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Cinco de Mayo
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brutusofwyde


Sep 3, 2003, 12:42 PM
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Registered: Nov 3, 2002
Posts: 1473

Cinco de Mayo
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Here's another repost from rec-dot, but timely in that the climb is in the newest AAJ.

Cinco de Mayo, Castle Rock Spire (7,600+ ft., Sequoia National Park, California

Paradise Creek, May 7, 2002.

We're sweat-soaked, filthy. Bits and pieces of brambles and poison
oak twigs entangle our matted hair. This is the first water we have
seen in six hours.

First, drink. Hands into the swirling pool on the slick granite slab,
elbow deep in icy breathlessness, face down in the water, sweet
water, kissing me deeply, icily, the blinding ice-cream headache from
childhood memories tells me that I have not gotten very far, very far
at all in all these years, since that day when recess on the monkey
bars has just ended, time to go in, the new routine I just invented
(death-drop off the high bar, half twist in mid-air to catch the bar,
cast and pull over to front support, back hip circle, although I would
not learn the names for these moves for several more years) bursting
in my head thirty five years ago.

Today Cinco de Mayo dances in my head, a head with thinning hair and
the worries of an adult (a Dolt I used to call them, the big boring
people), Cinco de Mayo on Castle Rock Spire, Brandon bolting the 5.10d
face pitch, the last of our "technical difficulties" before the top,
but not by far the last of our uncertainties, no sir, as the thunder
echoed across the Kaweah River basin, us tied to the best lightning
rod in California outside Yosemite.

Our hope was for a free route, but last year the long A1 traverse
pitch shut that hope tightly down, yes it did, and left us just as
fervently hoping to complete the route, to finally be done with it
once and for all.

Relief to be done, satisfaction at having completed one of the finest
backcountry climbs in the High Sierra, on the hardest peak in the
Sierra, all these things are submerged by the icy delicious water I
grimly splash over my skin, stifling a scream, washing off the sweat
and poison oak oils with Technu, now done, the blasting sun now
warming my skin.

Into the change of clothes I brought, sun having erased the goosebumps
and ice cream headache like water spilled in a hot summer parking lot,
clomping across the wooden bridge spanning Kaweah River, surprising
some high-school-age girls on the far shore under the bridge, wrapped
only in towels, a blue bikini and a yellow bikini laying on the log
beside them, embarassed as the dirty, bearded old man with the huge
pack clomps toward them, smiles, says "Howdy!" then clomps away up the
trail toward Buckeye Flat Campground, dreaming of Castle Rock Spire,
recess, and the monkey bars.

Summary:
Cinco de Mayo, V 5.10+ A3, Castle Rock Spire, Sequoia National Park
California. May 2-6, 2002. Bruce Bindner and Brandon Thau completed
this 12-pitch route slightly to the right of the north arÍte. The route features mostly moderate climbing up steep cracks and face with less
than 200ft of aid. The final attempt was made over two days, with
fixed ropes to pitch 6. The quickest descent is off the south arÍte,
on Spike Hairdoo. The route required approximately 16 bolts, (mostly
for belay anchors) and close to a gallon of tequila.

Brutus of Wyde
Old Climbers' Home
Oakland, California


epic_ed


Sep 3, 2003, 1:00 PM
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Registered: Jun 17, 2002
Posts: 4723

Re: Cinco de Mayo [In reply to]
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Looks like you still make it out of the Old Climbers' Home on occasion. ;-)

Got any photos of the route?


brutusofwyde


Sep 3, 2003, 1:59 PM
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Registered: Nov 3, 2002
Posts: 1473

Re: Cinco de Mayo [In reply to]
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In reply to:
Looks like you still make it out of the Old Climbers' Home on occasion. ;-)

Rarely. :(

In reply to:
Got any photos of the route?

A few. The best is on page 200 of the latest AAJ.


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