Since we tackled some of the East Ramparts yesterday, today we go for the West. Our goal was Cleopatra’s Needle. On the way there, we climbed a variation of King’s Throne. With that down, I set up a rappel anchor to get down to Cleo. It was a good chance to practice a ghost rap.
Like the Leaning Tower we did yesterday, I had to trad climb up the lone spire. I ended up taking the worst route possible up the needle. I after each gear placement, I had to go left to get to the next one. So I wound up doing a spiral around the tower. This caused ridiculous rope drag and made the last mantel to the top incredible difficult. So very much worth it though.
There were others that wanted to climb the Cleo’s Needle, since my rope was already on it, we switched with them and used their rope already set up on Queen’s Throne. If you ever go to Devil’s Lake, climb Queen’s Throne. It is a blast. Probably my favorite route yet.
After a late lunch and a quick rest, we headed back to the East Ramparts to go for Brinton’s Crack: probably Devil’s Lake most famous climb and ultra-classic. I took a slightly different route (traversed a little earlier), and made it to the top. Nathan followed, but wanted to try Brinton’s Direct, a harder route at 5.9+. After an incredible ascent, Nathan said, “That was crazy. Don’t let me do something that stupid again.” Lesson learned: Doing stupid stuff can make awesome stuff happen. (Just make sure you are safely stupid.)