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Approaching Central Incisor # 4488

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Date: 2003.08.12
Vantage Point: From basin to north

Caption: Mike Layton approaching the north face of the Central Incisor. Incisor Edge is the right skyline of the right peak.

PhotoDescr: After climbing Incisor Edge with Steve Harng, I wanted to go back to try a line on what I presumed to be the same stellar granite. Whereas the rock on the west peak of the Incisors had been well featured and fractured, Mike and I found that on the central peak there was a noticeable lack of protection.

Mike and I aimed for the diagonal crack in the dark grey rock running parallel to the NW buttress crest, thinking this would be the key to working up to the summit. We surmised that if this crack was visible from the road, then it must be quite large, so we elected to take off-width sized gear. But after a stellar pitch which went left off the deck, and a horrible pitch on "dirt seracs" with a single piton as pro which zagged back right to the highest tree below the diagonal crack, we discovered that the crack was actually a hundred foot near-vertical SEAM that had absolutely no gear. With only four knifeblades and no real desire to spend an hour banging pins on aid, we made a 61 m rap back to the base (free fall at end!) The white rock on the left side of the peak is more consistent in quality, but any line would involve considerable aid due to copious roofs.

July 05 update: I returned to try an alternate start on this face but there had been a serious rockfall sometime in the interim which has littered the face with dirt and loose blocks. I left it alone and have disavowed it.

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