Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Black Dike

After getting skunked by warm temps this past January, we finally got on the black dike. I think this route certainly has a more fearsome reputation than it deserves... its really a quick climb. We did it in three pitches Wi3, Wi4Mnothing, Wi3. Even though its short and far easier than its rated the position is incredible and the quick mixed section adds a lot to this route.

We arrived in enough time to watch the day's first party spend 2 hours on the top half of the first pitch. Finally they bailed and we became first in line.

Here's the route's crux. The short mix step takes you to the ice which is actually vertical, brittle and thin. Only 20 feet though.

Andrew on the top out.

After an epic 6 hour drive (it wouldn't be a trip with Andrew epic jones without an epic) we opted for a quick hit just 15 min from home base. Andrew here starting up the verglas-thin first pitch at Bristol Cliff, VT.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Chasing Windmills

Gorge ice forms up so infrequently, rarely is it good for more than a short period. Days spent hiking up to nothing more than spindrift and snow. When it forms up nicely you can take your rock picks off the tools, sharpen your crampons and slay the dragon.

Beach side climbing on the lower tier of Cape Horn. Five individual lines formed up this year. The leftmost and rightmost lines formed up fat and Wi5. The center three had wild chandelier features, mushrooms, daggers and were STEEP! All lines were about 70-80m long.

Me climbing the leftmost line. Dowel pullups finally paying off...

Marcus on the rightmost line battling super-chilled water.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Ancient Ancestors let my ice tool be your arm...

Another great trip to the Canadian Rockies. Where do I sign up for Canadian citizenship? I need to move to Canmore in a big way.

Day1: Climbed at Ranger Creek area. Got on R + D and Chalice.
Day2: Polar Circus. Got stuck behind Jasper climbers... who knew Canadians could climb ice so slow? Decided the only thing more daunting than waiting another hour and a half, after already waiting two, was rapelling behind them in the dark.
Day3: Unintentional rest day. Evan Thompson Creek not in. Pushed the season on one route, ended up with a long down climb and a v-thread. Climbed Chantilly, literally the Reality Bath of the drainage... look out for pine cone fall!
Day4: Haffner junk show + drive home.

Jeep Cherokee advertisement.

Marcus on R+D.

Walking over to the Chalice. Donn following first pitch, Chad belaying.

Marcus following on pitch one of the Chalice.

Chad leading R+D.