Friday, March 27, 2009

The Best Day in Caribou Creek Ever!

I have to say that Billmier is one of my favorite climbing partners. Both of us are horribly efficient, and usually always on time. We met up at the Long Rifle lodge, I arrived at 9:32, and Bill was packed and ready to go. We were looking up at Cantellya and Robopick by 12.

We immediately disregarded Cantellya as a possiblity. It looked like a falling rock war zone, plus there were huge chunks of ice from hanging daggers that had fallen. Robopick on the other hand was in the sun and like a siren lured us in. We saw rocks falling on either side of route, but nothing coming down the middle. After staring at it for 5 minutes we decided to rosh for it. I won the first lead.



We decided that Bill should belay by the river, and I would try and climb as fast as I could out of the potentially sketchy spot. Oh my, the rope drag was brutal! Luckily the ice was thunker, and soon I was setting up the belay on the second step. Bill came up and within minutes was heading up the last pitch. By this time the sun was HOT, and the activity all around us had increased, rocks began falling down the middle of the route. Yuck. Luckily we made it down in one rap and literally ran away from the base unscathed. Bill and I felt pretty silly for playing such bad odds. Stupid idea, but excellent climbing nonetheless.

Left side of Cantellya


There was still lots of time left to the day when we walked up to Double Take. We roshed again for the lead, but this time Bill won. He picked a super pretty line. The ice was HERO! So amazing to climb sticky ice, it makes everything so much easier!

Double Take


It was only 5:30 by the time we got to Kids corner. We had our skis with us, and toyed with the idea of bringing them up the route with us. But instead we decided to just solo the route and leave the skis at the bottom on the river. It took us a 1/2 hour to get to the top, the route was in prime conditions, wet and sticky. I love spring climbing!

Bill at the Top of Kid's Corner

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A super cool thing about this day is that we didn't use our headlamps at all. We were back to the car by 6:30 and it was sunny. I have never walked all the way back to the end of the canyon, and gotten three routes in. Usually it takes me all day just to do two pitches on Cantellya. More typically a trip back here is a battle royal with frigid fingers and brittle cantankerous ice. It was absolutely delightful to be warm, climbing sticky ice in the sun instead.

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