Canada Ice and Mixed 3-17

Until I saw the photos on the Canada Facebook page, I was not planning a 3rd trip back to the Rockies. The locals had just installed several new routes on the 70m wall right of Twisted. The pictures showed wild, exposed climbing, and a mind blowing setting. Of course the exposure led Keenan, myself, and many others to scramble there to sample the newer climbs. I would describe the area as the light version of Stanley Headwall of fun! Not too hard, but feels like you are on something steep and difficult. I hope they can form every year. (note; now that I look at old pics of Twisted, I think they will regularly form!)

3-11-17 Nasty Habit 3p wi5-m7  WHAT A GREAT ROUTE!! p1 starts out fun mixed (m6, gear to 3″) to a bolt protected dagger move, fun lead to start the trip on. Nice easy alpine p2 with thin ice wi4. P3 is fun, scratchy hooks, getting gradually steeper, fun sticking the ice too. We then couldn’t do Blobs, because of 2 parties already on it.

3-12-17 Lower Weeping Wall, center 3p wi4/5. We wanted to do the upper pillar too, but 6 new inches of snow began sloughing off in the hot sun.

3-13-17 Curtain Call 2p wi5/6. Super fat fun in easy shape. long leads though as always.

3-14-17 Blob, Blob, Blob 3p wi3-m6+. Got our revenge on this amazing climb racing a local party that photographed us. Cant say enough about the 2 pitches….amazing, athletic, weird, and steep moves. Watch for large loose blocks. It wont take long to see that the routes are new, and still loose in places.

 

This great trip made me glad that I trained hard, keep an eye on route reports, and participate in the fantastic sport of technical winter climbing!

click to enlarge photos

 

 

Hyalite 2-’17

p2 of ZA

p2 of ZA

Even though it was warming up in the Northwest, I wasn’t ready to hang up my crampons. I asked 4 friends to go to Hyalite and one-by-one they all backed out! I then asked facebook and found Bill, a driven yet laid back climber that had yet to get on ice this season. Bill arranged a place to stay with friends there in Bozeman, and we were off for a long weekend of driving and ice climbing.

I wouldn’t suggest warming up on the Matrix, but all of my training and 60+ pitches of ice this season justified getting on a difficult and spooky lead. Bill led Feeding the Cat, and we got laps in on it too.

I was waffling on doing Zack Attack the next day, but Bill was persistent about trying it, so off we went, starting up G2 early in the morning the slogging up sometimes deep drifts got us to the base 1-2 hours later. We then started up the incredible 5 pitch climb with Bill leading the first pitch (m4) in style. I did a short mix pitch left to the piton belay station(m4), then Bill did the dry finish to the right of rotten, thin ice of p3(m4). It was then up to me to do the last 2 short ice steps to finish this long spectacular route. The last one was very steep at the top trying to wiggle through the overhanging finish! This is the best the route has come in the last 8 years! tr from Bryan

Since Mummy 3 and 4 were in epic fat shape too, I had to head there the next day for the chance of a lifetime conditions. (my last time on Mummy 2011) After I did Scepter in fat condition, Bill took the opportunity to lead Mummy 3 in all ice condition(wi3+).  It was up to me to lead Mummy 4. I chose the right side, it had delicate ice blobs to stem from the rock on the right, and bizarre ice on the left eventually forming a chimney with rock on the right and ice, left. At the top I had to go left to finish this wonderful lead. We were happy with our 12 pitch weekend, but are we ready to hang up the crampons yet? No way,

Some photos courtesy of Bill P.

Canada Ice 1-17

So I must REALLY like ice climbing because I went up by myself for 2 weeks with only 1 partner lined up for 4 of the days. Why else would I spend countless hours in sub-freezing temps, put up with cold toes, screaming barfie hands, slick roads, lonely evenings , and one good meal per day? There were many fun days no matter my complaining. One of those days in particular was one of the best days of my ice and mixed career too. Here is the break down of the fun I had with 10 different people!

1-15-17 Junkyards 4p to wi4 w Jack

1-16 Haffner 2p w14

1-17-17 Guinness attempt 2p to wi3 w/Jenn, Paul. small sluff sent us packing

1-18-17 Redman/Whiteman 4p to m6 wi6 w/ Jeremy R

1-19 -17 Johnson wi4 w/ Jeremy P

1–20-17 Wuthering/Green Angel 3p to wi4 w/ Steve, Jeremy

1-22-17 Big Dipper, Little Dipper 3p to wi4, w/Jeremy, trying to find Lacey G.

1-23-17 Hafner 5p to m6 wi4 w/ Mike, Rachel, Trystan -soon to be bad asses

1-24-17 Circus Circus wi4 3p w/Jim Elzinger. Rarely formed route with a legendary partner

1-25-17 Unicorn/Kitty attempt wi4 2p w/Nolan, broken pick

I have to say, the day with Jeremy R on Whiteman/Redman was especially awesome. I was happy to give the crux of Whiteman to Jeremy, and what a super job he did on that intimidating lead! We spent 14 hours that day in a beautiful area doing the 4 amazing pitches.

It was fun doing 2 days in the Ghost with Jeremy, and Steve too diong 3 routes that I hadn’t done yet. Both days ended in a headlamp blur at the end of long distant approaches for great ice with no crowds. Of course after 50 pitches of ice and mixed so far this season, I hurt my knee(mildly) on flat ground , so now Index is on my mind for a few weeks from now. What an exceptional ice season, I hope this can be the normal type of winter once again.

Thanks to all of my wonderful partners, and especially Steve for setting me up with a room, and partners for most of the days.

West of Banks: Champagne, Sundance Kid

p1190229Doug and I packed up the full array of ice gear and headed out in his plush truck camper for a overnight jaunt to the lesser known realms just west of Banks Lake. Neither of us had climbed out there, and man what a great outing we had! We drove past Champagne to find it was the most sheltered and sunny, therefore best option in the frigid temps. To stick with the pattern though, we found Joe and Jason already enjoying the steepness of its 2 great pitches. We did the 2 pitch route in the afternoon shade after them.

The next day we went into stunning Moses Coulee ( reminds me of Cody), and proceeded to get very humbled gazing at the very formidable Butch Cassidy. It reminded me of a longer version of Zenith, another legendary sandbag.. We drove past it and other scare fests to do the Sundance Kid. Doug took the lead under virgin conditions, excavating his way up through the overhangs. Banks is such an amazing yet stiff area to climb. It matters dramatically whether or not the ice conditions are good, bad ,and/or untrammeled. Be careful out there in this banner season, stoke is high yet there have been a good number of accidents. Pay attention to the grades and realize Banks is a bit sandbagged at times when conditions are less than optimal.

Shitting Razorblades, Banks Lake

..with a name like that…

The internet is a mixed blessing when ice season rolls around. It is tough to be tortured daily by photos of amazing routes, yet nice to know they are in and have been getting climbed. I had a 1 day window that James and I used driving to Banks Lake and had a wallop of a time climbing!

Razorblades is a 2-3 pitch route that rarely see its first pitch form, and P1 has seen very few ascents. P1(aka, Eating Razorblades) was in chandeliered and drippy shape. It had a back off sling that attested to that. It took a while to get up the steep, thin and rotten ice, but this was my shot, and I made the most of it all the way to the top. I found it to be difficult and awkward going.

I was lucky enough to be climbing the first pitch when a talented photographer was nearby. He took the following 4 pictures. His outstanding site is here: http://jonjonckersphotography.format.com/

 

p1 Photo by Jon Jonkers

p1 Photo by Jon Jonckers

p1 Photo by Jon Jonkers

p1 Photo by Jon Jonckers

p1 Photo by Jon Jonkers

p1 Photo by Jon Jonckers

p1 Photo by Jon Jonkers

p1 Photo by Jon Jonckers

upper tiers report

Jens on upper tiers,   snap of recent

The last 2 pitches were no gimme either. A strong leader with lots of screws could combine them, but I was I no hurry even though wet  from drips on all sections. What a great climb!! I hope to head back this next weekend too.

Escape to the Desert: part 2

I have just discovered my floor for the lowest temps I am willing to ice climb in: 7 degrees fahrenheit. So the temps were heading much lower for the week that I had set aside for my friend Mike. He convinced me that the thing to do is get a  plane ticket and enjoy the sun and warmth of Red Rocks and Zion. It worked out fine doing about 20 pitches in the 2 areas over 4 days . Up first was a romp up the south face of Windy peak. We had wanted to try Jubilant Song but to keep with the crowding theme, there was already 4 people ahead, we opted for a route next to it name Hot Fudge Thursday. It is a fun 6 pitch route that has 4 great pitches mostly at the start. We also found out why it is called Windy Peak.

We were then excited to try the Tatooine Route on Kinesava in Zion: A legendary  15 pitch 5.11 route on the South Face of Mt. Kinesava. We hiked in with heavy packs and spent a beautiful night at the base. The only problem was that spending 14 hours on a ridgerest pad is not good for our backs. We both were stiff in the morning and climbed as high as we dared push. We cleared the first 4 pitches and were impressed with the quality and position of the climb. I will be back to try again with a different tactic: fix 2 ropes, and fire the next day. We rounded the trip off with 70 degree  perfection cragging at Black Rocks near St. George.

 

 

Canada Ice 12-16

Kidd Falls, p2

Kidd Falls, p2

Please, Click here to help my fallen friend Tyler

Stoke never runs higher than the first ice trip of the season. When else would you try find a last minute partner, drive 24hrs in a 2wd vehicle, spend 5 days in the same motel room, and suffer single digit temperatures?

“..because it’s worth it”, replied my friend Priti. She had just finished a quicky trip to the newly frigid Rockies. Her and her hubby got good early season laps on great climbs such as Bourgeau Right , R+D, and Twisted Sister. Stoked after seeing pics of many fun adventures , I somehow found a willing partner myself on mt. proj , and off we went. I had climbed briefly with Joe a few years back, and remembered that he was safe, and willing to try most sane proposals. High on my list was yet another run at Amadeus, Unicorn, and other mixed treats. This particular season has produced great conditions.

Just like with our incoming administration, there was an impending sense of doom coming in the form of a cold front that was to push the mercury down to single digits. We knew to act fast and make plans fluid as the crowds and conditions allowed. Only the last 2 days had rough weather, so we had a great time doing the following 11 pitches:

12-2-16 haffner 4p to m6 w/joe. Lean conditions, yet lots of ice building.

12-3-16 Kidd Falls wi4, 2p w/Joe. We drove past 4 cars at Amadeus, and only found 2 parties finishing with Kidd, Spectacular route! Warning: Severe avalanche danger on this route!

12-4-16 Grotto 3p to wi4. Drove to Icefields and the roads hadn’t been plowed in a while. Then, past 2 cars again at Amadeus. Plan c: Snowy day at thin His route for laps.

12-5-16 Amadeus wi4-m5, 2p w/ Steve, Joe. Finally only 1 car parked there in very cold temps, Great to have Steve, and his #4 cam along!

Red Rocks ’16

Escape to the Desert part 1

Sandstone has its own flow and its been a couple of years since I’ve touched it. So fun to climb on, and I am glad to have had extra time to climb and ( a sweet condo to..)recover. Thanks to Bob for the invite and the idea to spend a great couple of weeks in Red Rocks!

10-19-16, wake up wall, 5p to 11a

10-20-16 Breakaway/ La Cierta Edad 10d, 6p

10-22-16 Nightcrawler 4p 10c

10-25 -16 The Hood, Mt Charlston 4p to 10d

10-26-16 Inti Watana, mt. Wilson, 10c, 12p

10-28-16 wake up 3p to 10d

10-29-16 SourMash BVW 10a 4-8p

10-31-16 Eagles Dance 10c, A0 9p

11-2-16 Black Corr. 5p to 11a

First up was combining Breakaway/ La Cierta Edad. Wicked steep intro to the game on Breakaway, spicy too. It was nice to wind down on La Cierta, but got worked from the overall day.
10-19 Hoover Dam sightseeing on rest day. Quite an experience for a concrete guy such as myself!
10-22 Nightcrawler 4p 10c Just wow, what a great climb. It was so hot, that we just waited in the shade (until 130pm)at the base for the whole route to go into the shade, got back at dark though. Great straight up trad climbing.

10-26 Inti Watana, mt. Wilson, Not hard for the grade just long and pretty fun. Tiring day.

10-29 SourMash BVW 10a 4-8p Super fun route and the moves are great! Probably my favorite route  of the trip! Did it in 4 amazing pitches.

10-31 Eagles Dance 10c, A0 9p. Ended the trip on one of Red Rocks great climbs! Even more enjoyable to me than Levitation, and it has a single rope (70m)rap line!! We combined a few and did it in 7.

What fun it was to have relatively great weather in  the disneyland-for-climbers that this place is. Can’t wait for my next trip here.

Click images to enlarge..

Heaven’s Gate ’16

9-11-16 Heaven’s Gate, UTW Index 5.11a/b 4p, 1 fall w/ Priti

I was eager to lead the crux pitch after following it clean back in 6-9-13. Steve was going for his 3rd try at leading it clean back then. It has a super steep finish capped by 2 back-to-back roofs!

Heavens Gate is an incredible face/sport route that starts again with the great giver, 1st pitch: Lamplighter. I am getting to the place where I need to repeat routes at Index, and this one was high on the list. Everybody on Mt.proj gives it 4 stars. Priti, a delightful, up-and-coming climber, picked this route on my list and we were off and running on my only day off again this week. She spared me my 5th straight lead on Lamplighter by getting her first red point on it. I then took the remaining 3 pitches(P2 is Hard!!) and systematically (slowly) worked each of them until the top of p4:  I got off route on the roofs twice, and couldn’t recover the 2nd time taking my own whip off it like Steve did 3 years ago. Makes me even more excited to climb it yet again, after easily dispatching the crux after my 1 fall. Beta is approach each roof from the left then moving right after over the lip with the arms. Stay leaned off to the left.

I have a bad case of Upper Town Wall syndrome and will probably be on Lamplighters trio many more times.

Heavens Gate

Thompson/Fuller Memorial

The Crimson Eye

Blake on HG

About David Gunstone the first ascensionist

Scroll past photos for specific info on the accident.

lesson to be learned from the accident:

Squamish Chief newspaper, Friday 28 May, 2004:

Quote:


Climbing death ruled accidental by coroner
‘Breakdown in communication’ cited in 2003 death on Grand Wall
By John French
Reporter
Like many days last spring, May 31, 2003 was a great day for climbing.
While it may have started as a good climbing day for David Christopher Gunstone, it certainly didn’t end that way.

Gunstone was in Squamish, visiting from Seattle, to do some climbing on that Saturday afternoon. He was with a group of friends and they were climbing a route called Exasperator at the base of the Grand Wall area of the Stawamus Chief. Exasperator is a popular route with a moderate difficulty rating. The route is described as a two-pitch crack climb.

Gunstone, 41, finished a top rope ascent at just after 5 p.m. He was on his way back to the ground when things went fatally wrong. Gunstone fell 25 metres to his death.

Coroner Jody Doll investigated what happened leading up to Gunstone’s fall and determined his death was accidental. Doll’s report was completed May 6 of this year.

Doll determined that Gunstone fell when his climbing team failed to tie two ropes together. Essentially, where two ropes were needed to lower him to the ground, there was only one in place and he fell to his death because he ran out of rope.

According to Doll’s report, Gunstone and his friends arrived at the bottom of Exasperator and met two other climbers already on the route. Gunstone’s group had met the other two climbers through previous encounters in the climbing area. The two climbers completed the first pitch on Exasperator and said they wanted Gunstone and his group to join them and lead the climb up the second pitch.

In consultation with climbing experts, Doll determined that two ropes were initially used to begin lowering Gunstone. One of the ropes belonged to Gunstone while the second one belonged to the other group of climbers.

“Mr. Gunstone and his group planned to leave after Mr. Gunstone was on the ground,” Doll wrote in her findings. “Their rope had to be removed from the system during the knot pass and replaced with a rope from the other group. When Mr. Gunstone’s rope was untied, the replacement rope was not attached in time. As a result, the rope passed through the belay device and Mr. Gunstone subsequently fell to the ground.”

Gunstone and one of the other climbers were using a belay system. Gunstone was on the wall and the helper was on the ground with a mechanical belay device attached to his harness. Gunstone also had a harness and the rope was securely attached at his end.

According to Doll, rock climbers have to look after their own safety and share responsibility for the safety of all the other members of a climbing party. “It is an accepted and common practice for climbers to double check knots and harness configurations, confirm instructions and vocalize plans,” she wrote.

“When a climbing situation develops into a social atmosphere, as is often the case when larger groups of acquaintances congregate at the base of a climb, and especially in a controlled top rope situation, a relaxed atmosphere often evolves,” Doll wrote in her report. “In these situations, the direct line of communication and psychological connectivity between the climber and the belayer is interrupted by exchanges taking place in the group on the ground.”

Doll found that a number of factors contributed to the fatal accident that spring day last year. “There was no well-communicated plan to complete the transfer of the ropes and there was a break down in the communication between the belayer and the rest of the group on the ground,” Doll wrote in her report. “The belayer instructed the third member of Mr. Gunstone’s group to complete the rope disconnection and reconnection process. The belayer stayed focused on Mr. Gunstone and assumed the rope reconnection had taken place. The belayer began to lower Mr. Gunstone and continued without noticing that the approaching end of the rope had not been reconnected.”

Doll learned that confusion developed between the two groups in the minutes before the fall as 60 metres of uncoiled rope lay at the base of the climb.

“This created a confusing mess of multiple untied rope ends that could not be easily identified and separated,” Doll concluded.

Gunstone’s resulting fall caused massive head trauma. After the fall a call was made to 911 and local emergency officials arranged for an air ambulance helicopter to take Gunstone to hospital in Vancouver.

Hwy. 99 was closed at the base of The Stawamus Chief for a short time while the injured climber was loaded into the aircraft.

“His injuries were catastrophic and he was essentially dead [from the impact],” Doll said in the days after the accident. “When B.C. Ambulance got there, people were performing CPR on him. Some of his body processes were shut down.”

 

Oregon Adventure Climbing

 

Oregon Adventure Climbing

Black Spider in topo.

The Center Drip, Black Spider, Mt Hood

Oregon Page
Welcome to my Oregon extreme climbing page. This  is where I learned to climb. I have a deep romance with the place as a result.
Oregon”Backwoods”climbing has a very distinct edge of adventure to it. Though it may be an acquired taste(and skillset), those who enjoy it can reap great rewards. Be careful here though , The rock isn’t always great.
Always carry extra gear to get down, and wear helmets.
           

Ice-Columbia River Gorge-the Black Dagger WI5+, FA

Black Dagger

 

 Oregon and more Access Page 

Tim’s New Book!!: NW Oregon Rock Climbs 1st edition

Mt Hood Guidebook!!

tme

Monster and Rabbit Ears

My Favorite Oregon Adventures:
Trout Creek
Turkey Monster    My report     Bens Red Bull Report
Rabbit Ears
Steins Pillar
St Peters Dome
Monkey Face
Beta: – Find The New I-rock Topo!
Portland
Rock
Beacon
Beacon Rock Stories
Abraxas- the Monument
Picnic Lunch Wall
Ice Climbing in the Gorge (When and if)
Mt. Hood: OPB Special
The Black Spider, it is a 1000’ East facing(!) wall, must be cold

The Pencil, n.face, Nt Hood

Arachnophobia direct, Black Spider
Illumination Rock-Some of the best mixed climbing on the west coast.

Rime Dog trip report

SW Ridge in summer.

SE Butt in summer

illumination-rock-12-023

I-rock, Pitch 2- photo by Beau

Steele Cliff -mt Hood

Glacier Caving
Razor Blade Pinnacle
Lamberson Butte
Wolf Rock –Jeez!
Opal Rock, vast potential

TMGuides Cascade Classics
The North cirque of Thielsen is very beautiful!
Oregon Pinnacles Page
     St Peters Dome bit:
It was June of 94, right in the middle of my divorce. I went on a series of near suicidal climbing trips to test my mortality. An avalanche ridden solo on Johannesburg, an 80 foot unbelayed fall off Wind mt. .Eventually a solo of St Peter’s dome was the only success on the trilogy of trauma. The Dome was a great climb. Finding the start and good anchors was a challenge. When I got to the start ledge I was greeted by a selection of railroad spikes . They came in handy for the belay and one of my first aid placement. Working my way up on bugaboos exclusively, I was convinced for a long time that I was off route. There were no pin scars  to be seen. I later realized that an entire layer of rock had worn off since the last ascent in the 70s. Watching the blocks shift as I pounded, I could see how this happened. After a short free finish to the crux pitch, I found the belay sings rotted off the bolts and sitting on the ledge with the rap ring still through it. The traverse was exposed yet easy . The final pitch was difficult to find and very loose, When the angle eased off it became a foot thick carpet of moss. I tunneled under it for holds until it could support my weight. The summit was exhilarating and a forest had grown there that wasn’t in the old time photos I had seen. The register was a fascinating history of  those who dared the venture. As time wore on, I copied all the entries and enjoyed this amazing and exclusive summit . The descent was uneventful until I heard voices in the forest across from me. It seemed Bud Young was leading a party on the Mystery Trail. What an unlikely party we had at the saddle. Truly a bright spot in a difficult part of my life.
Part of a Mazama Annual Journal.

Update On St.Peters Dome!!The Big SPD got its (approx,) 20th Ascent!! Here is the Trip Report on Cascade Climbers!

Dave Jensen Photo Of SPD

Right before Christmas in 2005 The Columbia River Gorge became windy and cold enough to freeze its many waterfalls. One of the unclimbed prizes was a route behind Ainsworth state park. It  had seen many strong attempts, including one where Bill Price and I reached within 30 feet of the top.
During the brief 05 cold spell I looked at the route through binoculars, only to see Marcus Donaldson about to finally be the first to succeed on the amazing route.
That left only one unclimbed route to do: The Black Dagger (photo).

Ice Dec. 2005 040
I rushed back to Portland to tell my friend Lane of our new plan. It included him buying new ropes , and us leaving at 4:00 am to try this extremely steep and exposed water course. As you can see the ice cicles do not reach the bottom of the cliff. In complete darkness I led up the loose rock and moss to the right . The way left evidence of previous attempts both to the right and straight on. A steep mixed traverse allowed me to reach the ice proper . With Lane and I committed now , we struggled up its overhangs and busted away the many smaller icicles that impeded progress. Most waterfall ice climbs are tucked away in corners or gullies. The Dagger is out on a prow, offering a steep and tremendously exposed position. 3 wild  pitches left us feeling like the climb had given us a tough go, but at the top we found the easy looking finish to be very tiring.
Reaching the top was so much more than a consolation for missing out on Ainsworth. We both agreed it was perhaps the best ice either of us had climbed. Our joy was cut short however on our last rappel down when one of Lane’s new ropes got stuck. Going with our new-found luck though , He got it back days later when the pillars melted away.
Lane confided when he took the picture , that he may not have been willing to try this route if he had previously seen it!

Oregon has a surprising amount of adventure climbing, as well as sport climbing. It is conveniently located between other great states for climbing. Often overlooked as a result, it does make a great place to live and play. Enjoy Oregon !!

1

Wayne's site

Black Spider in topo. The Center Drip, Black Spider, Mt Hood

Oregon Page
Welcome to my Oregon extreme climbing page. This  is where I learned to climb. I have a deep romance with the place as a result.
Oregon”Backwoods”climbing has a very distinct edge of adventure to it. Though it may be an acquired taste(and skillset), those who enjoy it can reap great rewards. Be careful here though , The rock isn’t always great.
Always carry extra gear to get down, and wear helmets.
           

Ice-Columbia River Gorge-the Black Dagger WI5+, FA Black Dagger

 Oregon and more Access Page 

Tim’s New Book!!: NW Oregon Rock Climbs 1st edition

Mt Hood Guidebook!!

tme Monster and Rabbit Ears

My Favorite Oregon Adventures:
Trout Creek
Turkey Monster    My report
Rabbit Ears
Steins Pillar
St Peters Dome
Monkey Face
Beta: – Find The New I-rock Topo!
Portland
Rock
Beacon
Beacon Rock Stories
Abraxas- the Monument
Picnic Lunch Wall
Ice Climbing in the Gorge

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