Thursday, August 21, 2008

Doubting the millennium

Black line is Doubting the millennium 5.12 600m
Green line is the variation we climbed last week : Millennium escape 5.12- 600m

One rivet and 3 copperheads to protect the crux... Snowflakes started falling down, a thunder storm was coming in... Maybe it's time to go down?
After having climbed a new free variation of Doubting the Millennium last week, we were psyched to try and free the real line of Doubting the Millennium (an old A3 aid route) which we  knew would be harder, but a more striking line. This time we decided to get an alpine start, to give us more time to tackle the crux. So with the help of the full moon we were on the wall at 5am, and by noon we were in good timing, just below the crux pitch, a thin crack going straight up from a 4 pitch corner leading to a good ledge. Suddenly the weather changed and in no time a big thunderstorm started coming closer while Nico was aiding the pitch.  For fear of being struck by lighting Nico rushed to finish the pitch and started rappelling as fast as possible. Just as we were about to pull the rope we noticed that the storm might just miss us and even though it didn't look very stable we decided to hang around a little longer... There was tension in the air but we decided to go back up... we stressfully worked the crux pitch threatened by strong winds, black clouds and lightening in the distance. Surprisingly the bad weather kept its distance giving us enough time to redpoint the pitch.  Then the sky looked less hostile... or so we thought... We kept moving towards the summit...

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