Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Vidoe #7 "The Storm"
Conrad and I left the portaledge camp and headed up ropes fixed above the dangling home the previous day by Mark & Alex. The breakfast pitch fell to Conrad on this day. Looked like a straight forward corner crack, I couldn't really tell or see much of his progress from my hanging belay that was tucked neatly under an overhang. Expletives precluded large blocks, suitcase sized chunks spun passed my protected stance offering a gauge of our altitude with the time the crash took to audibly rebound. As if the blocky loose nature wasn't enough the temperature began to drop & the radically overhanging nature of our cliff began to fail in it's protective aspect from precipitation. I wondered if Conrad had his shell layer as I dug through the haul bag for every available layer. Many items later I was still engaged in belay aerobics to stay warm, blocks occasionally rained from above and the rope kept moving upward. Upon completion of my cleaning the pitch both of us were, excuse the expression, 'pissed wet through'! The storm was picking up momentum so I declined to take the line further and we retreated to camp. Alex & Mark had dropped down to work on free-climbing a lower pitch and were already in their ledge. We thought they had landed dry and were relaxing in their shelter, they were of course drenched but thought we'd made it down dry. The storm had reduced our communication to walkie-talkies even though there was merely six feet between us!