Friday, June 10, 2016

First Ascent on the Happy Dome: Man in Heat (2,000 ft 5.8 R)

Daniel and I wanted to get up to the dome above the North Dome, in the Kings Canyon, for a LONG time. Neither of us knew if it was ever climbed, nor did anyone we asked. The approach seemed long, tricky, filled with bushwhacking, rattlesnakes, sea monsters and all the other things that keep the herds out of SEKI. From far away the rock did not seem to be of the highest quality neither..well at least that's what I told everyone who asked me about that wall. We procrastinated for a long time, so long that it took several trips up the North Sentinel to remind us about the existence of the mysterious wall. As the most of the outings with Daniel, we had a great time! It is hard to describe a day like this, as words won’t do it justice. The approach gained about 3,000 ft. There was not much bushwhacking, no rattlesnakes or sea monsters. The climb ended up being very moderate on great rock. Highly featured, yet the features were sloping enough to keep the leader engaged without losing too much focus, yet moving over stone. We did ten full pitches, some with the need to simul climb in order to make a natural anchor. Great views, great climbing, great partner. Maybe I can even say partners. I brought some of Eddie's ashes up with me for the second outing in a row and spread them over the Kings Canyon. We had a great day and his positive spirit was present, so we named the formation The Happy Dome. Since it was a second time I spread his ashes in the area of Kings Canyon, the next time should be somewhere new, hopefully the High SIerra. To cap off the great day, we got back to the car by 5 PM and jumped in the COLD river. It was a HOT day and the name of the route is very appropriate - Man in Heat (IV 5.8 R), pun intended. :)

North Dome with Happy Dome above it
Zoomed in photo of the Happy Dome. Route goes pretty much up the middle

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