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Sunday, March 11, 2018

Hyalite Ice: Upper Genesis

Sam and I cruised the upper Genesis classics for mileage the other day. We started with Upper Greensleeves left 70M WI3 (probably 4 this day). Then moved over to the Hangover 45M WI3 and climbed a new formation to top out. We finished with G2 for a full afternoon.

Upper Greensleeves in huge condtion

The Hangover

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Mummy 2 with Emily

I got to take Emily out for her first and second days of ice climbing. This was day 2. There was nothing but us and sunshine, weird for a Saturday in Hyalite. I set up the rope then Emily climbed it using ski boots and crampons that didnt fit. My hat is off to her for fighting through it all the way to the top! I cleaned it and that was that.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

First Ascent Ice climb in Beartrap Canyon: Bear Cub 50m WI2

A little bird called me one day and asked me about the ice climbing in BearTrap Canyon at the 35mph corner. I replied with "What ice climbing?" The BearTrap is not known for ice, but there is one established climb way way up by the Kitchen Sink rapid. Curiosity was killing me so I had to take a drive on my lunch break and investigate. I was very surprised and excited about what I found. There was ice everywhere! But only one worthy potential climb. I got permission from the little bird to go and climb it so after work Manfred and I went out and I climbed it. 50M WI2 that Ill call Bear Cub for now. Since there was ice in so many places I had never seen it before, I figured the established route 5 miles up the canyon was in. I recruited Travis and Manfred to walk up there with me the following Saturday but alas, 10+ miles of hiking and no ice. Weird.
The bottom half as seen from the dirt road. The upper half curves to the left before the shadowy boulder.
This is South facing ice above California Corner!
The bottom half
The 35mph corner from Bear Cub
The upper half.
The whole climb. Upper half is partially hidden by tree.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

I found some Foot Fangs!

CAMP Foot Fangs were the original bad ass crampon. Not the original crampon, but the first one worth a shit. Foot Fangs were brought all over the world and dominated the alpine climbing scene for a decade. I have been hunting for a pair for at least two years and actually found a brand new, never used pair at a local pawn shop and got them for $10! I promptly ran home to grab my ice climbing gear and took off for Hyalite. I ran up to Mummy 2 (40M WI4) for a quick free solo then a top rope solo. Note: probably should never test out new crampons by free soloing with them but its a testament to their lore. I love them. Probably going to spend the rest of the season using them.

Scepter and Mummy 2

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Hyalite Ice: Genesis area soloing and top rope soloing

12.12.17 Free solo'd G1, G2 and the Hangover. I fixed a short piece of rope down the backside of the top of G2 to eliminate the need to climb with a rope and rappel.
1.27.18 Brought the dog and a rope up to G1 for an afternoon of top-rope soloing. I think I got 7 laps in.

I climbed pretty much everything in this pic. You can barely see one strand of my rope on the far left. 
You can see both strands in this pic.
1.28.18 I got to take another first timer ice climbing. Emily has lived in Bozeman for 6 years but had never tried it. I convinced her she would be alright and off to G1 we went. We set up a rope on the left side of G1 and Emily got her first three pitches of ice climbed! I think I have taken at least 15 people on their first ice climb and I get the same wonderful reaction; its not as cold, not as unsafe and not as hard as everyone thinks. So go try it if you haven't! 

Friday, January 19, 2018

2018 Ouray Ice Fest

I dropped Sam off in Bozeman, picked up Manfred and began the long drive to Ouray Colorado for the Ouray Ice Fest. I have been to Ouray before, about 10 years ago but not for the festival. I parked my camper at Orvis Hotsprings and did as much soaking as climbing! Absolutely my favorite hotspring ever. Ouray is a skinny but tall slot canyon with tons of man made ice. Its free and you can top-rope solo so not having a human partner wasnt a big deal. I bumped in to some folks that I met at the Bozeman Ice Fest as well as the North Face climbing team! I got to chat with Renan Ozturk and David Lama whi eventually ended up giving me his sunglasses! The Ouray brewery treated me very well too. The trip was worth every mile. Not very many opportunities to spend 9 nights in a row in my camper! Climbing every day but travel days.
Swung by Independence Monument on the drive South.

Conrad Anker and David Lama

Action shot of ice breaking on DL

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Cody Ice

The first stop in Cody was Duck Soup WI3. After a fun 'Cody Rodeo' over the river we found Bear and Wolf track on the way to the climb. And I know why. A Big Horn Sheep either fell off the climb or was swept in an avalanche and died at the base of the climb. Clearly, all the local animals knew about it. There wasnt much left. Its a two pitch climb that I thought I could lead in one mega pitch and did but I wouldnt recommend it. With no rope left I was luckily at a point where I could build an anchor and belay Sam up. This was a fun anchor. I used a rock to pound my axes in to the ice then equalized them. I didnt have any screws left so sometimes you have to be crafty. My axe anchor was just as strong as a pair of screws. I found a nice 6 point bull elk shed on the hike out.

The next day we climbed the Schoolhouse Route WI4 three pitches. I climbed this with Lucas years and years ago and remembered it being really fun and pretty easy. It was still fun and pretty easy. You finish way up high on the mountain which gives it a true alpine feel.