Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Like nomads Doug Shepherd and myself rose with the sun this morning in search of untouched ice.......
Doug approaching our playground and me falling further behind with a strained IT-Band. Numerous times along the 3 hour approach I question why I was continuing to hike. The pain was numbing at times and would not stop but I knew Doug had come all the way from Colorado to climb and I couldnt let him down.
Doug listened to me whine the entire way and he broke trail for his injured partner knowing it may be his only chance to touch new ice.
As we rounded over one of the last hillsides we were rewarded with our efforts (although Doug said I was still complainin) with grand pitches of ice and although some of them were not touching and we didnt have our Pocket Steve-o we managed to climb some great pitches.
Water and ice fell from the cliffs like a war zone as the sun blasted the cliffs. Doug was worried about getting sunburned and I was worried that he may have to drag me off the mountain on a makeshift sled. As we started climbing and discovering some of the new routes the pain of my knee took a backseat.
Doug finding his way through the Booby Trap WI4 60m
Doug enjoying some sun rays and First Ascents
Our gorgeous drive in the morning
Damn I love Ice Climbing.... Somedays the rewards are priceless! With the hot sunny day we opted for the climb in the shade. The spectacular climb on the right was taking a major beating from the sun, so we decided to save it for the next trip. we named the climb on the left Pole Postion WI4 35m
As the sun escaped behind the curtain of mountains we were fired up to get one last climb ( Fabulous TNT's WI3+ 60m) and hike out in the dark.
Doug Soloing up the first section as the light began to fade from the long day
A great view from the top of the climb to top off an incredible day.
Not sure what to say about this sign.....
And of course Doug made some Video!
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I knew it was a good day.....
No Doubt......One of my favorite climbs ever and I feel lucky to have been able to climb one of Alex Lowes and Stan Prices South Fork Testpieces. Im not sure if anyone has ever repeated it as it comes in every few years and when it does its hands down one of the proudest lines in the valley.
After dropping my tool.....ugh first time ever although I was lucky that I was on a shelf and able to pose while my belayer Joel Anderson took photos and got me my lucky tool back!
It was an incredible climb that delivered different challenges of mixed climbing and pure ice climbing. I thought it was all over when I got to the base of the pillar and figured I had it bagged but found the pillar was horribly fragile and ended up climbing the backside in order to get good placements and protection. The mixed climbing felt like M6 and provided great gear placements.
Joel Anderson rope gunning me up the 2nd pitch
A great day in the mountains and thankful to have Mr. Anderson along with me for the adventure!