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More Shirley on pitch 2.
Sometime during the night, the wind picked up and our tent was rocking almost as badly as it had in Frey a year earlier. There was also a distant howl above as the air flow, constricted between the towers, picked up speed – Venturi effect enhancing the already potent Harmattan winds. A hazy (stirred up sand and dust) and windy morning greeted us. Nevertheless, we grabbed gear and headed towards the south pillar of Kaga Tondo. Salvador joined us on the initial three pitches of the route Sans Mil (French 5+) that are required to reach a pedestal which runs along the base of the west face. Here we were fully exposed to the wind as it picked up speed in the notch separating Kaga Tondo and Kaga Pamari.
P2. Photo by Salvador.
We started up the Vuelva Usted Mañana route that climbs the 3-4 meter wide south prow of Kaga Tondo. The first pitch (6a+ hard) involved some delicate face moves and felt quite hard esp. with the blasting wind. Some 45 meters above it ended on a nice ledge directly below the famous A0 roof: fully horizontal and about 3-4 meters long. I led up and soon found the going quite difficult – hanging from a single bolts at a time and making my way under the roof deeper into the notch-space between the towers. The air flow kept spinning me around and the bolt to bolt transitions with only 2 etriers felt quite strenuous. Should’ve taken it more seriously and brought 4 aiders. I finally reached the belay just above the lip and in the path of what felt like a freight train. Shirley started up the ladder but by the time she reached the horizontal section, she had difficulty reaching and clipping the bolts with the wind spinning her around. After some struggle, we decided to bail…a fairly easy decision in those conditions. I lowered her 60 meters to the platform, pulled the ropes (sacrificing a few QDs) and set up a rappel. It was a curious sight to behold as the 35 meters of twin ropes were suspended perfectly horizontally in the airspace of the notch. A few rappels later we were back in camp and enjoying one of the watermelons. This would turn out to be our only failure of the trip.
Another dusty (wind-stirred) morning in camp (Dec. 2015).
Shirley and Salvador following one of the approach pitches (route Sans Mil) to Vuelva Usted Mañana with shadows of Kaga Pamari and Kaga Tondo in the background (Dec. 2015).
On Sans Mil. Photo by Salvador (Dec. 2015).
Leading one of the (4) pitches of Sans Mil. Photo by Salvador (Dec. 2015).
Shirley and Salvador were simul-seconding on our twins. This is a mid-pitch photo of Shirley taken by Salvador (Dec. 2015).
Shirley and Salvador topping out on the ledge system that runs (partially) along the west face of Kaga Tondo (Dec. 2015).
Shirley hiking the ledge system to the start of Vuelva Usted Mañana (Dec. 2015).
Leading pitch 1 of Vuelva Usted Mañana – spectacular!!
More pitch 1 action (Dec. 2015).
Shirley on pitch 1 of Vuelva Usted Mañana. Photo by Salvador (Dec. 2015).
Shirley following pitch 1 with the “chimney” (19 meter chasm where the tyrolean cable is) between Kaga Tondo and Kaga Pamari visible below.
Shirley nearing the top of pitch 1. Another amazing shot by Salvador (Dec. 2015).
More Shirley on pitch 1 (Dec. 2015).
Leading pitch 2 of Vuelva Usted Mañana (A0; Dec. 2015).
Pitch 2 bolt ladder. Photo by Salvador (Dec. 2015).
Bolt ladder through a perfectly horizontal roof (A0) of Vuelva Usted Mañana. We should’ve treated this more seriously and brought 4 aiders and possibly adjustable daisies. The horizontal aiding in very strong wind conditions was harder than the A0 rating would suggest. Photo by Salvador (Dec. 2015).
Looking back at Shirley from the lead of pitch 2 ladder. Click photo for some “ambiance video.”
More pitch 2 action. Photo by Salvador (Dec. 2015).
Nearing the lip of the roof on Vuelva Usted Mañana (Dec. 2015).
About to pull over the lip – what an amazing fin of rock! Photo by Slavador (Dec. 2016).
Vuelva Usted Mañana. Pitch 2. Salvador photo (Dec. 2015).
Shirley starting up the bolt ladder on Vuelva Usted Mañana (Dec. 2015).
The horizontal section in the wind tunnel gave her issues and we bailed – only failure of the trip. Photo by Salvador (Dec. 2015).
More Shirley on pitch 2.
Vuelva Usted Mañana. Photo by Salvador (Dec. 2015).
Bailing. That’s 35 meters of our twin ropes suspended horizontally by the Venturi-enhanced Harmattan.
…yeah, just a little breezy (Dec. 2015).
Rapping off (Dec. 2015).
Shirley hiking back down to camp with the view of backsides (west side) of Wamgel Debridou, Wamderdou, and Suri Tondo (Dec. 2015).
Salvador prepping another watermelon in our high camp (Dec. 2015).
Camp life. Another dusty day (Dec. 2015).
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