My apologies about missing a post yesterday. Didn't get the news until after Internet hours in the Valley. So, the other night Kevin and Tommy both completed pitch 11, two tries each with I think Tommy on lead. By the time that was done it was late and they headed back to their ledge to get some rest before the sun came.
Yesterday went about the same as most of the days have been going. Hide from the sun and then around 2pm when their route starts to go in the shade they start preparing and getting into position. Waiting for them was pitch 12, which follows a left facing dihedral up until it kind of disappears and then it looks to be like traversing face climbing towards the end. Tommy commented that the first 30 feet is full of pumpy moves and the rest is very technical. He said the feet are terrible and no matter what you do they always have a high risk of slipping. By 10pm last night the boys had given the pitch 4 and 5 burns EACH before Tommy finally pulled through and got it. I believe Kevin's last burn was his fifth try with no success for that night.
So the latest news from the wall is that this storm is supposed to be a big one, and the guys are debating about whether it is going to be safe or not to stick it out. They will be on Wino Tower at that point, which is pretty exposed and were things to be bad, they risk a lot of things, including ice fall. This is a tremendously hard decision to make, especially when they've come so far, and that could mean they would be shut down from the route until next year being spring and summer conditions and not good for what they are doing. They are trying to make a decision relatively soon, but it's so hard to really decide.
I am jumping on a plane today back home to Colorado to sit out the storm there and prepare
some things for our trip to Patagonia and was planning on coming back, but now we play the wait game. The boys are smart and as important as this project is to them, they are not willing to risk their lives or putting themselves in a dangerous situation. We will see what happens.
Part of the severe weather warning from weather.com, " A WINTER STORM WATCH ABOVE 6000 FEET REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM FRIDAY EVENING THROUGH SUNDAY AFTERNOON FOR THE SOUTHERN SIERRA NEVADA FROM YOSEMITE TO KINGS CANYON. * SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: ONE TO THREE FEET ARE POSSIBLE ABOVE 6000 FEET".