|We got a little wet|
|Mike and Adam following on the first pitch|
|Mike on Pitch one|
|Me all smiles on pitch 2|
|Adam on pitch 3|
|Mike enjoying the hanging belay|
I took the first pitch and found it a bit spicy. After the first section which was formed in a weird way I transferred right into a left facing corner. At the bottom of it were two pitons with a bail sling. Ignoring the hint, I continued up the unprotected dihedral- on 02/12/2013 the ice here was too thin. I got to a fixed nut with a bail biner and tried to swing over to the ice flow without any success. Ignoring the second point from which other people have bailed from, I went up and encountered the crux of this pitch (it was so awesome I even used a few stein pulls!), which was the climb in the upper dihedral and traverse left to the ice flow. Climbing granite with crampons while placing cams in cracks full of ice keeps you alert. It also keeps you from going fast. This pitch took me forever!
|Views are not bad...|
|Mike on pitch 4|
|Mike taking it to the top (pitch 5)|
|Adam and I on terra firma|
Since I was a bit cold I asked for the next pitch too, which seemed like a nice wi3+ flow. It went fast and Adam took pitch number three in good style- another wi3+ish quality pitch. All three of us were happy with how quick we moved after reaching solid ice.
Mike took over for pitches 4 and 5. Both of which were long and low angle. By the time we were done with these, our calves were on fire! No wonder- this was the longest ice route for all three of us. We were not done yet though, we still had to break trail for another 400 feet or so through a knee deep Sierra cement. Summit of the Watchtower had a stunning view, and reaching it in winter via Moonage Daydream was an icing on the cake.
|View from The Watchtower's summit|
|It was really this good! I did not even add colors!|
|Good day coming to an end...|