Friday, July 16, 2010


Its alpine season once again, too hot to climb even on Lumpy Ridge one must gain some elevation to keep things on the cool side. I climbed Zowie by way of the standard South Face route, Grade III 8+ with my old roomate Beth Andrews at the end of last season, one of the most enjoyable routes of all year, and now I decided to start the alpine season off right and climb Zowie first with my good buddy Mike. With this being Mikes first alpine climb I was totally excited to share in that experience with him.. So the typical alpine climb start, at least for Zowie due to the shorter approach. Wake up call 2am, pick up mike leave Boulder 3am, drive at a high rate of speed to Estes Park and then through the park to Glacier Gorge trailhead 4am, start hiking 4:05 am, roped up and climbing by 6am, 6 pitches and approx 700 feet later on the summit 10:45 am, back at base of climb 11:45 am. Lunch, meditation, reflection back at truck for a cold beer 2pm....So with the details out of the way here are a few pics from the climb..

Sun coming up over the Loch....

Morning Alpen glo on the tip of Zowie, the large buttress in the foreground that narrows to a spire.

Mike climbing up one of the early morning pitches of the climb. I think the smile on Mikes face is from finally being able to escape the hoards of mosquitoes that were at the base of the route. They were pretty bad. I think Mike said some thing along the lines of" I think you need to lead this pitch as fast as possible dude!" as he was dawning his rain coat for defence.

Mike following pitch 3

Great Views of The Gash and Sharkstooth from mid route, looking south west towards Andrews Glacier....

Mike enjoying himself, no more mosquitoes!

Looking up at the final crux pitch. The left of the 2 cracks splitting the overhung headwall above. The right one goes too..Just a little bit harder, #4 Camalot crucial if you want to sew it up.

Mike climbing up the last difficult bit to the summit....

Looking down part way through the descent of Zowie...

Mike descending the boulder field in front of Zowie ....Good perspective on the size of the climb..

A great climb and the perfect start to this years alpine season...

Peace, Jason

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