Ascent of Sharkstooth on 2021-10-07
|Others in Party:||Brandon S|
----Only Party on Mountain
|Date:||Thursday, October 7, 2021|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Elevation:||12630 ft / 3849 m|
Ascent Trip ReportA perfectly epic finale to this year's alpine season. I lead all the pitches up Sharkstooth, and found it to be the most "sustained" rock climbing I've found in the alpine that's doable at my (low, hah!) trad climbing threshold. Crimps, off-width, crack, liebacks, dihedrals, there was a little bit of everything.
Hiking up to the base in the morning, I thought we'd have to call off the climb because it the wind was gusting terribly. Sharkstooth summit faded in and out of the racing clouds, gray and foreboding. It definitely felt like October weather. As we roped up at the base, we put on all our layers, for me, three (THREE!) puffy jackets, including my belay jacket. These layers never came off, not even as I was leading. That's how cold it was. The wind was blowing the clouds overhead so fast that Brandon said it gave him vertigo to look up as he belayed me.
At pitch 2.5 we realized we were off route when I found myself facing a slab with two thin cracks and crimps, no place for pro ... "This is definitely harder than 5.6" we agreed. It turns out I was confused between a right vs left facing dihedral which convinced me I was on route when I clearly wasn't.
Conveniently, someone had already set up a rap station (seems like many people have gone the same wrong way we had) and we rappelled down a ledge and started up the *correct* route up a flake (and awful lieback flake) and a series of left-facing dihedrals.
We did a total of ~7-8 short(er) pitches and summited just as moody dark clouds rolled in. The summit's only halfway, as we now had to descent this impressive thing. We did 4 rappels down and then downclimbed choss to the base of the climb, and continued down the "Gash" boulderfield that felt like it was never ending in the dark.
Finally made it back under a starry sky, happy and exhausted. Can't believe we summited so late in the season.
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