Jeremy and I (Ania) climbed most of Dreamer on Sunday. The stated goal had been to do a mellow trip, in that we were willing to turn around before the top. I'd freaked myself out a couple of weeks earlier taking a 40ft fall on Liberty Crack and wanted a low-pressure opportunity to lead to get back in the swing of things.
Ania on approach. In the photo, I look like I love bushwhacking.
The first part of the approach is straightforward, following an abandoned mining road and then a trail. At some point below this three-tiered waterfall, one is supposed to turn right and follow a climber's path up. We missed the turn-off and instead bushwhacked our way to the base of the climb. At first, it wasn't so bad.
Then it got brushier. So Jeremy checked the approach beta.
Where in the route description is this section of the bushwhack?!
Jeremy doing a mantle.
As far as bushwhacks go, this one was pretty good. It had some interesting sections. We practiced moves and delicate footwork.
Precision footwork on the 1st mossy slab.
only a few bushes between us and the rock
Don't get me wrong, though. I wasn't complaining yet. We had some fine views of how much more communing with nature we would be entitled to. And we did get occassional open spaces with up to 30ft of easy going.
yay! some open space!
We were here to have fun. Jeremy even said it wasn't so bad and that he didn't mind it. To the right, you can see a cool high-step. I had to put my foot higher than my waist. We'd agreed that this was an alpine climb, so the tree is a handhold, not aid.
The harder wet mossy slab pitch.
I like precision footwork. I got to practice it on the 2nd wet mossy slab section. Jeremy practiced sliding. Remember the Slip 'N Slide from your childhood days? This was even more authentic!
Devil's club: an excellent handhold.
The view was pretty, albeit hazy.
But eventually, the fine botany lesson was to come to an end. We emerged on the slabs beneath Green Giant Buttress, somewhat to climber's left of where we should have been.
The last and easiest bushwhack pitch.
We climbed up out of the brush onto less steep slab. We traversed, then walked down a little, and traversed more. Jeremy saw something glistening on the rock above, so we climbed higher. On our way to that bolt, we found the starting anchor for Dreamer Direct.
Jeremy descending some slab as part of a short detour before the start of the climb.
Note the time. Note that we'd left my house at 5am. Oh, yeah.
Jeremy leading pitch 1.
Then we climbed 7 pitches of slab. It was fun.
Jeremy following pitch 6, while Ania's leg falls asleep at a hanging belay.
Manky 1/4" bolt just like the one we rapped on.
We rappelled down on double ropes. The first two raps were straightforward, and I only had to yank the rope a little to get it unstuck from under some flake. The third rap put us on Giant's Tears. We simul-rapelled past an anchor and found ourselves looking at a line of manky, rusty, 1/4 inch bolts. Jeremy stayed at one bolt and fixed a bight of rope to it; I rapelled to the next one down and fixed the end of the rope to it. We thus had a very poorly equalized anchor. We then pulled the rope from the previous anchor. Jeremy threaded the rope through a sling in the top bolt, and I put it through a sling on the lower bolt, and we rapelled (one at a time) while traversing descender's right. This procedure is not recommended over the standard rappelling the route.
Looking up from the lower bolt of our poorly equalized rap anchor, to Jeremy at the other bolt of our anchor.
Jeremy rapping from the two bolts.
This sketchy rap got us down to a tree. We put a sling on the tree and did another descender's right-traversing rappel. This rappel got us to the first anchor of the route.
Jeremy tension-traversing on rappel.
Action shot of Jeremy on rappel.
We got down safely and found the correct route out. There was only a wee bit of wandering around in the dark trying to see where the path crossed a boulder field, but we found the cairns soon enough. We drank the yummiest Gatorade ever at the gas station in Darrington. The gas station sandwiches were fabulous, too. At least, mine was.
Ania resting her feet at the bottom-most anchor.