Hatcher Pass 2012 – Day 3

The last week has been like a summer dream.  Sunny, clear, and warm for days on end.  Not your typical Alaskan summer.  After  a busy week with family and events I snuck out on Friday for a day in Hatcher Pass and what a glorious day it turned out to be.  Drew, Will, and I connected at ARG around noon and drove out.  Drew and Will had been out earlier in the week and found out the gate to Archangel road was open, so we headed that way again.

Nearly perfect weather heading into Hatcher Pass

We headed to Niffleheim to check out a possible variation along with some other boulder projects in the area. The trail to Niffleheim still had quite a bit of snow, but it was pretty reasonable to boulder hop around it.  When we got there we warmed up on Euphoria and Seasons in the Mist, then got to work figuring out the new line.  The new line basically sit starts in the center of the Niffleheim overhang, then cuts left at the blocky feature to the arete and finishes up Euphoria.

Will working the traverse section into the arete.

After a bit of work, we figured out the traverse and started working the lower moves.  The sit start basically consists of a short bump move with the left hand, to a bigger move left hand to a small hold requiring alot of body tension.  From here you move right hand into the blocky holds before heading left to the arete.  Drew, Will and I all ended up figuring out slightly different beta for the moves.

Drew on the crux move of Honky Tonk Ba-Donky Donk – v10

After a couple hours of work Honky Tonk Ba-Donky Donk – v10 was finally sent.  The next step is to continue up the left  side off the face on small sidepulls for the right hand instead of going out to the arete.  This will certainly add quite a bit of difficulty and probably bump it to v11/12ish.

David showed up right as we were moving onto the black scoop project, so we added some extra pads and David re-cleaned a really cool arete we had done back in 2002 or so.  These are on a boulder on the south side of the Niffleheim meadow.  The arete goes at v4 and I’ll ave to see if I can dig up the name.

Drew, Will and I worked the scoop and Drew figured out the right body position resulting in a new 1 move problem called Erratic Bowel Movement (EBM) – v8.  This problem basically consists of a delicate pull off the ground into a scooped face, then a controlled fall upwards to a decent hold at the lip followed by a wicked barndoor to the right which causes your feet to cut and you end up in a nearly face down position swinging by your one hand.  You then have a mildly spicy topout on slopers and higher up some more holds needing cleaning.


Drew working on Erratic Bowel Movement – v8

Me working Honky Tonk Ba-Donky Donk and Drew sending EBM:

Drew and Will headed over to try Kieth’s Last Stand – v8, which Drew was able to figure out and send.  This is a cool line just south of EBM involving nice opposition and compression climbing up an arete. David and I went exploring for a bit, then David started cleaning some easier lines nearby while I worked the upper moves on the Niffleheim face.  After a bit Drew and Will headed off to explore while David and I went to check out a new arete he found.  We figured out the stand start which is basically a really cool campus move off of pinching the arete, then a pretty mellow topout.  The sit start from lower down the arete looked possible to me, but wicked hard – I’d guess in the v12-14 range.

Will falling off the campus arete

At this point Will, Drew and I called it a day and headed back to town.  As we got back to the creek crossing, it was obvious the river had risen by a fair amount and looked far more intimidating to cross back.  We eventually figured out our respective ways back, but it was a good lesson to remember that you do have to be able to get back out.