Shortly after our successful climb on Hallett Peak, Apryle and I discussed another alpine adventure. She was interested in climbing a route independently, to see what she was capable of in the mountains without relying on my experience….so she paired up with Sarka, a friend of ours from the Czech Republic. Sarka was a strong climber but had little trad experience and had spent almost no time alpine climbing. She was the perfect partner. They planned to climb the Spiral Route, a well-known 5.4 that wraps the entire way around Notchtop before topping out in the notch itself.
I paired up with one of the CMS guides, Randy Judycki. We aimed for the South Face, a 5.8 that shoots straight up the south-facing prow of Notchtop on clean granite.
Both parties had a good day. Randy and I swung leads and topped out in the early afternoon, then rapped the descent route without major difficulty. Apryle and Sarka had no trouble climbing the route with Apryle leading every pitch, but got hung up with another party on the descent and took a while getting off the mountain.