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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-03-2010, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Default From wet Dyke to Edge

Before I start writing this wordy report, a picture of Fred Becky from 2004 caught my eye and makes me laugh a lot.


The weather was great for couple days. But, who cares about the weather is nice or not during the working days? When several emails came from Alastair and other guys planning attempt on Edge peak last Monday, I kept silence until Thursday's weather forecast cleared my doubts. Gordon bailed at last minute. So, Alastair, Jeff and me met in the dark Saturday morning at 6 and drove to Golden Ear Park right at time when gates were opened. After we quickly sorted out gears, around 7:40am we stepped on golden ear trail. It was about a 3 hour hike to the base of white Dyke. Cloudy weather didn't show any good sign in the morning though. While I was close to the end of creek bed, thick fog rolled in and quickly wrapped me in minutes. So I decided to stop and wait till it cleared out. Guys shouted out to try to locate me.I echoed back and knew they were not that far ahead. For about 10 minutes, I had better visibility and noticed a huge rock with big crack filled with stones on my route. I was thinking,” Umm.. it has never been mentioned from anywhere.” Scrambled to the top of the crack, I found guys were waiting for me at the base of white dyke. It is about 30ms away from where I was. But I also need to scramble up a rock wall. I was, again, thinking, “Umm, it has never been mentioned from anywhere.” Later that day, I had similar thoughts on the way up couple of times and it made me doubt of route I was taking. The rock wall itself is not technical difficult and it has good hands and holds. But when rock is wet, the climb could be a challenge, especially it ends up with loose rock dirt slope on the top. I stayed on a faint rib line on left hand side corner as Jeff pointed out in the picture below. On the way down, we took Alastair's loose rock dirt route on the right side of this wall which is easier but also hazardous and you definitely need extra caution here.


Before the trip, I read trail reports from Alhike and Simonc. After carefully checked out trip pictures from Dean (bcroadtrip), it seems the terrain is class 4 for the beginning of Dyke. By the time I stood below the Dyke, “ holy sh**t” was only words in my head. Yes, it is class 4. But it is difficult class 4 for me. Compare to climb a clean and nice low 5 route, I find class 4 with lose rock or wet rock or both is way more difficult to deal with. So, here we go, class 4 and wet Dyke and my worrisome feeling.


Alastair and Jeff went ahead and got on the bottom of Dyke quickly. But both of them felt uncomfortable after they tried. Since we carried 2 ropes (30m and 20m) and couple of slings, I wanted to use rope as protection to avoid the leading person to fall off the mountain for this part. While Alastair came down to me and discussed the plan, Jeff successfully solo it and reached higher ledge of the gully. Soon after, Alastair made it to the same spot where Jeff was. So, I have enough reason to call for belaying. Even I was on the rope, it was still hard to pass this section. Psychologically, I can't convince myself to rely on a thin 8mm rope with less protection area around. Basically there is no foot holds worked for those moves and rock was slippery like ice. It was difficult to set up protection only with slings on the Dyke. Jeff did good job to find anchors, but it is still a very scratchy situation though. On the way down, we used the same place to set up repel station and left 3 slings with repel ring behind. A joint rope of 50ms was perfectly took us down to the base.


Once you pass the bottom part, the rest is fun scrambling on White Dyke. Don't know how I lost a sight of both guys when I got close to the end of Dyke. With bad rock route finding skills, I choose the straight line and climbed the whole gully. At the top of Dyke, I found them again - Alastair and Jeff were having a break by a cliff with black slab around. They exit the Dyke by angling left before the end and crossed the top of Dyke heading north parallel with a snow valley below the summit of Edge. To rejoin them, there is 3m black rock wall with short crack climbing. From this break spot, Alastair gained back to a ridge separates the slab area into “white” and “black” and went straight up to Edge's north-west ridge on the "white" slab area. On the way down, we found it is easier if you stay on the "white" slab area and stay closer to the snow valley side once you get out of Dyke.



Three of us choose slicely different routes to reach north west ridge on the slab. It is not hard to climb up. However, It took me quite amount of time to down climb upper slab part with Alastair patiently waited by side and Jeff patiently waited down below. Some moments I had on this down climbing section were unforgettable. I felt like I was going to give up because of the frustration. When I say “give up” it doesn't mean to jump off the mountain. It is like I want myself to be released from pressure and caution. But, I also understand that, mountain is not giving you up unless you are giving up on yourself. So, I concentrated on assessing each movement with zero tolerance of possible error. It took me least extra half hour to down climb the slab section compare to other guys. But I guess it was worth to slow-down sometimes in the life.


Once we reached to north west ridge, the way to summit of Edge is quite straight forward. We went half way up a chock stone gully and traversed to the left side. On the way down, Jeff found an easier way out on the right side of gully ( which was left on way up ). After every one went down safely, Jeff wanted to destroy small cairns he built to show the route. I insisted to leave them since I don't see anything wrong with leaving marks for the option of routes.



We took lower route to bypass the notch between Edge's South and North summit. For the last part on the summit ridge, Alastair and Jeff went on the lower slab slope and I took the higher rib.




For descending, Alastair planed to take Golden Ear hut route initially. But somehow, we couldn't find the “ledge” mentioned from Alhike's trail report. Although we found the repel station – a tree with lots of slings wrapped around below north west sub summit off the meadow, but because of lacking information about repelling route and short of full length rope, we decided to retreat our way back. It took us 3 hours to make to the bottom of Dyke from that point. When I was the last one repel down the bottom section, it was complete dark. I saw beautiful stars, lots of them, above me and I was grateful…


It was very nice trip and I learned lots from this mountain. Thanks Alastair for organizing and being patiently during the down climbing of upper slab part. We chopped the difficulties in pieces and dealt with them by a team.


The reason I mention Fred Backy at the beginning of this report because he is my role model, who is climbing for decades without single accident. Mountain is not giving you up unless you are giving up on yourself.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-03-2010, 06:57 PM
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[8D]
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-03-2010, 07:08 PM
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Great story! I have a feeling I'd hate that kind of terrain :P

-Ryan
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-03-2010, 09:14 PM
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that does look like a hero shot![8D]
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-03-2010, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
quote:Mountain is not giving you up unless you are giving up on yourself.
Yours or someone else's?

The honesty really shines through in your writing. Nice trip!
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-03-2010, 11:30 PM
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I found the first part of White Dyke was difficult to scramble.

I wondered why there was so many hits on my Edge peak album last week and Friday.
We did 2 rappels and used 2 60m full length rope.

Now, I feel guilty for not returning Jeff's rope last week. I tried to phone him Saturday morning hoping to drop it off but I guess you guys were already up in the mountain.

Have fun in the mountain and always be safe.

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-04-2010, 07:54 AM
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great trip, glad you made it
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 10-04-2010, 08:20 AM
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Gripping account that sent my mind right up there with you. In one way, it was too bad you missed the accesses to the Golden Ears trail; on the other hand, it is great to down-climb this ascent route[^] The three climbs of the dyke, from last summer to now, were all done differently - that makes it interesting[8D]
Hmm, "belay for food", many would have given an arm and a leg to have been belayed by Fred Becky.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 10-04-2010, 08:41 AM
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Nice trip,and the pictures are great with all that clouds

Alex
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 10-04-2010, 01:25 PM
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Good honest report on a memorable trip.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 10-04-2010, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the comments.
Sometimes, to express myself properly could be a challenge too.

Thecamel and Ryan - thanks for your patience reading all this. I can't do it... I want to re-write it every time when I read it. []

Alhike- thanks for your TR. I really don't know if it would be better to find that ledge instead of down climbing the slab. The rest was really ok. At least we had enough length of rope to repel down the bottom part. Also, I completely forgot I had my rock shoes in my backpack. I guess it should be helpful on the slab.

Dean- No, please don't feel guilty. Yeah right, it was me checking those pictures. Thanks! By the way, I vote to not to repel down that way anyways.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 10-05-2010, 07:44 PM
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Good job . Ever notice Fred Beckey manages to look old and young at the same time?
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 10-05-2010, 11:45 PM
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Wow, great pic of an impressive individual. Where was this pic taken, if you know?





Also, nice spooky pics of the white dyke. Really slippery sliding away kind of stuff
for the Bergwanderung folk.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 10-06-2010, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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Michael, the pic of Fred Becky is from wiki and it says "Classic poster of Fred Beckey published in Patagonia's Fall 2004 catalog."
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 10-11-2010, 10:38 PM
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Very impressive!
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