Desert Vibes

Desert Vibes
Photo: Ben Clark

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Longs Peak Project (May) -- Notch Couloir



May 28th—Ascended Notch Couloir/Clark’s Arrow, descended The North Face with Peter Bakwin and Justin Simoni

With significantly cooler temperatures we got another early start to see if we could get up the Notch Couloir and Stepladder. The approach to the base of Lamb’s Slide passed by quickly. We stopped to gear up (more layers, harnesses, crampons, axes, etc.), down some calories, and get ready for the rest of the ascent. We made our way up Lamb’s Slide and traversed over towards Broadway where we roped up. Justin took the lead while Peter and I simul-climbed behind. I was surprised at how serious Broadway is in the winter versus summer. Justin set up a belay at the climber’s right-hand side of the Notch Couloir where we regrouped for the climb. Again, Justin took the lead and headed up, while Peter and I followed. This was slightly steeper and higher consequence than Flying Dutchman, but the crux of Notch Couloir felt significantly easier than that of the FD. This could have been because the ice on FD was absolute shit when I led it and the short section of ice on NC was perfect. When we topped out at the Notch it began snowing on us. Justin was done leading for the day, Peter knew the route on the Stepladder but isn’t really comfortable lead climbing, and I had zero prior route knowledge. In summer conditions I would have went questing up the route, but I’m not exactly the most confident climber while wearing crampons. I had also talked to Stefan Griebel about this route and he told me that he fell while following Bill Wright. So, with none of us willing to take the lead we decided for the anticlimactic Clark’s Arrow finish. After our North Face descent, which only required about a 15 foot rappel, we quickly hiked out to get back to the car in 14 hours 54 minutes. What a long day…

May 21st—Ascended Lamb’s Slide/Clark’s Arrow, descended The North Face with Peter Bakwin and Justin Simoni

Our goal was to ascend via the Notch Couloir and Stepladder. Unfortunately, the sun was out in full force and led to some dangerous snow conditions on Broadway. So, we bailed on that idea and continued up Lamb’s Slide/Clark’s Arrow instead. Pretty straightforward ascent route. A descent of the North Face and hike out saw us back at the car in 9 hours 15 minutes.  

Broadway traverse into the Notch Couloir route

Approaching Chasm Junction

Approaching Chasm Junction

Nearing the base of Lamb's Slide. (Photo: Justin Simoni)

Peter making his way towards the bottom of Lamb's Slide

The Diamond covered in rime ice

Nice view of MLW from Broadway

Peter threw the rope over a horn for a little extra protection when I scooted around this bulge

Peter and I following up Broadway. (Photo: Justin Simoni)

Justin beginning up the Notch Couloir

First ice beard of the LPP

Summit shot

Peter charging down the North Face

Justin downclimbing the Cables

Looking back at our descent






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