Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Tale of Two Ice Flows

LCC on 1/26/2013

As a rock climber, going up ice has always been a gnawing concept in the back of my mind.  This past couple of weeks I decided that climbing ice is the next step in the progression of the sport (obsession.) ie Top Rope-> Sport -> Trad -> Ice.  Each successive step seems fascinating yet unreachable then not only plausible but necessary.  Anyways, Court and I spent all our tax return monies and purchased some tools, screws, and crampons. Our first destination, Mona Utah.

Temps really dropped toward the end of the week, but we decided to go check out conditions of Frozen Assets down near Mona anyways.  As we post holed up the canyon water droplets on pine needles soaked my shoulders....not going to be good ice today....
When we arrived at the ice flow we saw the hole chute had recently fallen in one big avalanche.  Best guess is that it came down in the past 48 hours, taking most if the ice climb with it.  

Frozen Assets down and out for the count

Racking up for a little wet high ball ice boulder problem

We weighed our options and based on the length of the first step (23 feet) I decided I wanted to lead it.  Oh goody. The pic below is looking down that section.  I got a decent screw in about 10 feet up and proceeded up. Crappy melted ice turned into no ice.  Everything I swung my axe into collapsed and broke off. No chance of any screw placement and no good way up or down the ice.  So I bailed right out onto the rock and made for a ledge 8 feet higher.  With no feet and thin dry-tool campus moves (all arms) I made it to a ledge.  And in the process dropped my left ice tool (axe) and a screw, and my new crampons broke.  Great first lead on ice eh.  I set the TR on some chains for Court, rappelled and we got out of there.  A big falling rock 20 feet to our right hastened our retreat.  MegaBust. But glad we made it safe back to the 4Runner. 
Thin crappy ice on Frozen Assets

As we drove back North we decided the Great White Icicle up Little Cottonwood Canyon was sure to have fat ice. We recharged at Arby's and headed up out of the inversion again.  A little tape on my crampon made it usable again and we were good to go.  We knocked out the first 3 pitches of the GWI with fat ice, friendly crowds, and awesome climbing.  
Going the speed limit on the Great White Highway

Court Rocking the First Pitch of GWI

We finished to Courts right with out doing the apron above. Will definitely be back soon.
 Lessons learned.
1. Ice climbing requires ice. 2. Some times bailing is better done before you're stuck up a route with out a placement.  3. The Great White Icicle is an amazing climb, despite the crowds and kick-stepped ice.  Fingers crossed for colder temps....

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Winter Reflections

Winter thus far has consisted of a month long cold/sinus infection, 9 ski tour days (Cardiff, Days, Scotties, Coal Pit, Hypodermic Needle, Butlers, Farmington Canyon, Days again, and Box Elder Peak), 2 ski resort days, signing up for races, and not a whole lot of running. It is very much an understatement to say I am stoked for the upcoming year. My plans are as numerous and vast as the softening calluses on my feet. I have paid for the Antelope Island Buffalo 50 Mile, The Speed Goat 50K up at Snow Bird, and am waiting for the Wasatch 100 Mile Lottery. I am considering the Bear 100 Mile in lieu of Wasatch or perhaps in addition to. I am also stoked for some PRs and long days on Olympus, Ben Lommond, Timp, Kings, Bryce, Uintah Highline, Grand Teton, and tons of other trails and “destination” runs. My training goals are simple; to ramp up the mileage and vertical gain per week, not eat crap, and go hard every run. In addition to all of the trail stuff, I want to run a fast Marathon and set a personal record at the distance. These are all of my PR’s hopefully a couple will fall this year. I’ll start with the shortest lengths (the ones I won’t beat without a time machine)

  • ½ Mile- 1:59 minutes
  • Mile- 4:43 mintues.
  • 5K- 17:45 minutes
  • 10K- 39:30 minutes
  • ½ Marathon- 1:45(ish) hours
  • Marathon- 3:16 hours
  • 50 Mile 8:35 hours
  • 100 Mile 28:12 hours
  • Olympus (6.9 miles): Car to Summit/ Car to Car- 1:23/2:10
  • Timp (13.8 miles): Car to Summit/ Car to Car- 1:47/2:48
  • Kings (21 Miles): Car to Car- 5:55
  • Ben Lommond (14.6 miles): Car to Summit/Car to Car- 1:53/3:20
  • LCC Quarry Trail (5.6 miles): Car to Car- 48:25
  • Grand Teton Circumnavigation(34 miles)-9:25
  • Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim (42 Miles)- 11:37 hours
  • Uintah Highline Trail (85 miles) – 6 Days

Winter Pics