The Notch couloir on Longs Peak (14,255')
Date: 19 June 2010
Climbers: Tim Martin, Matt Peres, Larry McMahon
Equipment: Ice axes, crampons, rope, cams, nuts, pickets, screws, mountaineering boots
Start time: 0200, end time: 2200
This was our plan "A" from the week before. This Saturday was looking to offer perfect weather and did not let us down. This was a very good, considering how long we were out there. We donned our headlamps and set off hiking up the approach trail in the dark. This was also a good thing, because we could not see our objective during the night and were thus not intimidated by the distance. This was a mixed condition route. We did get our first view of the notch at sunrise from Chasm Lake.
We "cruised" right up the Lambs Slide and to the entrance of Broadway. The snow was mostly firm. We did very little potholing. Did I mention that I hate potholing? We encountered the only other people we would see all day. Two rather "slow" moving climbers ahead of us on Broadway. Broadway is a narrow ledge of mixed conditions (snow, rock) with a couple of crux moves.
We were very blessed to have MattyP kicking steps and leading the way. He set good pro most of the day. There was one pitch that Larry led and Matt was second. I was to sweep and collect the pro. After about 200' I realized that Matt was cleaning the pro and I was due for one heck of swing, should I have lost my holds. We probably pitched the rope 20 times throughout the day, throwing pickets, cams and a few nuts along the way.
After clearing Broadway, we tackled the Notch. This is a very steep climb, requiring to ice tools per climber for safety.
We were fortunate to find a much needed stream at nearly 13,000' and took the chance to fill our bladders. We would go through 2 gallons apiece on this day.
bckcntryskr & LRLarry Broadway
We had some sandwiches for our late lunch at the top on the Notch. Our route out was longer than anticipated and as we pushed toward our 20th hour in the field we were very tired. We did a couple of rappels and some glissading along the way to make it a little more tolerable. There would be no skiing on this route for us. Though it is possible to ski, we felt the excess weight would be crushing. It was a great day to be out in the high country and great company for such a challenging route.
MattyP & LRLarry