|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.|
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....