Friday, June 3, 2011

New Places Take Time To Learn

After our "spanking" Wednesday at Tahquitz, Meredith and I gave it another shot today.  I can say we faired much better with the actual climbing part, but not the descent.  We did NOT top out this time, opting instead to do one pitch off the ground then rap back down. Since we left our packs about 50 feet below the route's start, one would expect it would be easy to return to the packs - not so.  You see, we had to climb up an awful chimney to get to the base of the route (ended up being a 5th class solo for me, then putting Meredith on belay for safety - insert curse words here). The first pitch of Left Ski Track was loads of fun and felt more like the grade should feel.  But since we didn't want to downclimb the 5th class chimney after rapping, we elected to follow the descent trail that wraps around the whole cliff. This ended up taking us too far downhill and away from the cliff and our packs.  More than an hour later, we retraced some of the various paths through manzanita (insert curse words here) and made it back to our packs.  No time for another route as all we could consider was a 165 foot pitch. Even the 70 meter rope couldn't cut that for rapping back down and no time to top out on another route.  Score: Tahquitz 2 - Meredith and Jean 0

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