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Trip Report    

Yellowjacket Tower/East Flank

5/9/16. Sunny, 68 degrees. This was my mentored rock climb.

We left the cars at 7:34 a.m. We easily found the trail. Hiked for about an hour and a half until we hit the main gully. We ascended up the gully, which was rocky, sandy and annoying. Don climbing helmets at the beginning of the main gully. We used hand lines in places on the main gully, probably unnecessary in a few spots. About 3/4 up the main gully we could see a tree on the right that was strapped with webbing. We hiked up and traversed over to it (with a hand line) This marked the entrance to the "hidden gully." We hand lined the hidden gully. Some basic students may be more comfortable with a belay. A belay eliminates him/her having to futz with moving their prussik up the hand line and instead focus on good foot and hand holds.

Start of climb: Students easily navigated the first pitch (dihedral on the right) in boots. I agree they should use climbing shoes instead. While the last team was coming up the first pitch, the first team was leading to the summit and set up a top rope. Everyone summitted via top rope, and was lowered; last person cleared the top rope and rapped down to the top of the first pitch. We then rapped from the obvious rappel station to the top of the hidden gully (except Sarah, who we lowered down the route we climbed so she could retrieve some gear a student was unable to clean). We then rapped to the bottom of the hidden gulley, double rapped into the main gully, and successive single raps all the way to where the trail begins (we did not do any down climbing in the gully).

Returned to cars at 7:00 p.m.

Parting thoughts:
- A team of six slows things a bit over four, but I am glad we had six. The third rope is great for setting up advance rappel stations while teams above are still rappelling.
- A third rope leader really helps.
- Unnecessary hand lines, larger team, and having to retrieve uncleaned pro made added an extra hour or two.
- A pink tricam is no longer enough at the summit; use a brown.