My epic on Mt. Evans

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sierra ledge rat
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My epic on Mt. Evans

Postby sierra ledge rat » Sun Oct 21, 2012 5:49 am

So here's my litte epic on Mt. Evans...

On the north side of Evans there are some great slabs and excellent rock:

Image
Photo linked from Summitpost: http://www.summitpost.org/mount-evans-july-2003/23284/c-150481
(Not my photo)

So I decided to free-solo the obvious right-facing dihedral on the highest sun-lit point in the right side of the above photo.

I got to within about 100 feet of the summit, and ran into a difficult section of complicated, steep face climbing. I am guessing that it was 5.7 or 5.8 face climbing. I have a rule that I never free-solo anything that I can't down-climb... But I was so close to the top. I could see all the way to the summit and it looked like clear sailing, so I decided to go for it. There was a corner that I couldn't see around, but the rest of it looked fine.

The face climbing was pretty tough and I was sure that it was not down-climbable, at least not for me.

Well... Then I got up to the blind corner and... it was in the shade with icy verglass covering everything. It was a dead-end.

I down-climbed to the steep face-climbing section and pondered my situation. There weren't any good ledges, so I was hanging out on small stances, looking down and trying to figure out how to get down. I tried over and over and over to down-climb the section, but couldn't do it. I was stuck.

I think I hung out there for almost an hour on small foothholds, and clinging to small hand holds. Finally I forced myself to down-climb the face because I knew my strength wouldn't last all day. Best to down-climb while I still have energy, rather than try when my energy was almost gone. It was pretty scary. But I made it!

I continued down-climbing. When I was about 20-30 feet from the ground I must have dropped my concentration because I fell! I hit the ground hard and broke my ankle. Arggg! I wrapped my rain jacket around my knee for padding and crawled on my hands and knees back to my car. (At least it was a short crawl back to the road.)

Has anyone else done this route?
Last edited by sierra ledge rat on Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
"I've crossed the thin line between bravery and foolishness too many times."
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Johnson
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Re: My epic on Mt. Evans

Postby Johnson » Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:35 am

Dude! :shock:
In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. - Psalm 95:4

"I would be doing myself a disservice and every member of this band if I didn't perform the hell out of this." - Gene
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Vermont Mike
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Re: My epic on Mt. Evans

Postby Vermont Mike » Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:05 am

Image
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susanjoypaul
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Re: My epic on Mt. Evans

Postby susanjoypaul » Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:14 am

sierra ledge rat wrote:Has anyone else done this route?

I sincerely doubt it. It looks like you were shooting for the false summit to the west of "West Evans."

Glad you made it out of there OK. You're not the first person to push for a summit (when you know you probably shouldn't) and I'm sure you won't be the last. We all know what it feels like to be so close, yet still have that nagging feeling of uncertainty as to whether or not that last stretch is really safe - or even do-able. Sometimes it pays off, and other times... you have to crawl back to your car. Good luck with the ankle. At least it's not summertime, so lying on the couch won't suck quite so much.

CORRECTION: I was just talking to Stewart Green, who's been climbing in Colorado for many years. That area is known as "The Aprons" and he climbed them in the late 1970s, but they were climbed many times prior to that, in the 60s. Apparently they are 5.7ish routes and have been documented on Mountain Project and in Pete Hubbel's book, "Front Range Climbing," which came out about 20 years ago.
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sierra ledge rat
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Re: My epic on Mt. Evans

Postby sierra ledge rat » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:01 am

Thank you, I have that book. I'll take a look.
"I've crossed the thin line between bravery and foolishness too many times."
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Re: My epic on Mt. Evans

Postby MtnClimber82 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:17 am

Sounds to me like you were climbing the Right Side Dihedral on the 2nd Apron. I climbed this route about a month ago. Pretty fun route but quite a bit of verglas up towards the top. If you were on 5.7-.8 terrain, I think you were off route. However, I'm not even positive we're talking the same route because you definitely cannot see the summit from anywhere on the route since it is such a deep dihedral.

http://www.mountainproject.com/v/the-aprons/105745711
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DaveSwink
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Re: My epic on Mt. Evans

Postby DaveSwink » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:19 am

sierra ledge rat wrote:I have a rule that I never free-solo anything that I can't down-climb...


Thanks for sharing your adventure. That sounds like a good rule. :-D

Vermont Mike wrote:Image


I dunno what this is supposed to be saying. I hope it is not an expression of enjoyment/relish of sierra ledge rat's injury.
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Dave B
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Re: My epic on Mt. Evans

Postby Dave B » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:24 am

sierra ledge rat wrote:I continued down-climbing. When I was about 20-30 feet from the ground I must have dropped my concentration because I fell! I hit the ground hard and broke my ankle. Arggg! I wrapped my rain jacket around my knee for padding and crawled on my hands and knees back to my car. (At least it was a short crawl back to the road.)

Has anyone else done this route?


Holy crap, dude!

Way to understate a broken ankle.
The mountains - whose summits reach or exceed arbitrary thresholds for elevation and prominence - are calling and I must go.

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Taillon75
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Re: My epic on Mt. Evans

Postby Taillon75 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:30 am

Dam. Your crazy. I feel your pain....
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EatinHardtack
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Re: My epic on Mt. Evans

Postby EatinHardtack » Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:30 pm

Holy crap dude, glad your ok!
Last edited by EatinHardtack on Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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sierra ledge rat
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Re: My epic on Mt. Evans

Postby sierra ledge rat » Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:39 pm

Looking at the photos I was definitely in the Right Side Dihedral on the 2nd Apron.

Thanks.
"I've crossed the thin line between bravery and foolishness too many times."
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Re: My epic on Mt. Evans

Postby ameristrat » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:21 am

Ouch!! Hope you heal up soon!
You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know. - Rene Daumal

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