Tue, May 24, 2022
We followed much the same route I did the previous day with some variations, taking less than 25min to reach the summit block. Having done the approach once already, the brush didn't seem as rough on the second round. The summit block is an interesting one. It seems like it ought to have a scrambling route or easy 5th somewhere, but upon close inspection each side has its difficulties. I thought the south side would be the easiest route, with a near-vertical 4-5ft to start before the angle eases. Our efforts started with this, but we were unable to get the rope to go over the block and the angle we could manage was pretty sketchy. We then figured we could get the rope over east-west, helped with a small groove near the top of the east side to hold the rope. Patrick wanted to try climbing the west side first, but that seemed to set him up for an unfriendly pendulum should he fall (which seemed likely). The north side we only briefly looked at, though it has a decent hand crack running vertically, it is overhanging for much of it. We eventually settled on the steep slab ascent up the east side, myself belaying from the west side. By now we had spent 45min at the summit block without ever getting off the deck.
But we were ready now. With climbing shoes, Patrick was able to climb the East Face free in just a few minutes. I used a hip belay that worked well in conjunction with the friction of the rope over the granite block. We then repositioned the rope to the south side with Patrick sitting at the far north end for added rope friction. I tied a bowline on the rope around my waist. Patrick complained that that was a stupid choice and I should use a figure-eight. I thought Barbara would be proud of me for going old old school, so I backed up my bowline with another knot and called it good. I then tied a couple of knots in the rope above me to help me aid the initial part of the ascent. It was a bit awkward in my boots and it took several false starts before I was ready. On the first attempt I realized I needed a few more knots in the rope. On the second, I managed to until my boot lace just as I was stepping off the ground. Patrick called down to ask if I'd ever rock climbed before. On the third effort, I muscled my way up, hand over hand, and quickly joined Patrick at the top. Success!
We spent barely 5min at the summit. Finding no sign of previous visitors, we left a register tucked under one of the shrubs growing from the large crack in the block. Patrick then lowered me down via the south side, much as I'd come up. Once down, I untied all the knots and we repositioned the rope going west-east. I then lowered Patrick down the east side, using a hip belay from the west side once again. With the rope friction over the granite, it was surprisingly easy and took very little effort on my part to hold him. All told, we were about an hour and a half for the rope part, not speedsters certainly, but at least none of what we ended up doing felt sketchy. It would take us only 15min to make our way back to the Jeep once everything was packed up.
We finished up back at the Jeep shortly before 1p, then spent the next hour+ driving back to Rancho Bernardo. A relatively short day, but a satisfying one at that...
This page last updated: Tue May 24 18:28:07 2022
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