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The night time is the right time. A full moon climb.
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darkgift06


Jul 26, 2010, 3:41 PM
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The night time is the right time. A full moon climb.
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Well I'm not sure I will ever be able to top this one..




I've been trying to get some friends to do a midnight climb under the full moon but, the last 2 full moons it has ether been overcast, people were busy or just didn't want to commit to a late night. Well last night my friend Shane & I made it out. Our objective, Plumb line a 5.10a face climb on the Fortress at Skaha Bluffs. We decided on Plumb line because it is one of the premier climbs at Skaha, & its on the first wall you come to when you hike in. A close approach was key as we would be hiking in not from the parking lot but from the main road as the gate would be locked.

Well we arrived at the gate at 10pm, & lucky for us the gate was open so we drove up to the parking lot & hid our packs in a bush making the approach that much lighter & faster. The gate is supposed to be locked at dusk so the plan was to drop our gear off, park at the bottom & hike up the major hill with out packs. I have hiked up the road in the early season when there was to much ice on the road to drive up & I can sure say having a pack at the top & not on my back was a life saver.

We got to the parking lot & didn't waste anytime, bags on & hiking. Its a nice easy hike from the lot to the fortress maybe 10 mins on flat ground. With the moon light now coming over the ridge our minds weren't thinking about the hike, we couldn't stop talking about the amount of light that the moon was throwing. In fact it was so bright we didn't walk with head lamps on the way in & I think the first thing we noticed was that at 11:00 at night we had shadows as if it was mid day.

After standing on the trail admiring the cliff face glowing in the moonlight we got to business. Out came the glow sticks & electrical tape. The idea was to tape a glow stick to each draw, not only making clipping easier, but also making loosing a draw much harder. We were both amazed at how easy & well this worked. With all the draws racked, gear on, rope tied in Shane would be taking the lead, & though we both brought head lamps neither of us had them turned on. Shane then announced that he would be trying this with out the head lamp, deciding he would bring it just for safety. The moon was so bright he did a stellar job climbing, a little slower than usual but nice & steady up he went higher & higher. About 1/2 way up Shane paused for a while, as there is one run out portion of climb where you get to a nice horizontal crack, the guide book says you can place a mid sized cam, but we don't have any cam's & to be honest we've never placed a cam here before. Just a little commitment & trust in youre climbing & your back to bolts. Shane tops out with crys of excitement & screams of joy.

At this point looking up that the glowing line I take out the camera & snap a few shots, some without flash & a few with, as I take the last photo there is another flash after myn & I'm startled. I'm looking over my shoulder everywhere to look for a rain cloud that the thunder is coming from. As I see nothing but clear sky, I hear the mad screams of someone running on the trail. 1 min later Bryan our buddy comes running up the path. It would appear that he decided to join us out on the rock to take some photos. I belay Shane down from the top & we chit chat with Bryan, Shane can't even believe what hes just done, "epic" was a word we used lots that night. Bryan & Shane both ask if I'm top roping this one, & I pulled the rope, tie in & say "I'm not here to pussy foot around I'm leading this thing"

Up I go, except I use my head lamp I just had to see what it was like, so I went between lamp on & off. It was amazing climbing with out, such trust between you & the rock you could see everything with the light of the moon, the only thing I found was that I couldn't see my feet as my body was casting a shadow in the moonlight. So I turned my lamp on & finished the climb, Bryan took off during my climb as he had to work early in the morning. As I topped out I also let out a burst of emotion, screams & crys of joy. Shesh what a feeling looking down into the darkness knowing that you just climbed up something totally amazing, hell at 5.10a its a climb that some people can't make it up in the day light. Shane let me down & I cleaned the draws. After a short photo shoot we hiked out talking the whole way about how awesome the night had been & knowing that we had just done something totally amazing that other people had totally missed out on. Its amazing what you can do while the world is asleep. The hike out went fast & we were back at the trucks in no time, talking about climbing again in 2 days.

Shane could only say one thing about the evening. "It was the most memorable climbing experience of my life" & I'd have to agree.



Here are some photos of the night
http://www.panoramio.com/user/3796282

edited to remove pics
sorry to post monsters like that... my bad


(This post was edited by darkgift06 on Jul 26, 2010, 6:19 PM)


ensonik


Jul 26, 2010, 4:16 PM
Post #2 of 4 (1812 views)
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Registered: Jul 14, 2009
Posts: 134

Re: [darkgift06] The night time is the right time. A full moon climb. [In reply to]
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Just a quick FYI.

You've embedded full size images in your post, and right now, you're killing computers across the net.

There are 32MB of images in your post. For perspective, this is more data than all the internets.



edit: image tags


(This post was edited by ensonik on Jul 26, 2010, 4:16 PM)


dagibbs


Jul 28, 2010, 12:21 PM
Post #3 of 4 (1739 views)
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Registered: Sep 30, 2007
Posts: 888

Re: [darkgift06] The night time is the right time. A full moon climb. [In reply to]
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I did a night climb when I was down in EPC -- followed, not lead -- but it was still awesome. I need to try it again sometime, especially leading something.


jeremyash


Feb 7, 2011, 8:03 AM
Post #4 of 4 (1287 views)
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Registered: Sep 15, 2007
Posts: 46

Re: [dagibbs] The night time is the right time. A full moon climb. [In reply to]
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What climb was it you did in EPC at night? I read in the guide book that Jungle Mountaineering is supposed to be a good night climb. Hitting up a few pitches at night is definitely on my tick list for my next trip down there!


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