Canada Ice 17/18

Jenn, p2 Bourgeau left

Jenn and I spent our first New Years together since meeting almost a year ago. We flew up to Calgary, after a busy work and holiday season. We were greeted by storm and ridiculously cold temperatures. I had no problem taking a rest day right off on day one of the trip. I was exhausted from mega overtime and arriving at the motel at 2 am.

Hard to believe that after dozens of trips to ice climb in the Canadian Rockies, this was the first trip that I flew up there. There are advantages and disadvantages to both modes of travel, overall I am still sold on driving up. It just allows more flexibility. Some obvious advantage to flying however are great: Not having to deal with the driving weather as much, it is an hour and a half flight from Seattle(!), and there is no dread at the end of the trip about the long drive back. Flying sets a more vacationey feel, without having the extra gear to fiddle with. I think for the quickey trips, flying is the way to go.

Day 2: Though the mercury bottomed out at -37c, we went to try Cascade but didn’t like being up there so close to the new snow and first sun on it. We scurried off to Grotto for super cold laps, where everyone was making good use of their ropes to warm up the hands. lol.

There was pressure to do something big on our last day: day 3. After agonising over the avvy danger, we decided to try Bourgeau left, figuring it would be still too cold to warm up the overhead slopes?  On the lower runouts below this classic climb, we tried in earnest to release any of the lower slopes, but couldn’t. Well, up we went, enjoying sublime yet chandeliered conditions. Late on time, we raced to finish and retreat to the base just as we needed headlamps. Such a great climb, and what a great girlfriend I have!

 

Canada Ice 11-’17

Lungs burning after an hour long sprint to the base of the route, we barely beat the party of 3 racing us. First place in this contest gets a shot at a rarely formed ice route named Virtual Reality, a 3 pitch exposed and classic climb. Welcome to the cutthroat world of competitive ice climbing. Made fiercely so by tantalising photos on facebook and instagram, there are thousands of people that want to sink their tools as quickly as possible. Doug and I being no exception, we got up at 4 am our time. I had driven to Portland for Thanksgiving then pushed on up to Canada just for a shot at it with him on Saturday. I would not recommend starting your season on a WI6, but I have never seen this route form in my many years. It was in such great shape too. The exposure was spectacular, yet the nature of the way it formed left it in easier shape than the grade suggests.

It is such a shame that our sport is getting so crowded and competitive. Issues like this though can be managed by getting up earlier (or going late?)and training to be fast and efficient for the many demands of the sport. Maybe go for the more obscure routes too? —>

Up next we stayed in clever mode by doing an under-the-radar route called Elliot Left Hand Gully, a route near the competitive classic route Kitty Hawk. Elliots 3 pitches were fantastic, easy, but had scary top-outs on early season thin-ice-shells over flowing water. This is an obvious concern that is visible in a noted photo below (Thin ice on Elliot Left!) We didn’t get down before the rains soaked us completely and sent us driving back to the states. Good and clever luck to you this season, lets see more amazing photos, and hope for another great season!

Aaaaand…should go without saying too: If you are not the first to the base of the route, please give the upper party exclusive access to the climb when appropriate, thanks

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 climbing 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.

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!

Oregon Adventure Climbing

 

Oregon Adventure Climbing

Black Spider in topo.

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

 Oregon and more Access Page 

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

Mt Hood Guidebook!!

tme

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

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
 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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North Dihedral Direct 2007

Since I am not climbing much, I have been posting photos and stories of old first ascents of mine that have lost the photos on the original posts. This is an fa on Snow Creek Wall that may not have happened if the White Slabs route hadn’t already had a party on  it. Peter left a hint about the N. Dihedral, so I threw in a bit of rock gear and the rest is history, hope you enjoy , and stay flexible in your plans, Wayne

 

Saturday(Feb 7-2007) Gary Yngve and I,Wayne Wallace, climbed the thin line left of White Slabs route on Snow Creek Wall. It went in 5 long pitches and was extremely difficult.The route got gradually harder as we went, which helped because we were both off-the-couch. The initial 2 pitches went up fantastic thin ribbons up ramps and micro gulleys. Though thin,hard,and awkward they entertained us for the first 120 meters immensely. At times the ice was 4 inches wide, half inch thick!They ended up in a wide curtain that felt very thick though an inch and a half deep.I ran this out 100 feet to reach the stance below the overhanging ice crux pillar.
The ice pillar was short but extremely strenuous due to the overhanging angle. After that we entered a Scottish style ice gulley, more fun, though Gary had to relieve himself midway while following.
Pitch 4 went up thin ice in the dihedral until the ice ran out then became very difficult dry tooling in a long sketchy lead. At times I felt I could fall and die on the runout. Pitch 5 was easier though the deep snow and short hard sequences drained any energy we may have had available. Topping out after 8 hard hours we reveled in the glow of our first climb together.
Hats off to Peter for dropping the hint of this climb,and Rat and Caps for exploring to make this an enticing prospect and wonderful testpiece.

I am reluctant to give it grades as it may be fatter or thinner when another party does it.. but when we did it it went a little like this.
P1; m4 wi3 thin connecting ribbons
P2: m5 wi3+(R) Thin! Belay at top is amazing!
P3 : wi5- short overhanging pillar followed by scottish gulley
P4 : m6 wi4(R) disappearing thin ice to hard corner-dry
P5: m3 wi3 energy gobbling friggin around
Overall: IV-WI5-M6-R 300m, Placed 4 pins on 3 pitches,I believe. This is the first route to the right of Outer Space.
It was just my kind of route with so much variety. A little piece of climbing heaven in a spectacular-historic location.
Glad you enjoyed the tr, I enjoyed the other fantastic ones on this site for sure!

Thanks< Wayne and Gary

From Gary: Wow, I am f’n thrashed. I was getting over a cold, and I think the cold just came back for an encore. But the climb was worth it. I had a great time climbing with Wayne. Even though I’ve chatted with him at Pub Clubs, read about his exploits, etc., I never really had an idea how tough he is until he ropegunned me up these five pitches.

new stuff 239

NDD on left, White Slabs on right

White Slabs on the right, Northern Dihedrals Direct on the left. The inset offers a little better view inside the dihedrals.

P1010732

We couldn’t see the wall until we were roughly right across it and we had gotten above the clouds. A party was at the base of White Slabs, which may have made it easier for Wayne to get stoked about the left route.

new stuff 241

The first pitches consisted of thin runnels with the occasional mixed move.

For the most part, the belays were pretty sheltered
Wayne forgot to mention that on the 2nd pitch, he had to downclimb 40 feet to retrieve the first piece he placed (a gold camalot) so he could protect the moves to come.

The crux of the 2nd pitch was an off-balance dog-leg runnel of thin ice.

new stuff 244new stuff 243

The ice got thicker, and Wayne belayed below the base of the pillar.
Wayne was happy to sink an 18cm screw to the hilt!

qP3wayne1

The ice steepened considerably, and was thin in spots.
Above the ice was short snow slog and then a sweet narrow icy gully.

P1010741

Wayne enjoyed the good ice while it lasted.

new stuff 245

Then the mixed climbing became delicate, then desperate.

new stuff 247
I flailed up the mixed moves, slipping a few times and happily hooking a fixed pin, all while wondering how the hell Wayne managed to lead it with the potential consequences of a nasty fall. The mixed moves were full-body workouts.

P1010747

The last pitch certainly wasn’t a gimme. Some fun mixed moves, thigh-deep snow groveling, and a little bushwhacking. Capped off with a classic finish through a tunnel.

new stuff 239

NDD on left, White Slabs on right

We walked off the backside, scrambling down two short rock steps.