Newsgroups: rec.climbing Subject: Galactic Hitchhiker in a day Date: Tue, 19 Aug 1997 23:24:13 -0700
My friend Mark Albosta and I climbed "Galactic Hitchhiker" today on Glacier Point Apron. Maybe the second ascent!
We enjoyed the route immensely, even though it's not always clean and smooth. All the nice anchors, fixed pins and bolts were fun to clip. It's nice not to be way lead out all the time like on the DNB. We took a 200 foot rope and climbed a majority of pitches in pairs, skipping every other belay. That, along with going light and simul-climbing the easy stretches allowed us to go fast and do the "41 pitch" route in 16 "Pitches"
We started climbing at 5 am and finished at 1:30 pm. 8 1/2 hours is pretty fast for a couple of Barneys on a grade 6. Not having to drill or haul or trail ropes made a lot of the pitches seem far easier than on the topo we had but the crux moves on the 10d and 11b pitches were true to their grade even though they were short sections. I found the 10d particulary hard but I was hurried by raindrops that were falling (temporarily) from some freak tropical storm that happened by on the one day we commit to a huge route with one rope. Both tricky moves are immediately protected my bolts and the climbing on the whole is quite mellow. If you can do the DNB in a day, you can do Hitchhiker in a day.
It all turned out great. We cleaned a couple of fixed angles with one finger but that can happen with time on that rotton or expando glacier point rock.
Some folks are going to think the first ascent party's ratings are too liberal and they used too many bolts, but it all made it more fun for me. You still have to do 80 foot 5.8 runouts low on the route.
I will try and write up a TR sometime on a rest day and share it somehow. My company of 14 years downsized my job a month ago so now there is no excuse for me to sit behind this computer so much.