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Posts Tagged ‘South Noddlehead’

Even on way too little sleep I found myself enjoying the drive from Crested Butte to Aspen Park through the mountains at sunrise. After meeting Pete at our standard rendezvous location I re-packed and then jumped in his truck for the hour drive through the South Platte’s winding back roads.

Following the map closely I navigated as Pete drove us to the unmarked road where Kevin and I departed for a climb of South Noddlehead back in October. Pete hadn’t done this mountain yet, so I agreed to join him for a another trip back.

In October we’d left the road and headed straight toward the peak but this time we followed the dirt path until it led us right under some power lines and then intersected an active dirt bike path. After crossing that path and then following our original line we came to a great view of South Noddlehead.

We also had a great view of Long Scraggy, which we’d just climbed the weekend prior.

From here we approached the base of the rock tower and donned helmets for the scramble up the northeast of the peak onto a prominent shoulder.

We found some webbing here that looked like someone had rappelled this route, which would have been a stout downclimb. However, I planned to descend a much easier gully that Kevin and I explored last time.

From the shoulder I “led” the final bit of climbing, but only after seeming to try every approach I’d done back in October but had forgotten about. I finally located the same “best” way to the peak’s west side and the little bit of 5.0 climbing that would lead to the summit.

My ankle was bothering me some from yesterday’s ski race so I was moving gingerly on it and didn’t feel as comfortable scrambling as the first time I was on this peak. Maybe this time I can easily blame my ankle, but I’ve noticed before that I often feel more comfortable my first time on a climb than later repeats.

After enjoying the summit and the clear views all around we broke out the rope to rappel this section. I was glad to see the anchor webbing I’d left in October was still in good shape.

Once down I packed up the rope and we quickly re-traced our steps to finish a light Sunday in the mountains.

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