Skywalker; Hans Solo Exit
This climb was part of our training for High Altitude Mountaineering School in 2018. Several of us had climbed Skywalker via the Princess Leia exit the year prior so we opted for the Hans Solo exit on this return.
The Hans Solo exit is a mixed line with rock and ice. We were up for more of a challenge so this exit was the perfect choice to practice some skills.
On the way up we practiced some team rope work and pro placement and passing near the base of the couloir. We practiced traversing diagonal switchbacks setting, traveling through and passing pro (snow pickets). We belayed each other in and out as we transitioned upslope as two rope teams.
Before the steepest section we stashed the ropes and climbed independently up as we traversed climbers right to the Hans Solo exit crack.
Once we pivoted to the right to approach the gully towards the Hans Solo exit, we scrambled up a bit of a rock chimney and then to the final pitch we would be protecting. Using an ice screw and some rock pro a few team members placed the gear and we all transitioned up through the exit topping out directly on the summit of South Arapaho peak.
Another stellar day with a fantastic team filled with lifelong memories. A stranger across the basin even captured a few photos of our group ascending the couloir from their perspective on Mount Neva, which was pretty rad!