Because of the practice earlier in the day, we didn’t arrive at start of the third pitch until nearly 4 p.m., only 45 minutes before sundown.If we finished the climb, we’d have to rappel in the dark.
After Will descended into the darkness again, I felt small and alone, a speck high on a giant cliff beneath a star-speckled sky. After two more rappels, we were safe on the ground.Brightly lit tractor-trailers carrying who knows what rushed past on the Northway, but perched where I was, I felt a million miles away from that world of commerce and all the controversies of the day. We drove home and soon learned that Donald Trump would be president.On Tuesday, Will, who is a professional climbing guide, led the first pitch with no problem.I slipped at the crux but eventually managed to get up it and the rest of the pitch without falling.The guy who first ascended Gamesmanship was John Turner, an Englishman then living in Montreal.
Turner was an exceptionally bold climber who put up several routes at Poke-o and elsewhere in the Adirondacks.
By the time I got to the top of Ski Tracks, night had fallen.
Luckily, the rest was easy as we ascended low-angle slab to the woods above the cliff.
We then set up a top rope and rappelled so I could climb the first pitch again.
I also practiced the crux a few more times, with mixed success.
You can follow his adventures and his musings on the Adirondacks in the Explorer and on this blog.