Checking out Langley

Checking out Langley

Last weekend Luke and I went up the South Fork of Tuttle Creek to check out the North face of Mt. Langley.  We were inspired to go back there after seeing the information posted by Doug Robinson on Supertopo and Alois on Summitpost about the amount of virgin rock that was available back there.

Hiking in on Friday afternoon we were able to chat a bit with Em and the rest of the gang who were going to the Stone House for the Brutus of Wyde Memorial.   The Stone House seemed like a perfect place to have a gathering of all of his friends.

After a few hours of hiking we set up our bivy spot about 45 minutes above the Keyhole wall and planned our approach for the following day.  After departing base camp at 5AM we found ourselves at the base of Langley at 8AM and tried to figure out where to start our route.  We ended up spotting an impressive tower with beautiful Needles-esque lichen on it.  Of course, the rock wasn't quite as good as the Needles (but then again what is?) but we managed to make our way up 5 pitches of pretty fun climbing ranging from 5.6 to a 5.10b finger crack.

Unfortunately when we arrived at the end of pitch 4 we realized that we had in fact been climbing on a detached tower.  Pitch 5 involved some traversing and a short downclimb and ended in a gully.  Looking up from the gully the climbing did not look appealing and it was unclear whether we would be able to regain a ridge or if there was even a ridge to be gained.   Consequently, we opted to descend the gully and try to climb on the fantastic looking keyhole wall the following day.  We ended up calling the new route on the Langley tower Unstoppable Tower Tango. Silly name, yes, silly adventure perhaps...

Indeed, on Sunday we hopped on the most inspiring line on the face not knowing if it had been climbed or if it would go.  After some spectacular climbing the 2nd pitch ended at a two bolt anchor, as did the 3rd pitch.  Rather than rappelling we opted to top out on the formation and after 5 additional pitches (one of which included a bold lead by Luke involving a hard 5.10 face traverse with little gear or hope) we topped out.

More than anything, this was a good reconnaissance into the S. Fork of Tuttle.  Perhaps in the near future some of our pullharder colleagues can further explore this drainage...