Monday, September 10, 2012

Evolution Traverse - attempt or scout

We (Sean, Kim, and I) prompted by Kim decided to try the Evolution Traverse. This would be a big undertaking for us, but we thought we'd check it out.  Kim had hiked in to the base once, and then bailed due to the enormity (and weather I think). Sean hates bivying, so we decided to try to do it in a push, which would make things even harder. We started shortly after 2 am and hiked in to the start (actually we probably started a little east of where you are supposed to start). By then it was light, so that was nice. We busted up onto the ridge and on to the summit of the first peak (Gould). Then on towards the next with some creative scrambling and a short pitch of climbing where I regretted not bringing the nut tool. A bunch more scrambling over false summits brought us to the summit of Mendel. From there we had a nice ridge descent for a bit before things got spicier with some raps down to the notch before a long scramble up to Darwin. I was no longer keeping up with Sean, but we were still moving right along. It was 1:30 pm or so and supposedly about 40% through the business, although the hardest technical stuff was just ahead. We decided that if we continued on there would be unpleasantness - more unpleasantness than we wanted. This would take the form of a long cold uncomfortable bivy or climbing through the night with headlamps with route finding problems. Also we weren't sure we were up for meeting the technical challenges at the speed required to see us through. So we lounged on the summit longer and then headed back. Well after the pass Sean reverted to his normal mode of mountain transportation - running - and Kim and I continued to stumble down the trail to get out before 9:30 - over a 19 hour push - which was probably enough.

The theme of the day was "MEAT" according to Kim which she would yell out from time to time - prompted by trying to eat a bunch she had before it went bad. I am not sure we succeeded, as part of the reason Sean left us was intestinal distress.

We were trying to go light and fast, so I didn't even bring my camera! It did make the hiking and scrambling quicker and easier, but I didn't get many pics. We had a single skinny 50M rope as well as a set of nuts and a bunch of slings. We all brought rock shoes, but I was the only one who wore them (for the one bit I led).

Here is the spot track.

Kim on Gould with the ridge to Mendel behind her

Here I am on Darwin with the rest of the traverse behind me

This traverse has teeth and isn't afraid to bite
All of these pics are from Kim's camera. Thanks Kim.

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