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The joy of being "off-route", Angel's Perch

September 19 2009 at 4:47 PM
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Democracy is a wonderful thing. Unless, of course, the voters get it wrong. Such was the case when George, John and I debated our route up the west side of Angel's Perch. Armed with a weak recollection of Dan's 2004 trip report, John advocated we head up the first gully past the steep NW buttress of Gabriele's Horn. "No way" voted George and I. We opted for the more likely looking gully farther up the valley. "Two against one. We win" was the verdict.

Two hours later the ramifications of democracy gone bad became obvious as we peered down the near vertical east side of the Angel's-Gabriele's ridge. Ropeless and off-route we contemplated our options and decided to "carry on". After a short downclimb from the ridge crest, a steep corner led to a wild traverse on a narrow ledge with hundreds of feet of exposure.

The lower face.
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"There's the summit. Too bad there's that big cliff in between."
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The steep corner.
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The narrow ledge.
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An hour later, as we discussed or good fortune on the summit, George commented "I hate hiking on roads."

Not knowing where this conversation was going, I asked apprehensively. "What do you have in mind?"

"Let's descend so that we walk right into camp" George replied.

"Sounds good to us" John and I responded...


Little did we know the size of the blisters that would result from that unanimous decision.

George looking with fondness back to the ridge.
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Our route.
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The map.
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