Sunday, February 27, 2011

Home Field Advantage (talk about milage...)

I've been fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time on a few occasion.  Sometimes luck plays a greater role; other times it's more a matter of, I mean dedication, will and embodiment of pure spirit or some crap like that.  More often than not, nabbing a quality first ascent, particularly on ice or mixed terrain, has everything to do with the timing.

I often used to think that the more prolific first ascentionists had some sort of a deal with the devil thing going else could they keep nabbing all of these fine and ephemeral lines?  I wondered...  With the passage of time, and my own occasional good fortune, I've begun to realize that it is more likely a matter of wisdom or "mountain-sense" that leads to this serendipitous timing.

Scoring the F.A. on Home Field Advantage was the result of more than 10 years of diligent, patient waiting and watching.  It's a line that had caught my eye long ago, yet never really came into condition and more or less fell off my radar, outside of serious consideration.  I never really said much about it to anyone, nor did I hear of it mentioned by others.  All along, Joe Josephson was right there as well, also quietly watching...stalking from the sidelines.

Somewhere in the social network, I caught wind that John Frieh and Bryan Schmidtz would be in town and JoJo's "vague" description of where he thought they should go tipped me off.  I was like a fly to shit...there was no way I would miss the opportunity to catch this line I'd been spying on for an embarrassingly large portion of my adult life.

We ironed out plans and braved sub-zero temps -- our commitment to the project, despite the cold was rewarded with a fantastic day of climbing in the company of good friends; a memorable experience and the satisfaction of perseverance leading to success.

For the last few seasons, since our first ascent, the route has begun to form regularly and fatter than ever.  With this, the popularity of the line has surged and it's now considered a modern classic.  I recently visited Home Field with compatriots Marko Pujic and Craig Pope.  Below is a short video from that day; click away, go to full-screen and crank the volume.

Enjoy -

Also, check out for a little more route history.

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