Climbers: George Barnes and Joey Luther
Route: North Face II, Class 5.4
RT distance: ~14 miles
RT time: 14 hours
Elevation gain: 4,850 feet
A trip up Longs Peak seemed like a good way to welcome Joey back to Colorado. It had been over a year and a half since either of us had been up Longs, so I was pretty stoked for the trip (so much so that waking up at 2:45AM wasn't bad!).
With our successful November ascent I have now climbed the north face route in every season of the year, for a total of 6 ascents of the route. Our mid-autumn trip was unique in a few ways. Most noticeable was that the sun never hit the north face, so we spent all day climbing on what felt like the dark side of the moon. On Saturday there was a thin layer of ice and snow on the route's rock pitch, which necessitated crampons. The ice wasn't thick enough to climb with ice tools, but I did find a few good dry tool placements. The snow wasn't really deep enough to be helpful (axe belays hit rock after only a few inches), so we ended up doing a short roped pitch to reach the first eye bolt.
We had the entire route and peak to ourselves. Surprisingly, no one had signed the summit register for almost 3 weeks before our visit. The NOAA forecast called for 60mph winds, which we probably experienced at times, although the weather was generally great. Joey took THIS (17MB mov) video of me approaching the start of the route, note the clouds moving overhead.
Sunrise en route to Granite Pass
Longs' North Face from the Boulderfield
Heading up to the base of the Cables Route
Joey led us up to the start of the Cables Route
Joey following the technical pitch
Above the technical pitch
Twin Sisters Peaks Storm Peak
Fairchild Mtn, Hagues Peak, Mummy Mountain
Sunset - Storm Peak and Granite Pass