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A Lunchless Nose, 5/00

By Greg Murphy

Did I mention Jim Herson forgot all his food on our Sunday climb of the Nose route? AND, he later confessed that the Nose is a much better route than the Salathe, even though he has spent most of the last four years of his life on the latter.

Jim "lunchbox" Herson and I did the Nose last Sunday at a casual 11 hour pace, freeing as much as convenient and possible. I, of course, drove up the night before with a stellar house to El Cap Meadow time of 2h 58m. Instead of racking gear in the morning, Jim was racking lunch...biscotti, exotic sandwhich materials, stuffed shitaki mushrooms, Belgian chocolate pudding, you get the idea. I packed my 2 powerbars. Halfway up the route Jim realized that his lunch was nowhere to be found in our pack. Oops. For the first time in my life, I was seriously concerned about cannibalism. Fortunately, we had the squeeking lizard, one of Peter's squeeze toys that makes a delightful squeeking sound. That seemed to distract Jim enough to continue the climb. The 3 parties we passed on route also seemed more inclined to nervously let us pass when we started showing them the lizard. Go figure.

Jim led the first block to the King Swing, I took it to the top (although Jim led the houdini pitch so I could relax and sun myself on camp 6). Jim freed probably 90+% of the route, half of that with the pack on! Very burly. My highlights were freeing the Pancake Flake and other pitches in the upper dihedrals. On camp 6 I watched a peregrine falcon do some amazing aerials whilst chasing down a swift. On the last pitch a party graciously let us pass. On behalf of Jim, I shook them down for food and they passed along some onion bagels - I was hoping for cinnamon-raisin. We had an uneventful descent back to the car and Jim's awaiting lunch.

An excellent outting and perhaps Jim lost a bit of that weight he gained during Anne's pregnancy.


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