August, '02


The West Face of Long's Peak with Koren

A New Route?



     In August, Koren and I spent a couple nights camping in the Boulderfield on Long's Peak. Our objective, aside from getting away from the stress of city life, was to climb the 600 foot west face... 

    After a night at the Goblin's Forest campsite, Koren and I spent the next day moving our camp to the Boulderfield at almost 12,500ft. This proved to be quite a pain in the ass but we managed. (READ: Brad's a wimp and he whines a lot)  Koren provided the moral support while I was relegated to playing keep-up. When we finally reached the Boulderfield and dropped our packs, I felt quite invigorated. Twice I hiked back down the trail  looking for Guillaume, Jennifer, Jason, and Pina who were meeting us at camp. They eventually arrived and we shared a hot meal over a bottle of merlot and a nice sauterne.

    Guillaume and Jenny were off early to climb the Casual Route on the Diamond. You can read about their adventure here. I heard them leave in the dark of night and laid there wondering how the Diamond was going to treat them. Koren and I rose with the sun and ate a quick breakfast before heading off to the West Face. Jason had planned to climb with us, but Pina was not feeling well so he stayed to help her. 

    Koren and I followed the Keyhole (standard) route with all the morning hikers for a mile or so before veering off. We scrambled up several hundred feet of class 3 and 4 to the base of the headwall where we hoped to find our route. The wall above had many options that looked fun and reasonable. I spent a few minutes looking at the guide and then decided to just look for a good line. Ten minutes later, I was starting up a slab with discontinuous cracks aiming for a left facing dihedral. Luck was with us and we climbed three good, long pitches to the top of the wall. (5.7) What we climbed does not match any description I have found in any guide so it was either undocumented or it was a first ascent, likely the former. 

    We caught up with Guillaume and Jennifer at the base of  the north face and we all started back together. Jason and Pina had left already and Guillaume was soon packing. He had to work the next day. Koren, Jenny and I stayed in camp another night and hiked out the following day. Here are some of the pictures.

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Taking a break as we enter the Boulderfield.

Koren relaxing in our Boulderfield campsite. After carrying our heavy packs up here, we were happy to do nothing. :)

A night photo Guillaume took with the North Face in the background. Pina was feeling a little nip in the air. :)

Guillaume taking a good look at the Diamond. He and Jenny would climb this the next day.

Koren on the Keyhole route which we followed to the base of our route. Black lake is visible 1500 feet below in Glacier Gorge.

Scrambling up to the base of our route. Click Here to see a copy of the above picture with the route marked.

Koren following the second pitch in gloves. It was cold in the morning shade.

Koren nearing the top of the wall and finding some well earned sunshine. :) The two lakes are Green and Frozen (near to far) and the mass of granite between them is the Spearhead.

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