New Routing at Index

I recently had the pleasure of returning to an old project from last season at Index with a couple of good friends.  Last year, Mike Patz and his fiance Allesandra DeMarchis cruised up to Blues Cliff with me to  check out the routes there.  It didn’t take long for us to notice this clean arete above the 5.11, Cry Baby.  We set it up on TR after Mike cruised 12 Gauge IQ, and all found the climbing to be spectacular.

This year, I went back alone while Mike and Alle were out getting married.  I soloed 12 Guage, set up the TR, and went about establishing this fine pitch.  It took a 2 bolt anchor, and 3 more protection bolts.  As soon as the newlyweds were back in Washington, we all went out together and climbed the new line.  Mike and I both sent, and Alle came super close! That said, Alle may technically get the first ascent, since she toprope onsighted the thing the year before while Mike and I both flailed… Here are some photos from the day the new route went down.


Check out Mike trying hard!


Looking like a focused frog on the arete side change.


He made his finger bleed from trying so hard.


And the obligatory close-up model shot.

That’s Mike crushing on his first go.  He sent next try!

Allie crushing.

Allie cruising the first crux.


Focused in on the arete.


Getting the thank god crimp!


The last move to the thank god jug!

I gave it a quick unsuccessful burn, and then Alessandra was up.  What a crusher! I finally sent near the end of the day, but just by the skin of my teeth!  After lengthy debate, we settled on the name, “Unicorn Blues” – go climb it!

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