Monday, February 13, 2012

Long Neck Bottle


For me Long Neck Bottle has been that trophy Elk, Deer or Girlfriend people pursue their entire life. Every day I visit the valley I am always looking through the window to see if its in or even if it has ice on it. If it has ice on it then I watch it through the season religiously praying it will touch down so I can get my turn. "The Legend" Stan Price did the first ascent back in 1998 and it has taken many years of patience for it to receive its second ascent. The condition of the climb was much different when Stan did the FA. It touched down about the size of a Bottle and I would imagine he put strippers to shame as he shimmied his body up the pole of ice. It was probably one of North Americas boldest leads in its time and even to date would be amazing. Lucky for me I found it in much better conditions. It touched down in three spots all of which were small and questionable but much better then Stans Bottle Neck feature. I remembered Stan placed a pin behind the curtain to protect a possible fall if the entire ice decided to detach but unfortunately for me I was height challenged to reach the pin. If it was like any of Stans other pins I found It would have been a mental piece of protection anyway. Kevin Craig and myself had to earn the ascent along with Daniel Burson and Tanner Callender who were climbing another route high in the drainage, we dealt with non frozen waterfalls at the base of the triptych drainage making the day even that more challenging.


Tanner trying to stay dry

Mulkey working through the first pitch of triptych unfrozen

It takes years of experience to climb kitty litter. I gave this a KL (kitty litter) 5 grade


More waterfall climbing. Some people may say it was too warm to climb.....

Right triptych pillar gains you access to the goods above.

One of the great things about this route is you really have to earn it just to stand at the base of the climb.


Daniel Burson climbing a variation of Wyoming Rodeo (left triptych pillar)

Finally at the base Kevin and I were psyched. A long awaited trophy stood in front of us and all we had to do was make it happen.

Mulkey enjoying the first pitch

Mulkey testing the architecture

Once I got on this thing it was sorta go time and no messing around since there was no reason to put gear in for the first 50 feet or so.

Good times

Finally able to relax and enjoy it !

Thanks a bunch to Kevin Craig for giving me the energy and belay.


Meanwhile Daniel and Tanner were getting after it on the upper Triptych pillar.

This is what I like to call " The Trophy Room"
far left is a unamed WI4 line then you can barely see " The Gambler WI6" and then "long neck bottle" and the upper pitch of Triptych pillars. This room hosts two of the hardest pure ice lines in the valley.


Simply a great day for all of us. We were all psyched on each others focuses for the day and cheering each other on as we took on our missions. We could have given up early in the day when we felt like we were trying to swim up stream but we all stayed in good spirits and enjoyed every minute. It was a day to remember and we all took home trophies as a team!