Friday, July 9, 2010

Freedom or Death

Cool breezes through deep shade. Edges, smears, and orange creamsicle granite. Ripples, scoops, cracks, and slabs. Pins, bashies, bolts, and cams. A rugged world of peaks stretching out of sight. Lichen clutching the stone.

The second pitch (5.11c)
These thoughts flood me when I think of the East Face of Liberty Bell. On Wednesday, Jessica Campbell and I completed our journey up Freedom or Death/Liberty Crack. After a cold day last week working through numb digits on small smears and edges, we came back for the send. This time it was T-shirt weather all the way.

Footsy climbing on the crux slab (5.12a). Jessica walking the path.
Max and Sol were a high five away at points, working the free version of Thin Red Line. We enjoyed the scene as if it were a day at the boulders...

Max at a belay, myself following the golden slab.

Max pushing onward to TRL's crux pitch.

With the crux 5.12a slab behind us, Jessica and I sketched our way up a beautiful and bold pitch, connecting the Freedom or Death variation with Liberty Crack proper. Sol and Max monkeyed their way right and out of sight, their own crux hanging above.

Connecting the routes...spicy times on pitch 4

Bon voyage amigos...

The moderate finish of Liberty crack was pure joy. Cool, but not cold, engaging, but not difficult. Their was plenty of time to enjoy the views.

Jessica following pitch 5 (5.10a)