Leaving the car at the crest at 7am.
The Shield. An impresive face. To approach the routes you must “Sandia bushwack” down into the trees on the right side and then rappel a fixed line to the treed ledge just below center of the photo. A couple more fixed lines help add peace of mind on some exposed sections.
On our approach descent we came across the wreckage of a plane crash from June 2007. The entire back half of the plane. "The most recent crash happened June 16, 2007 when a 1980 Beech Baron 58 hit a cliff, killing 54-year-old pilot Richard Iacono of California. The cause of the crash is still under investigation."
A backpack full of clothes
A book that made reference to HG Wells
The flight log
Randomness and a seat
The fixed rap line to gain the big approach ledge
Looking up the route. The big roof at the top of the photo is the first “rainbow” we have to “dance” around.
Josh starting up the first pitch. After an approach of 1:10, we started climbing at 8:20am.
Belay at the top of pitch two.
Josh following pitch 2. A fun 5.8 corner. The easiest climbing on the route.
Looking up the third pitch. The 5.10 business starts out early on this pitch in that crack. Well protected though.
Looking down from the top of pitch 4. 5.10- slab traverse moves that aren't protected awesomely end with fun flake action.
Close up view of Josh making the slab traverse moves
Anchor atop pitch 4. A piton and a buttonhead connected with crappy webbing. I backed it up with the cam.
Josh leading the tricky, hard and sustained 5.10 up and over the first overhang. The second overhang can been seen above him.
I started off on lead of pitch 6, the 5.11- crux pitch but ran out of gear due to sewing it up before the 5.11 crux so I set this sorry excuse for a belay and brought Josh up. It may look decent but I wasn't happy with any of the pieces.
Looking out at the crux 5.11- move to pass the second overhang on the route. Josh finished the short bit of pitch 6 and most of pitch 7. And I'm glad he did. It was hard!
Looking down our pitch 8. Getting easier and looser.
Josh starting up pitch 9. We climbed a variation that we didn't know anything about. It was a nice 5.9ish corner to the top.
Josh way up high in the corner.
Topped out at 3pm for my first grade V route. The weather held out nicely and the outing was stellar!
Back at the car where we met up with James and Sam. They had just finished climbing Mountain Momma. Also, on our hike out we met Ron Beauchamp who, it turns out, had the FA of Slipping Into Darkness on The Shield way back in 1976! Awesome!