Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Weekend On the Cliffs

Scott and I shot up the shore this past weekend to enjoy what's starting to look like one of the last really nice weekends before the fall weather truly sets in.
Saturday was a day of bushwhacking and adventuring!

We decided that we wanted to check out a couple of places up the shore that are not in any of the local guidebooks and see if they're climbable or not.  We focused on two specific areas- one right off of the highway near Split Rock Lighthouse, and the other off of the Superior Hiking Trail.
The place near Split Rock was... not ideal, to say the least.

We bushwhacked around looking at the potential, but mostly found pretty slabby rock that had lots of trees growing out of the cracks, making for a tough clean-up.  Nothing terribly exciting.  It was worth looking around, but I'm definitely wearing pants this week at school to cover up the mess of scratches on my legs.
Luckily, Mt Trudee, which is right off the SHT, had a ton more promise!
There was a great-looking cliff that had decent anchor setups, enough height to warrant climbing, and a rock type that seemed great for climbing!

The only slight downside of Mt Trudee is that it's a 5-mile mostly uphill hike in, which when you're carrying 30+ pounds of gear on your back (which I was), is not ideal.  Because of our morning bush-whacking fun, we didn't have time to do more than scope out the area, rappel on one route, and do some preliminary cleaning to see if the climbing is worth it.  We packed up the gear while watching a gorgeous sunset, and didn't get off the trail until well after dark set in.
We'll definitely be back there for more cleaning, but it's going to be a big, dirty job, and the hike in means it'll have to be a weekend project to claim some first ascents.  We mostly plan on doing all the routes clean with trad gear (leaving no bolts or trace on the rock), but there's a few parts that look like they could be great (hard) face climbs, so we're going to have to see exactly where Mt Trudee falls on the map and see if bolting is a possibility.  Hiking in with sport gear would be really nice... much lighter. :)
Sunday we were both pretty sore and tired from all the hiking and whatnot we did from the previous day, so we headed to Shovel Point to meet Scott's friend Eric for his first-ever outdoor climbing experience!

After getting over the jitters from rappelling over the edge for the first time, Eric seemed to have a blast!  We climbed a bunch of the easy stuff, enjoyed the view, and chatted with other parties climbing next to us.

The fog started to roll in later in the afternoon, and Scott and I got home pretty destroyed that evening.  It was a full and great weekend, ending with some grading, a pizza, and (for me) getting excited that I was starting my first week of dance this week!!
Next weekend we're hoping to head up to the Boundary Waters, despite the not-so-friendly forecast.
Frost advisory?  Temps to freezing?
Guess I'll just have to pack warmer clothes. :)

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