Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hair Raiser Buttress

The centerpiece of Granite Basin climbing
Hair Raiser Buttress climbs the left side on 400 ft of slab

Starting off the ground

Cord following excellent slab, pitch 1

Right before the shitstorm engulfed us, so close!

The Eye of Sauron dwells over Mammoth Mountain

Well the field season has been cut short by persistent cold, wet weather throughout the Sierra. I went to explore Granite Basin, a large batholith of (yep) granite east of Mono Lake. Our mission was Hair Raiser Buttress, a classic 70's slab route established ground-up by Vern Clevenger; the route has since sprouted a few more bolts to ease the devastating cheese-grater fall potential. This still ain't no sport climb; I definitely had to check my head a few times while contemplating my skins textural resemblance to a block of fine white cheddar. Cord and I had been watching the thunderheads building and dropping out around us, and nearly 300 feet up it started to sprinkle, just as I finished leading. There was no mercy for Cord as he climbed the wet slab in a shivering, drenching deluge. Then we bailed! But we're going back real soon to finish this east-side gem...