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The Theft

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Bridge River area, near Lilloet. The line on the left is The Gift, one of the harder additions to the area, first climbed during Christmas 95. The line on the right, even more obvious and dramatic (but clearly not as fat) was revealed to me by Eric Hirst through e-mail. Lilloet, British Columbia This line has two parts quite distinct in character: the first includes a pitch whose base looked very sketchy from the road, and the chimney, of which the inside was not visible. The second is the partially free-standing huge column, which is visibly very steep, sustained, and complex. Lilloet, British Columbia The first pitch (thin ice crux, WI5+ R) was one of the scariest I have ever climbed. Althought it at first didn't appear to be possible because the main pillar was unstable, it went on the thin ribbon on the right. Lilloet, British Columbia Lee was going to lead successfully the chimney, using one Camalot and one piton to clear a chockstone by an aid move. Lilloet, British Columbia Following in the chimney. Lilloet, British Columbia Starting on the headwall. Lilloet, British Columbia One month later, despite degrading conditions, Kevin Normoyle efficiently led the first two mixed pitches. He is at the crux move, oblique, overhanging, and thin. Lilloet, British Columbia Higher, the fourth pitch ends up with an airy traverse. Lilloet, British Columbia On the fourth pitch. Lilloet, British Columbia Kevin looked with some perplexity at the fifth. Lilloet, British Columbia Tuan starts the fifth pitch. Lilloet, British Columbia Having finished this crux pitch, It is now dark, but I feel very excited of being only one pitch away from completing the project. Lilloet, British Columbia The route had apparently stirred the interest of a number of locals, but no one had had the nerve and persistence to make a serious attempt. On the second attempt, the route appeared even less

All text and photos © Q.-T. Luong. See conditions for use of images. All the 13 pictures of The Theft are on this page