Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ice festival Climbing

A few days prior to the Ice festival I was lucky enough to climb with Dawn Glanc who is and old friend and the 2009 Womens Ouray Ice Fest Champion. I hadn’t climbed with Dawn in many years since the last women in my life had forbidden me to climb with her and despite all of the years that passed it was just like old times. Dawn used to come to Cody with my other friend Todd Andrews and I remember her passion and drive to become a great ice climber. We picked up our tools and headed out to tick off a few classics climbs she hadn’t gotten to climb yet. For anyone that hasn’t met Dawn she might be the most motivated ice climber you will ever meet and full of energy and smiles.

We ventured up to One Arm Bandit and was amazed as we rounded a corner at the bottom to see the aftermath of a huge avalanche that had come off the top of the climb thousands of feet above us. I suspect its the same avalanche that took the life of Keith Spencer on Main Vein. The Main Vein avy was huge and the fracture line ran across the mountain almost a half mile.

It may have been the first time I got to have a rope gun all day long and I enjoyed every minute of it.

It swept down the mountain leaving an aftermath of debris and a chill in our bodies.

She was so psyched to lead all the hard pitches so I kept handing her the rack and she kept floating up the hard lines.

Seen behind Dawn climbing on the opposite side of the canyon you can see where the avalanche shot over the entire climb and battered the other side leaving a mark and then continuing down the mountain.

It may have been the first time I got to have a rope gun all day long and I enjoyed every minute of it.

The trees that used to be at the top of this climb are know gone but the bolted anchors survived and you can see tree marks from the avalanche debris 15 feet over your head standing at the top of the pillar pitch.

Toping out we saw this gorgeous line but with warm temps and sunny skies it didnt look very appetizing.

On the last rappel I pulled the ropes and started to down climb and was throttled by a rock in the jaw. I was lucky to still have a jaw bone and thanks to it hitting the brim of my helmet I escaped with a badly bandaged face and 5 stitches at the docs office!

The next day we headed into Triptych to get some steep pillar climbing mileage in... Gotta love South Fork approaches

Rope- Check
Gear- Check
Rope Gun- CHECK

Dawn soaking in the morning sun on Triptych pillar

Dawn enjoying yet another pillar in the triptych drainage.... Upper Triptych Pillar.
It was sorta like going to Disneyland and stepping onto all of the good rides with no worries or stress...

Enjoying the views up high!

Longneck Bottle was almost touching when we left the car but by the time we got their it had fallen down.

Im not sure how many feet of climbing we got in but it was alot and we had a great day doing it. Dawn gets me psyched to climb hard and that day was the day we saw The Gambler but it was too thin and after looking at it for almost an hour we walked away and I remember her threat to me as we turned around for one last look, she says "you better get that Mulkey before I do"

More to come on the blog.......

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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Sweet Honey

The day before my first try on The Gambler I was lucky enough to venture back up to this chunk of ice we spotted in the distance during our first ascent of My Morning Glory. It stood high up in the cliffs and as I walked out I knew I had to come back. I was lucky enough to get Nick Beduhn to join forces with me, he was a little concerned when I told him we were going to check out something new. His expectations were probably a 5-6 hour hike with our packs, but lucky for both of us after an hour of hiking we were chaining up and throwing tools.

This pillar was great to climb and I enjoyed every minute and thanks to Nick For taking photos. It wasnt as tall as I had hoped but it was fun climbing in a new area with awesome geography surrounding us.

It reminded me of Fisher Towers in the desert.

The rock was incredible providing great foot placements as if someone glued the rocks to the walls in just the right spots!

The color and sticky ice made it feel like honey was pouring off the cliff, unfortunately it did not taste like honey and we were showered by it thoroughly as we climbed up.

Seriously an awesome place every where you looked was incredible rock formations

Nick Beduhn enjoying the rewards of very little hiking and a warm day climbing ice on our second first ascent of the day which I dont believe Nick has given a name yet.

Major chockstone good thing you could climb underneath it

ya looks like a solid anchor Nick!

It sucks being last especially when your holding the rope to stay on the rappel anchor for your partner!

I felt like a kid wondering around checking out all of the rock formations and this one was especially cool that it has held up thru time. Its a place that I believe very few people have ventured into and i think this formation is proof of that.

I think half of searching for new ice is finding cool places like this and it seems like lately my adventures have taken me to spectacular places like this!

Sort like walking on Mars. We were psyched to get 2 First Ascents in and be heading back to the car by noon, t was another great day of climbing ice in Cody!