Liberty Crack, Sun Aug 1, 2004

Short version: Gary and I climbed Liberty Crack in 23 hours car-to-car.

One day vs two: We originally planned to fix the first three pitches on one day, and jug those plus climb the rest on the 2nd day. Some night the preceeding week Russ stopped and said he thought I could do it in a day because "the route isn't that hard." Note: Russ has never rock climbed with me, although we've skiied together. I emailed Gary saying I felt ambivalent but that we should consider both options. Gary replied that we could do it in a day... so there it was.

The approach: We drove up Saturday night and were tucked away in our bivy sacks around 9pm. 4am we woke up and breakfasted on peach pie baked the previous afternoon. Yum. We drove over to the trail head and were on the trail by 5:00am; at the base of the route by 5:30am; climbing by 6:00am.

Pitch 1:I (Ania) aided pitch 1.

Pitch 2:Gary aided pitch 2.

Pitch 3:I aided most of pitch 3. I got through the fixed bashees and bashed nut ok. Then I was sloppy placing an orange TCU. It blew out after I'd shifted both aiders to it. I was about 15 ft above my previous piece and probably fell about 40ft. This freaked me out and I asked Gary to lower me down to the anchor. (This was also my first fall on gear ever.) Gary asked whether I thought I'd be ok leading again after a couple of pitches, and I said yes. Gary and I swapped ends of the rope. He pulled on pieces and the belayer end of the rope to quickly ascend to where I had been, and aided the remainder of the pitch.

Pitch 4:Gary lead. 5.9 hand crack.

Pitch 5:Gary lead. 5.7 chimney, to 5.8 corner. I was still feeling uncomfortable about leading and asked Gary whether he'd mind leading one more pitch. He agreed and lead this pitch also.

Pitch 6:Gary lead. Rotten block at end of pitch.

Pitch 7:Ania lead. Akward move (on sketchy black alien which Ania used, unseen, and Gary cleaned) to corner and slab.

Pitch 8:Gary lead.

Pitch 9:Ania lead. 5.6 chimney to tree belay ledge.

Pitch 10:Gary lead. The fun pitch.

Pitch 11:Gary lead. 5.8 corner to long ramp (5.0??!), where I totally freaked out when attempting to lead.

Pitch 12:Gary lead. 4th class. No pro placed.

All photos available here.

© Anna Mitros
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