Tuesday, November 13, 2007

DC Alpine Assault

To continue our training for Patagonia and fuel our alpine urge, Dave and I met after work last night to do a quick night ascent of Old Rag's Oh My God Diheral (5.10c). The grade was at our limit, but we'd climbed it before and thought it safe enough to try at night.

We pushed through rush hour on 66 and got to the base of the North Ridge Trail at 830pm. The sun had set hours ago.

We blasted the 4 miles of switchbacks and spooky scrambling to the summit of Old Rag carrying small packs, harnesses, a rope and 5 cams.  Mist curled through the beams of our headlamps and heightened the atmosphere.

We bushwhacked down the flank and arrived at the base of the climb just after 10pm.

I led it, then Dave.

We rappelled, reversed the bushwhack and ran down the mountain. All we could see was what the bouncing circle of our headlamps showed, which gave us the strange feeling of being in a first person shooter game.  Who knew what bad guys lurked in the darkness?  Hopefully just deer.

We reached the car around 12:30am, then home just after 2am to get a few hours of sleep before work in the morning.
Climbing Oh My God Dihedral by daylight on the 4th of July '07.  I hadn't tried anything harder than 5.9 at this time and thought this attempt would be a hangdog affair.  Instead, I got the onsight.  I will always remember this as one of my proudest sends.

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