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Saturday, January 31, 2015

Hyalite Ice: The Elevator Shaft to the Penthouse climbs

I convinced Alex that we should hike up to the Penthouse climbs above the Elevator Shaft because of the generally widespread snowpack stability. We have been looking at them for years and neither of us had ever been up there. So geared to the teeth, we set off. First up was the Elevator Shaft. It turned around the party ahead of us due to a thin section of ice but Alex lead through it with no issues. We cached a bunch of gear at the top (we were thinking about potentially doing some dry tooling later in the day) and trudged up to the Penthouse climbs. The Penthouse is a beautiful place to spend a day. You're way up on Elephant Mountain with a unique view of Hyalite; usually the climbing takes us way up the opposite side of the canyon. There are several short curtains and flows of ice, each one a different color. Pretty much all of the ice had cave behind it. We decided to climb the two biggest flows. I lead the first vertical curtain with one screw and Alex got up a steep column with two screws. We were hoping to tag the summit but our weather window closed and the snow started falling. One of the ledges/cliffs/ice chunks had a dead mountain goat disemboweled on it which I have never seen in Hyalite. The head was still attached to the back bone and the skin was in one heap with the legs still attached. Weird. I think Mr. Mountain Lion had himself a tasty treat recently! It made for a different ambiance than normally encountered in Hyalite, not to mention some great pics! We finished the day with a simul-solo of the Fat One. (Photos from Alex are at the bottom)

The flow Alex lead. It has a name, I dont know it. There was some old tat at the top.
I lead the curtain on the right, a free hanging dagger on the left that Alex couldnt take his eyes off.
Very climbable using rock pro!
Alex cleaning this thing.

Its hard to notice all the ice in this photo but behind Alex are 3 or 4 little colorful climbs.

The Elevator Shaft 
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The Fat One
A look at the Winter Dance area.
Penthouse area lower left
Looking up at the curtain I lead.
A really cool cave with a coffin of ice in it.
Looks like a suicidal place to stand to me!
A look at the Genesis and Mummy area. G1 is the large blue chunk of ice on the lower left hand corner of the photo.

 The Balcony

 I think this is such a cool photo!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Hyalite Ice: Genesis area circuit solo

Was lucky enough to get out of work early on a beautiful day so obviously I went up to Hyalite,  my hone away from home. I climbed G1 to G2 then Hangover and Lower Greensleeves. G1 is taking a beating and is muddy, wet and falling apart. G2 was in better shape; I grenaded off the backside trying to downclimb instead of rappelling (for the sake of time); I broke a giant hold and fell about 8 ft, landing on my back/rope but didnt catch a spike anywhere. I had a rope, I'll be rappelling from now on. The first few feet of climbing on the Hangover was pretty wet and thin but bulked up the higher I went. I found a 16cm BD express screw at the 30m rap station! Lower Greensleeves was in the best condition of all and as fat as I have ever seen it. All in all a pretty good afternoon. Anytime you can walk away from a fall completely unscathed AND find some booty you're doing alright.
Lower Greensleeves

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Hyalite Ice: Mummy Area; The Matrix, Cave and Gully, Feeding the Cat

Sam, Manfred and I lounged in the sunshine up in another new Hyalite ice area. After the Cody shutdown, it was nice to climb some easy climbs close to the car. We started with Cave and Gully or Cave Gully whatever it is then the Matrix Gully followed by Feeding the Cat. I also took a peak at B.Martin;s new mixed route 'Feeding the Rat.'
Matrix Gully
Looking over at the Unnamed Wall and the Penthouse climbs.
The upper part of Matrix Gully.
Feeding the Cat

Cave and Gully

Feeding the Rat
Sleeping upright