Longs Peak , Northwest Ridge

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The Diamond Face at Sunrise

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the Northwest or keyhole ridge in profile

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Dan breaks it off

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nw6 nw7It was time again for the annual Thanksgiving Gnarfest, which had been going on now for a number of late November weekends. This go around found us in the boulder field beneath the North Face of Longs Peak and in view of the Northwest or ‘Keyhole’ Ridge.Cool conditions and at least two storms had left snow blown into all the nice places and we stashed one pack with some foods. Gearing up before making our way to just below the actual keyhole where Dan traversed onto the snow ramp leading us to some casual going up to the false keyhole.  Stepping around to the west face and into the warm sun brought delight and more casual going up mixed ground to a large ramp that was benaethe the third tower and crux pitch.

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Great views and fine stances!

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Dan handled moving through the corner and out onto the wall well as I wondered about the riddle of rock , ice and steele. After a bit I shook out the numbness from my fingers and followed through the crux out onto the wall and above Dovetail snow field,. The warm sunlight in the Wee Notch above motivated me with earnest. nw13 nw14 nw15 nw16 nw17 nw18 The late afternoon sunlight in the Wee Notch was like a gift from above, and being just below the round summit we knew our difficulties had diminished. The rope and rack went away as we scrambled to the summit to beat the setting sun which gave a fine view from such a vantage point upon the Earthnw19 nw20 nw21

 

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