A short face (relative to EVERYTHING else up there), near low ramps of Solo Flight
We had anticipated tackling the North Ridge but got a late start. I overslept on the Front Range and we didn't leave the TH until 7:45am. We set out, no guide (not even an MP printout!), no previous knowledge of area, no beta for route or tricky sounding descent. Low on sleep and not arriving to the base of Lone Eagle until 11:30am. We decided against a longer route and searched for something less committing.
We did 3 routes, 1 easy trad, 2 TRs.
Route #1, *, "Sleep In Until 3" trad protected, 5.6.
Start deep into chimney between Sleep-In Block and opposite rock, stemming the chimney up approximately 15 feet. Lunge right (crux) then follow the easy steps and plentiful pro to the top.
Route #2, **, TR, 5.8.
Start at an obvious, right-facing flake in the middle of the wall. Sidepull, counterweight, and crank through 2 low jugs. Toe right, low hand, throw right hand high for solid jug (crux). Finish either straight up face or slightly right on mini-arete.
Route #3, ****, TR, 5.10.
This route was best of the day. If this had easier access and some bolts, it could be an ultra-classic sport route.
We set-up TR then rapped route to drop hang-fire blocks and rocks and shiny up holds/ledges of moss. Kampe fired up first, testing holds, route finding, and eventually reaching the top. I followed. We each TRed it twice. Great route, fun moves, solid rock, exposure, views (!!!), continuous, non-stop, fun sequences, worth the 8 mile hike? For us, completely.
Start on lowest corner of SE side of Sleep-In Block, under a giant overhang. Lieback off right hand and balancy feet. Throw left for the first of 3 left-throwing jugs. Gain left-slanting crack and traverse out to edge of lower arete. Fire up onto upper part of route on thin side-pulling crimpers until a good crimpy ledge. This is where route takes a fun, exposed twist. Step out onto a good right foot above the overhang. Although only 25 feet up on the route, you're now standing in the middle of the valley above 1000' of scree with only air under your ass.
Bump up to the next thin ledge. From here, step left foot to lower ledge, right hand high to shallow crimp crack, mantle with left hand on upper thin ledge, step right foot up onto nothing, and make a balancy throw for a juggy ledge. Step up and reach higher than possible for a super positive hold. This draws a funny looking move, but both of us did it both times as it is the most natural feeling thing. Sweep left foot out right, pivoting your body sideways, and step the outside of your left foot onto the juggy ledge. Congratulations, you've done the 3rd ascent!
We hiked from Monarch Lake TH, up towards Crater Lake. Get to Lone Eagle, circle left towards Triangle Lake. Right along the base of LE is a trail, quicker than talus hopping. We originally thought we were at the starting ledge of Solo Flight
but on the way out, in hindsight, not sure if this was SF
. Either way, we crossed the starting ledges (holding ice in October). Sleep-In Block forms the southern edge of the ledge. Routes were all on the south side and in fall, held sunshine until 1pm. After that, temp drops quick in the tall-walled valley.
Trad rack and TR material.