September 15, 2007
It has been a few years since I put this outing on the climb schedule. As always, it turned out to be a fine adventure! The Castle Crags Wilderness in northern California is wonderfully scenic and presents opportunities for fine traditional rock climbing in a great alpine setting.
The “Cosmic Wall” route on Mt. Hubris is a classic multi-pitch climb on solid granite with superb views all around. The climbing is easy to moderate in difficulty (the hardest pitch is rated 5.6). Some of the easier portions don’t lend them selves to much protection, but the rock quality is good, and the more difficult sections can be well protected.
I was sorry that I could not include everyone who wanted to participate in the climb, but the group size has to be carefully limited. I hope to put this climb on the schedule again for those who were kind enough to be understanding about not going along.
The team that we did assemble did a GREAT job. Wayne Deeter went first and lead all five pitches, belayed and followed by Chance Fitzpatrick. I brought my team up second with Sue Carey helping with belays and rope management and Larry Huff assisting with belays and “cleaning” (bringing up the gear).
For those of you who are familiar with this climb, or considering climbing this route in the future, yes, I did say five pitches. Wayne, climbing on a 65 meter rope, skipped the bolted belay station that is commonly used as the top of pitch three and went straight to the ledge that usually ends pitch four. I was using a shorter 60 meter rope but decided to try the same thing. (That bolted belay is a pain in the neck!) A 60 meter rope allows you to skip the bolted belay and reach the next ledge... BARELY! I don’t think I had a foot of rope to spare!
By the time the second team reached the small, airy summit the first team was waiting in the notch below, kindly having left the longer rope behind for us to use on the second rappel. Very helpful to have those few extra feet.
Most of us changed into light hikers (carried up by Chance and Sue) for the hike/scramble back down the gully to the packs. Wayne scrambled down in a pair of “Crocks.” Better him than me!
After the hike out our hungry bunch finished the day with the obligatory feed at the Black Bear Diner. After our day no one had any trouble finishing up even their large portions!
Climbers were: Sue Carey, Wayne Deeter, Chance Fitzpatrick, Larry Huff and Doug Nelson, leader.