Faced with a 1 day weather window, and deep snow in the mountains, Beau and I headed for the friendly alpine playground of Illumination Rock. We did the most reliable and fun route on the sunny South Face of the I-Rock, It is a route I named after my girlfriends late pet: Rime, our Scottish Deerhound. I had done the route a couple of times before, it is worth repeating for sure. It offers 4 short pitches of outstanding easy mixed climbing at a moderate angle. It also now has a rap anchor at the finish that gets you most of the way down to the South Chamber with a single rope rappel. We had a blast! Mikes tr, under thin conditions
Jule and friends at Oregon Field Guide did a wonderful half hour special on climbing Mt Hood. Last year she invited me to do an interview and asked for some of my photos and video of various new routes that I was involved in on the mountain. Her team did an outstanding job capturing the experience. See for yourself.
They use my voice-over several times, the interview occurs at 18:43 and again at 24:25.
Lurking above the townsite of Banff are 3 tough ice routes. From left to right, they are:
Terminator, the Replicant ,and Sea of Vapors.
On our second try, Jess R and I tagged a dream of a route. I have been obsessing over it for over a decade. It was so amazing and I will be stoked on it for a long time to come. Conditions, weather, and stoke all came together this time for a great day in Banff. The approach went on forever. The avy danger was non-factor, thank god. It is steep and wanders up and over many features. It is nice to have a boot track, but it will blow over with the wind and you will wallow in some places up high. The 1st pitch was hollow, hooky, bouldery, and sketch. The 2nd is steep and sustained. the 3rd was so long and I got so tired, I stopped to belay after 30 meters. It was tough to follow Jesses pitch and launch into another 5+ lead. Jess then led the last short stretch to the top. I cant remember being so tired from an ice climb. The exposure was tremendous. We felt like we had just done something amazing, and we are so excited many hours later. We pulled in the night before and went right after it, revenging a trip for it a month prior. Yehaa! Cant thank Jim (of Pro Mt. Sports) enough for taking the time to get me the right gear!
We would have had better climbing shots, but the belays are tucked into tiny caves behind the icicles. Now for some pics!
Over the last 23 or so years, I developed an interest (read: obsession) with the ice climbs up an obscure volcanic wall on the East Face of mt Hood. Jeff Thomas’ Oregon High book had some questions looking for any information on the Eiger like wall. I became very curious.
I first viewed the face while doing a solo ski traverse around the upper Mt. Hood in in May of 1987. After seeing ice on it even this late in the season, the hook was very set. It was basically untouched and offered 6-10 big climbs around 1000′ feet tall. Without any info, I started a campaign of exploration up its many ice routes with great results. Steve Elder and I did the first ascent of the main wall in feb-94, followed by a couple other routes that were nothing less than astounding alpine climbs of the highest order.
Then I began a long series of attempts on the “Center Drip”‘ that took the best line on the entire face. Finding never-ending setbacks with weather and conditions, my patience wore thin after more than a dozen attempts.
It finally came together this March with reports of Ice on the wall from 2 great sources. My local Pullman partner , Beau- accompanied me on our successful bid. The climb went so very well.We did it in blocks with 4 total pitches , the final crux one was a full 60 m of airy positioning. The route was an instant classic and deserves many ascents in the future. Besides incredible ambience, It is a very doable route as well.We had a great time on this wonderful classic climb. Enjoy the pictures and video, It felt really great to wrap up such a project. I will do a blow-by blow if wanted and I must promote the new Climbing Guide to Mt. Hood expected out this fall!
As always, looking forward to your trip report, Wayne
Great photo of the wall from the right side.
OPB Special: Climbing Mt. Hood
Update! The left “Unclimbed Ice” was just ascended! Fric/Amos Route