Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Eye Tooth

Dream in the Spirit of Mugs, Eye Tooth

I was up in Prudhoe Bay for a few weeks working on a project when I randomly met a guy named Ben walking down the hall and soon a plan to climb the Eye Tooth’s West Pillar was hatched.

This year has been a bit of a transition for me; I took a new job that allowed more climbing time during the summer and after clipping more bolts than usual this summer had the illusion of getting better at this whole rock climbing deal. Anyhow to make a long thought process short I somehow figured that I was ready to try a big rock route like the Eye Tooth.

I met Ben at his little cabin nestled in the back woods of Palmer early on July 18th and we struck out for Talkeetna. Ben had just completed a 7 day, 900 mile bike ride from the Slope to his house the day before, but not missing a beat we were both whisked away to the melting Ruth Glacier where he set off across the glacier forging a path across the crevasses.

We set up camp that evening under blue skies in the glacier cirque and prepared for an early morning start. It is noteworthy to mention that Ben is fluent in the Yuper, Russian, Spanish, and Indian accents which made conversation far more entertaining than usual. I must start practicing myself!
The alarm went off at 3am and by 6:30 I was slipping into my brand new never been used shoes (gumby mistake!) and off we went. 

Between this time and 4pm I got my ass so thoroughly kicked I just about gave up rock climbing entirely and at the top of pitch 12 the decision was made to take me home. 

The next day we reversed our steps and I pressed my magic button and a TAT Otter came swooping out of the clouds to pick us up just before in the knick of time.

All in all I did have a great time out in the mountains, enjoyed good company, got two awesome flight seeing tours and got extremely motivated.

As the pictures show, the route is absolutely spectacular and someday I will return! 

The Mooses Tooth massif - by John Giraldo

The Eye Tooth in all its glory - by John Giraldo

Crevass Central - by Ben E

Camp - by John Giraldo

Early morning walk - by John Giraldo

Awesome splitter - by Ben E

Getting high - by Ben E

- by Ben E

Approaching the headwall- by Ben E

- by John Giraldo

Belay with a view - by John Giraldo

- by John Giraldo

The moody Eye - by John Giraldo