Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bitch of a Pitch

After sleeping in, we decided to try some more climbing since the weather seemed to be holding. There was a 20% chances of thunderstorms, but the skies seemed clear. So, we headed to Chautauqua and followed the Amphitheater trail to the south end of the Gregory Flatironette. We hiked down west of the ridge until we got to the north end of it. If you recall from a Labor Day Weekend post we tried to find this climb before. We're still not sure if we found the "official" route, but we did manage to climb the whole thing.

The first pitch was an absolute bitch. It was covered in lichen and not fun to climb. Dan did a great job leading it -- especially this awful block with very few foot holds (and those that were there were slick due to the lichen). The second pitch didn't have nearly as much lichen, but there was quite a traverse involved. The next two pitches were mostly fourth class scrambling. After the top of the fourth pitch we decided to ditch the rope and just scramble along the ridge. It started to rain a bit but we were able to make it back to the packs and to the car with only a couple of drops. Another long, good day.

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