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Efficiency and Joy


 Efficiency and Joy
 

by Jonathan Copp

September 11, 2002

Still queasy from drowning ourselves in plates of French fries and poutaine the night before, we helped four monstrous loads mount their human counterparts for the steep trek into the heart of the Bugaboos. Day one of five in the granite in-spired region, with nothing but blue sky, Jeff Hollenbaugh and I found our first objective on the east face of Snowpatch Spire: to free the Parker Bradshaw, an old aid line, in a day of climbing.

“Sweet,” Jeff slapped a book of vague topos. “These opening pitches look cruzer!” But by the time we were actually pulling and stemming our way up the first few hundred feet of stone, we both knew something was dreadfully askew. When I found myself on an ever-steepening section of granite with no gear in sight and had to detour with a hundred foot pendulum into an overhanging corner, a day of devious traversing was only beginning. After mandatory trundles, aid climbing dirty seams and clawing through tension traverses, Jeff and I, disgusted but laughing, had climbed almost the entire east face horizontally, looking for our vertical system, without getting more than 600 feet off the glacier! We would call it the Park Yur Rickshaw if it was worthy of a name – it’s not.

Previously, on our way up through Montana, we had had picked a few silly fortune cookie type cards from a bowl. Jeff’s read "Efficiency". I got "Joy". After our debacle on Snowpatch and a day of community service cleaning cracks for a new variation on Bugaboo Spire (Where’s Isaac, 5.11d), Jeff sighed in the Bibler. “I just wanna get some vertical footage.” I pined for clean handjams and summit views. The next morning we struck for Bugaboo’s classic NE ridge at 5am; descended the Cain route; dropped over to the South Howser for a stroll up the impressive Becky Chouinard, climbing 17 pitches in two; romped over to and up the west ridge of the mighty Pigeon, and then, when we were just starting to feel good in a giddy, all-you-can-eat sort of way, climbed the impeccable Crouse McCarthy on Snowpatch Spire. Afterward we plunge- stepped down to Applebee camp, ready for an early supper,15 hours after beginning the day we sheepishly term Efficiency and Joy after those silly cards.



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