be doing some work on the upper road later this year.

The first boulders we came to were in the Lost World Area that Elijah and I went to last weekend.  Everyone was full of energy and ready to clean, so we got to work on a couple of boulders right next to the road.  We ended up cleaning and putting up 6 problems on the first boulder with 2 really standout problems, and 6 problems on the second boulder.

After that we headed down across the river to explore some of the talus field down there.  There are some incredible and big boulders down there that need a good TR to clean, but will be fantastic once they are cleaned.  I was looking for an old roof problem that a friend had once shown me 6 or 7 years ago and I had never made it back.  David found it next to some other boulders which looked pretty good, so we set up camp and started cleaning and climbing some more.  There was 1 line already cleaned which turned out to have an incredible v1 stand start, and we added a left finish to it over a pretty gnarly spike of rock.  We also cleaned three new lines on a short boulder right next to it.

Camped out at the base

Jo climbing the start of the line that was already cleaned – probably v5 from the sit, and v1 from the stand.

David doing the left variation at the top – v5

David doing the beached whale topout technique on a new line.

Next we headed over to the roof line, which follows a progressively harder series of big moves on good holds to a nice topout..  Drew and I started working it with a couple of pads and figured out all the moves after a bit.  David and Will joined us with more pads and started working it as well.  Will got really close and ended up running short on gas at the top 3-4 times.  David’s first go was incredibly close to latching the crux, but just missing by 1/2 an inch.  I snagged the first ascent (as far as I know) of Captain Obvious – v9,  while Drew followed up with a send shortly after.

While we worked the roof, Tanya, Jo and Cathy wandered over to check out a nice little boulder by the river.  They cleaned and did three lines there, and I added a silly 1 move wonder a little bit later.  While Will and David were still working the roof, Drew and I spied a really nice looking arete with a couple of good looking lines on it, so we started cleaning again.  Sure enough two fantastic lines were found and cleaned.  They both start on a big low rail and head up and left to a jug.  The easier line then reach up and right for a good sidepull rail and mantels onto the slab.  The harder line Velociraptor-v6 continues up the arete from the jug.

Drew starting up Velociraptor-v6

Next up was a line Drew cleaned just downhill from Velociraptor dubbed The Fang-v2/3ish.  It follows a tall striking arete to a topout at the highest point  of the boulder and had a big pit under it.  I think the fall may be worse when the snow all melts out.  We also cleaned and climbed two more lines on a lower part of the same boulder that are in the v3-4 range.

Drew on The Fang – v2

We all checked out the two riverside boulders, then did a bit of exploration to see what else was out there.

David showing off his muscles on another line that was already cleaned – probably in the v4/5 range.

We all ended the day at a boulder on the east side of the river with a bunch of easier lines that all looked fantastic on it.  We all got involved in cleaning and ended up with 8 new problems from v0 to v2.  All of them were really fun and worth doing.

By this point we were all completely drained.  I felt a bit guilty as the four of us with bikes had a pretty mellow exit, while the other four still had a 3.25 miles hike out.