This one had been on my to-do list since about 2002.
Sundial is the pointy, awesome-looking peak left of center in the photo below.
Walter and I made good time on the hike in (~3 miles), but I started way too far left for the first pitch. It was hard to protect and probably 5.7ish. We ended up rappelling back down to the big ledge and getting back on route for pitch 2. Pitch 2 was a lot of fun; it’s an easy 5.2 corner to a really thin, fun, polished 5.8 corner. Pitch 3 traditionally heads straight up from the belay but we opted to go right a bit to see what was around the corner. And pitch 4 was a short little 5.5 pitch to the top. I led all the pitches except the last one. The descent rappels (two with a single 70m rope) were pretty straightforward.
Oh, and it was freezing. Cold and windy.
For the rack, I took cams to #3 (with doubles in the .75, 1, and 2 sizes), a few micro cams, and a set of nuts. It was perfect.
Here are our times:
- 0:00 – Started hiking
- 1:29 – Arrived at Lake Blanche
- 1:54 – Arrived at the base of the route
- 2:12 – I started up the first pitch
- 5:42 – We both were on top. The actual climbing itself took us 3:30 at a relatively relaxed pace, including the time-consuming first pitch detour.
- 6:02 – We left the top to start hiking up to one of the higher-up points that are further north on the summit ridge
- 6:24 – We got to the top of one of the higher-up points and then turned around
- 7:32 – Arrived back at our packs at the base of the route
- 7:42 – Started the hike back down
- 9: 36 – Arrived back at the cars
Overall, the climb was awesome. The rock was a lot better than I thought it would be, and the climbing itself was a lot of fun. I’ll be back to climb some more variations on the face.
[As always, click on any photo for the larger version. And there is a fuzzy lighter-colored section on a lot of the photos because I touched the lens with my chalked-up hands. Oops.]
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