Tags: Posted on April 11, 2011

On the 3rd of April, I climbed Rocketman - one of the best multi-pitch mixed routes I've done yet.  I had tried it a week before with Jen O, but a dropped tool on the third pitch marked the end of our attempt.  Six days later, Raphael Slawinski (his report, photos, and route history here - see "twelve years later") and I teamed up for what was probably the second complete ascent of the route since Raph had done the first ascent 12 years earlier.  There had been some other good attemps and a few parties made it relatively high, including one this year, but their tracks ended with three sustained pitches to go, including a very sandbagged M6+, a pitch of WI 5, and a direct WI6 pillar that sure it sure felt pumpy after 8 sustained pitches of steep ice and overhanfing rock.  It was perhaps the first time ever that final pillar had been climbed.  An uber strong Swiss duo had done a variation that goes by the name Rocket Baby, and were likely the only other pair to free-climb the entire wall.  Their route finishes up the last three pitches of Rocket Man, and their story can be found here.        

Me, skiing towards thebase of the route.  Photo: Raphael Slawinski

A self portrait at the fith belay