This photo shows Tim looking over the cliff we just climbed. Tim climbed the Tooth earlier this year and it was his first technical climb. I have climbed with many first time climbers and most of them like to climb. There were a few that didn't, but that is another story.
The thing most memorable about this climb to me is that we told him very few details about the climb. Tim like many novices, did not know what to ask about this. Tim is in excellent shape and also was looking for a challenge. He was a natural at climbing, and we did not spoil the intrigue by giving him a lot of the details. The climb unfolded that day as a great experience and he had all of the right people and equipment that day.
Earlier at work the conversation turned to how long was the approach to this climb. I mentioned it was about 2 miles away and about 2000 vertical feet. I know Tim runs 5 miles routinely, however miles in the mountains are much more difficult than miles in the city. I tried not to paint much of a picture with a lot of details. Tim already knew how to rappel and he knew that there would be 4 people total. Two ropes of two.
After work, we started out of the car onto the snow at full speed. One took the lead and kicked out 500 vertical feet of steps that were easy to follow. It was next my turn, and I kicked out the next 1000 vertical feet of steps. A third climber did most of the steps on the traverse and we made great time in nice late spring snow towards the climb.
There was one short section that had a deep snow moat to skirt, followed by branch to branch swinging on the local scrub. Once we were at the base of the climb I quickly started up and asked Tim to just leave the pro for the second rope. This would save us time. We wanted to make the summit before the sun would set. A second rope pitch and Tim and I were on top and I took this photo of Tim at the edge. The second rope arrived soon after this photo using are fixed pro. We took in the views, took photos, and soon made our way down with two 60 meter rappels just as it became dark enough for headlamps.
After putting the climbing hardware away, we all hit the headlamps and made great time getting back to our car. At one point I slowed down because Tim was lagging. He did not have any problems so we continued down each of us separated by hundreds of yards down a ski area and meet at the bottom.
We gathered together at the car and soon headed home. Tim and I went to work the next day. I spent time in the lab and was very happy about the climb and also happy that Tim would be able to relate to this escape from work break.