Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Mega Classic. Posted by Picasa

the steep chandaliered first pitch. Posted by Picasa

Joel on the first pitch. Posted by Picasa

Aaron on pitch two, cursing Grivel. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Slot Machine Saturday

Saturday Aaron, Kenny, Anya, and myself climbed the wonderful "One Armed Bandit." We went from sun bathing weather to winter storm in a couple of hours. A great route plus the post climb hot tub made it one awesome day!

Typical Cody approach. A couple thousand feet of elevation gain for only some of the best ice around. Kenny and Aaron third class'n it with style. Posted by Picasa

Joel running up the first pitch of "One Arm Bandit." Posted by Picasa

Anya on the second pitch of "One Arm Bandit." Posted by Picasa

Aaron taking on the hanging thin curtain while umbrellas of ice hang above on the 3rd pitch of "One Arm Bandit." Posted by Picasa

Anya on the second rappel as the snow starts to fall. Posted by Picasa

Heading down Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 06, 2006

V a l d e z A l a s k a

I spent the past week climbing ice in Valdez, Alaska. We had clear skies, but windy bitter cold. I wore everything I brought. I switched back to my double plastic boots. I used jedi mind tricks to stay warm while sitting through belays.

The Valdez Ice scene is gone. We only saw two other groups of climbers, both on the easy access classic Bridalveil. Finding the Keystone canyon (the popular canyon with the highway going through it) to be windy and dark, we explored the outlying areas and came away with a couple good success stories.

Yes I am climbing in my belay jacket. Warming up to the cold and bullet hard ice of Valdez on "Mudslide." Posted by Picasa

Bjorn dancing with wind bells and bulges on "Horsetail Falls." Posted by Picasa

on the ski into Bear Creek Canyon we ran into a moose and her calf. Posted by Picasa

Bjorn leading up the first pitch of "Rain Check" (IV, 350') Posted by Picasa

Hunkered down at the second belay. Posted by Picasa

Forest starting up the second pitch of "Rain Check." Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Most trips have a defining moment, ours would be "Spring Loaded" (V, 900') More alpine than ice route, Forest and I climbed it in four 70m rope stretching pitches. The first pitch being steep snow, frozen mud, and mixed rock and ice which lead us to a couple short thin pillars to start the second pitch and then full waves of ice for the next 650' to the top. The cold temps and engaging climbing left me wishing post climb that I had done better with the camera. This route ranks very high on my all-time route list. Posted by Picasa

Joel's perpetual gaze, honestly having a great time after leading the first pitch of mud, grunge, rock, and ice on "Spring Loaded." Posted by Picasa

Forest post third pitch crux, finally warm and ready to lead the fourth pitch of "Spring Loaded." Posted by Picasa

Joel topping out on "Spring Loaded," looking eager for descent and warmth. The sun had sunk below the mountains mid-pitch and the temperature was dropping fast. Posted by Picasa

a rest day ski / snowshoe through the blasting wind in Mineral Creek canyon. Posted by Picasa

Earning our spot to sleep, preparing to bomb some cornices. Valdez is snow. Posted by Picasa

Wrapping up the week, Forest leading up the dark corner second pitch on "Oosik" (spelling?) Yet another good route with bad ice. Posted by Picasa

the unbelievable wind bells on "Hung Jury." We didn't have the guts to walk underneath these much less climb on them. Posted by Picasa