Up and Adam, it's 5:30am, and we're ready to go to the "Lower Saddle".
From the Lower Saddle, here's the view of Table Mountain (see Table Rock Hike).
Now we look ahead to the next part of the climb, "The Spires". It's important to note that we can't even see the peak from here...kinda depressing actually. Remember that we're at 11,600 feet, we have 2100 feet to go, and it's hard to breathe.
This is really brutal hiking. It's steeper than it looks and with all the rocks, it's hard on your joints.
Finally we reach the point where the hike is over and the climb begins. We harness up and Andrew leads the first pitch. We leap frog here to the third pitch, where I belayed Andrew, who was heading up a chimney.
We got lost and traversed the entire West face and wound up on the tail end of the Exum ridge. Now we wait in line as the climbers ahead finish up.
There were three pitches that were non-trivial on our route. This was one of them.
Alas, we summited!!!! We got cooked out there. When we awoke that morning at 4:30am, it was way too cold to consider putting on sunscreen. Bad Call. I peeled for 2 weeks.
Whatever goes up must come down. One of the highlights of the whole trip was the 120 foot repel taking us to the Owen Spalding Route. Here's Andrew on his way down...
This is such rugged terrain, it's really painful to descend, both mentally and physically.
Pictures: Courtesy of Andrew Teasdale (mostly).