Ptarmigan 2012 – Day 1

I got up Saturday morning with no set plans and a real desire to get and climb in the beautiful weather.  I called and woke David and asked if he was up for heading out to Ptarmigan.  He waffled for a bit because he really wanted to get out to do more development at Long Lake, but he caved as the weather out there might be a bit wet.  Then I called Will and Drew and woke them up to see if they were interested in going.  Will was game right away, while Drew took a little more convincing.

Soon enough though I was picking up Drew and Will and heading up to the Glen Alps trail-head to meet David.  We packed up and headed down the trail.  I would guess the hike is was about 1/2 trail and 1/2 snow and pretty exhausting.  Normally we bike in which takes between 40-50 minutes up and 20-30 back.  Today the hike each way took about 1.5-1.75 hours.  We started off the day at the Mojo boulder and did the nice v1 and v2 on the northwest face, a v0 slab on the east side and an un-named v5 on the southeast corner, then got to work on some of the harder stuff.  We all made pretty quick work of Brazilian Mojo sds-v7, and all felt that it was a soft v7, but really good.  We also all sent Drew’s sit start to the left called Valid Salad-v7, which starts low on a right hand crimp and left hand sidepull and climbs straight up the crimps on the face into the topout of Twisted Sister.

We then headed up to the Manslap boulder check out the lines there.  The Manslap boulder was in a really cool wind scoured little clearing with a 6-8  foot high wall of snow in a big circle behind the boulder.

The snow bowl around the Manslap Boulder

Drew was pretty excited to get on He-Bitch Manslap-v8.  With the right beta he was able to send in a couple goes and I repeated it in short order.  Will tried it, but was not liking the key thumb crystal that drives into the meat of your thumb like a dull knife.  We also did Sheep Farmer-v7, an old Chris Terry problem that is a reachy and pretty stout v7.  Drew and I were able to send, and Will and David came close but not quite.

I spied a new line between Sheep Farmer and He-Bitch Manslap and quickly chalked it up.  Drew gave it a go, but was too worked by this point to have any luck. I was able to fire it first go to put up a new (slightly contrived) line now dubbed  The Great Drewdini-v8.  The Great Drewdini start on two crimps in a seam at head height and fires right hand to a high crimp next to the arete, avoid going further right into the top of He-Bitch Manslap.  As Drew, Will and David continued to work those two, we noticed a possible sit start into The Great Drewdini. I started working this and after a number of tries(alot of tries), I figured out the beta and was able to send White Mystery-v9/10?.  White Mystery starts at the right end of a low rail, makes a big move up and right into crimps, then continues up and right into the top-out of  He-Bitch Manslap.  Another variation that would have to wait for another day would be to do the start of White Mystery and link into The Great Drewdini.

The hike down was another long grueling slog through soft slushy snow.  When we finally got back to the car Drew and Will were completely trashed and ready to vow to never do that hike again.  The same thing they’ve said every other time they’ve done it.

Here a quick video from the day: