Harding Route, Mt Conness

Lin and I headed to Tuolumne over Sep 19-21.  On Friday we climbed OZ, prosthesis a 3 pitch 5.10d.  The third pitch is supposedly the best 5.10 crack in TM, and I'd have to agree.  Afterwards we got totally hosed trying to TR "Galen's Crack", a 5.10c OW next to the road.  This thing is pretty brutal. p1050139_0.jpg

The next day we woke up 4 AM to attempt the Harding Route on Mt. Conness.  Unfortunately we botched the approach, and it took 6 hours instead of the typical 4.  When we arrived at the notch we found a party just starting up the route.  So as a consolation prize we ran over and simul-climbed the West Ridge (III 5.6), which is a really fun easy route. I think total time on the route was about 3 hours.

After topping out we decided that we REALLY wanted to do the Harding Route, so we decided to stash our gear and return the next day.  Ugh.  We got back to camp about 9 PM, chowed some dinner and PTFO.

Next morning we were up at 4 AM yet again, and slogging up the now familiar approach.  This time we nailed it, and by 10:30 AM we were starting up the Harding Route with no one else around (it was Sunday).

The Harding Route was cool, i found the 10c crux on P2 not too bad -- just 20 feet or so of green camalots.  On the other hand P4 was a pretty tough 5.10a OW -- I thought more difficult than the OW cruxes on Keeler Needle.  You really need a #5 Camalot to walk through this pitch, since the old bolts are terrible and would not hold a fall.

We topped out about 7 PM, and it was getting pretty chilly.  We got a bit lost on the descent and made it back to the car about 10:30 PM, exhausted.  We took a short nap, and started driving back at 12:15 AM.  With 1 stop at Denny's (24 hours!), and some gnarly traffic in Escondido, we made it back to San Diego at 9 AM, and Lin barely made it into work by 10 AM for her appointment with the DEA.