East Ridge of Wolf's Head
This post picks up where the Northeast Ridge of Pingora left off and is intended to be more of a photo story.
After taking our rest day we were psyched for the next route on our list. The East Ridge of Wolf’s Head. It’s a 5.6, grade III route with 10 pitches and a lot of exposure. The route starts with a scramble up to the ridge and you’re immediately put on the “sidewalk pitch” It’s this 2 foot wide section of granite that has 1000 foot drop offs to either side. Wind was coming through the notch and it was absolutely incredible.
The next 3-4 pitches were pure Fun with a capitol F. Moving fast on easy terrain. Great jams in the rock, and it was taking gear so we were completely protected. I had such a big smile on my face.
There were a couple airy traverses unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of, but here are some other ones from the route.
We reached the summit in the middle to end of the afternoon and hung out on top to take it in for a bit. We got Matt’s picture for the Live Your Dream grand he was awarded and we started getting stuff together to rappel down.
We made 5 rappels and then had some scrambling to do. Here we are at the end of the rappels, taking a food and water break before starting the scramble.
The last rappel we did put us into a notch where we could down climb and scramble all the way down to flat ground.
On our way back we sat and took in the stars. The more you looked at them, the more stars appeared. It was incredible. I thought I’d seen amazing night skies before, but this seemed to top them all.
The next day we weren’t really sure what to do. We were tired. After spending a leisurely morning we made the hike back up to Pingora and climbed the South Buttress route, 5.8, 4 pitches, via the K-cracks. I combined pitches on 2 and 3 to make a really long 200+ foot pitch. At the top I had used all my gear and was thankful to be able to make an anchor out of nuts. Matt let the money pitch and we scrambled up to the summit.
Overall, my first alpine climbing trip was a success. We hit our goals and learned a ton in the process. I’d never climbed on granite like that before and it made me want to get on even more of it. A few things I learned were; 1. Extend your pitches. When the mountain has 1200’ feet of climbing you don’t want to be doing 80’ pitches, especially when you have a 70 meter rope. 2. Always bring chapstick. Always. our lips got terribly sunburned and chapped. 3. Bring chocolate, and junk food. Matt didn’t. I did. Guess who was really happy to tear into the bear canister after being on route for 15+ hours :) 4. Stop at IME in Salt Lake City if you get the chance. We stopped there on the way out and we spend two hours talking with the guys in the store. 5. Have fun! You’re not going to know everything, that’s why they call it an adventure!