John Joline was a jubilant, one-of-a-kind teacher who taught hundreds of climbers how to place their first cam. His love of the sport was infused into all aspects of his life, and inspired many to seek summits, large and small, across the world.
John had a special place in his heart for the Grenadiers. So when he passed of cancer in 2015, we decided to put up this route in his honor. It's a lovely line in a high and lonely place, with 5 pitches of 5.8-5.9 capped by ~500 hundred feet of sustained, low class-5 simulclimbing.
John often spoke of Earl and Valerie, the gods of weather-and thus patron gods of climbers. His pre-trip libations to them -- "water for sustenance, beer for revelry, and orange juice for good health
and vitamin C!" were unforgotten by any who witnessed or participated in them.
When you climb this route, make sure Earl and Valerie are smiling on you. This is a big, exposed face!
P1. Step over the bergshcrund into a corner with a small flake. At the top of this corner, trend up and right through ledges and more corners to a slightly more significant dihedral. Follow this up, slanting rightward, to a grassy ledge below a large dihedral that is capped by a roof (5.9).
P2. Start in the main dihedral below the roof. After 25 feet, walk left on a hidden ledge to a large crack. Climb the crack (#4 helpful) and corner, and belay at the top of a large flake (fun 5.9).
P3. The Ledge of Glory. Continue up the left-facing corner from the flake to what looks like a horizontal crack about 20 feet up. Traverse right on the crack around the arete. Follow the awesome ledge into a fun corner system; climb this to the base of the V-slot (5.8).
P4. Ascend the V with a pleasant and athletic exit. Continue up corners and ledges to belay at the top of a grassy ledge. Beware the loose rocks on the ledge (5.9).
P5. Climb the obvious corner past a small overlap (fun!) to a left-facing dihedral. Continue up this to the ridge (5.9).
Simulclimb a long ways on great rock to the summit of the NE face. Optionally, continue across the cleft of the couloir to the true summit of the Guardian.
We descended the East Ridge, which took 2.5-3 hours with complicated routefinding. When in doubt, stay east. The route took us about 11 hours camp-to-camp.
This route climbs the right side of the steepest part of the Guardian's northeast face. After spending a long time examining the face, we believe that it's to the right of Serpentine Son Rise
; it's to the left of the biblical couloir that splits the face.
To find the route, identify the notable V-groove a few hundred feet up. You can only see this feature from below the right side of the face. This V is pitch four of the route.
Below the V, identify a large dihedral capped by a roof. Pitch one ends at the base of this dihedral on a grassy ledge. The pitch starts in a faint corner slightly left of there. See the beta photo for more details.
We took a double rack to #3, plus one #4. #1-#4 were quite useful.
|Photos of A Prayer to Earl and Valerie: The John Joline Memorial Route Slideshow
BETA PHOTO: A Prayer to Earl and Valerie.
Stoke very high at the top!
Finishing P5 - how does this exit work?
BETA PHOTO: Looking for the Ledge of Glory.
BETA PHOTO: The start of P1.
Ben near the base of the route.
BETA PHOTO: The line, foreshortened. Yellow is climbing, red ...
|Comments on A Prayer to Earl and Valerie: The John Joline Memorial Route
By Matthias Holladay
From: Durango, Colorado
Jul 16, 2015
Isn't the quartz here sharp, yet tremendous and pretty?