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Summer Of "Plan B"s - Al-Pika Slabs
Timestamp Free: 2019.06.25 - 23:37:34
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Cascade Range / Canadian Cascades
  (1 days)
Participants: Drew Brayshaw; Merran Fahlman II/III 5.8
New route on NE face of Alpaca
The wet weather of June, early July, and late August has meant that a lot of alpine climbing trips so far this year have turned into so-called "Plan B" trips. In its commonest form a Plan B trip is one you come up with ahead of time, such as "Let's go to Wedge this weekend, but if it rains we can always go bouldering in Pemberton instead". Some Plan B trips are planned at the last minute - you wake up in the morning at the trailhead to rain on the tent, pack your wet gear away, check the forecast over diner coffee in some small town truck stop, and are crimping gneiss in Skaha by noon.

This trip ended up being a coda to a spectacular failure. Merran and I went to Cathedral back in early July and scoped this unclimbed line on Grimface's south face. The south face of Grimface has all these apparent lines of weakness that end up being horribly blank on closer examination, but we found one that looked like it would go with two pitches of thin aid then an amazing overhanging, flaring chimney system. Oh yeah! I've climbed at LEAST three aid routes in my life, and Merran climbed one pitch of aid in late July and knows how to French-free on gear, so we were going to totally climb this thing no problem :) Anyway on Labour Day weekend we drove up there to give it a go. Our packs were stupidly heavy, I think mine weighed about 70 or 80 lbs. You see we had everything from knifeblades and copperheads to #4 Big Bros (for that chimney). We slogged in on Friday. After getting the gear in we were too worked to go up and try the first pitch which hopefully would have been freeable, so we settled for setting up basecamp.

Saturday we actually hiked to the base of the route. At the base it started snowing and hailing. Damn! It kept it up for hours. We dragged the giant packs back down...

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