New Multi-Pitch Mixed Testpiece in Colorado
4/5/13 - On the third attempt, Jesse Huey and Josh Wharton have completed The Production, a difficult traditional mixed route on the south side of Mt. Otis in Rocky Mountain National Park. After two relatively moderate approach pitches on the existing route Brain Freeze (WI3 M5+), the new route climbs up a steep granite wall for three more pitches.
The business is in the first pitch (M7), where a short column of water ice leads to testy, run-out dry-tooling. Wharton originally tried this pitch with Hayden Kennedy but bailed above the ice pillar when a storm moved in. He returned last week with Jesse Huey and led the full first pitch in full conditions, with falling snow coating the rock. "It was the most impressive ground-up onsight I have seen in the mountains, requiring beaks, #000 C3 cams, and healthy run-outs," Huey said in an email. However, the conditions were too awful to continue up the route and they rappelled.
On April 4, Huey and Wharton returned in much better weather, and this time Huey took the lead on the first pitch. "In perfect conditions, it seemed much more manageable," he said. The two then climbed two more pitches to the top of the wall ("maybe M6 and M5").
Date of ascent: April 4, 2013
Sources: Jesse Huey, John Dickey