Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Ice Pixies on Greensteps

The last thing I thought that I would be doing early Saturday morning would be leading the first pitch of Keystone Greensteps in the shade.

Warning: Big Rant

I had the unfortunate luck to run into a truly unyielding, self righteous, rude climber. Never have I encountered an individual in the climbing community that wouldn't listen to reason and that would be so incredibly selfish.
For the past four years the Ice Pixies have set ropes on the bottom pitch of Bridal Veil Falls. There are many high quality lines ranging from grade 3 to grade Five. By the time Lynn, Dani, Kremer and I arrived in the parking lot there were already a lot of excited girls looking forward to climbing for the first time. But a party of two had beaten us to the base of Bridal Veil. The climber had yet to start leading the first pitch when I went over to talk to him. I explained what was going on about the ice fest and that we were wondering if he could move to a different climb. I can't believe that he said "No"! There are so many high quality routes in Valdez that are easy for a party of two to manage. We had a party of 30, and the base of Bridal Veil is as good as it gets. He said he shouldn't feel guilty because he had gotten there first, and he didn't know anything about the Pixies. What I think he should feel guilty about is that after we told him, it would have been easy for him to pack up his show and move over, but he wouldn't and didn't. I hope he knows he will forever go down in my mind and a lot of other peoples minds as a total asshole. But enough ranting, So all us girls moved to Keystone Greensteps.

There is not an easy line up this first pitch. Some lines look weaker than others, but they are all wicked steep. I've led the lookers left of the climb twice, and so Saturday morning I was looking for something different.

Me Leading the first Pitch
photo by: Lynn Peterson


I found my line, and it looked pretty. This might be one of the hardest leads that I have ever done. This pitch was so STEEP, and sustained, that I had moments where I was so pumped I could barely swing my tools. I really had to take my time and when I found decent stances unclip from my leashes and shake out. I have never wanted to take on a screw so bad, but I guess I wanted to try and lead it clean more!
Lynn and Cassi were my two main cheer leaders, and I don't know if I could have done it without all of their encouragement. They would say, "you can do it" at the moments when I was like, "its too steep, what was I thinking!"

Kremer topped out a few minutes after I did, and when I looked over I noticed a gnarly line of blood running down her cheek. Her eyebrow had a huge gash in it where a overly stuck tool came out at eye level.

Kremer Looking Tough her War Wound


A Look at the Action


It seemed like a lot of girls showed up to climb. It took a long time for everyone to get on a rope, because we only had room to set up three. Plus all the lines were really hard for beginner climbers, and so that took longer too. But once the sun hit the climb, it was just nice to relax and chat with people. The weather really couldn't have been more perfect, warm, sunny, and no wind, truly an exceptional day in the canyon.

A big thanks to Kremer for being the inspiration behind this whole event, to Brian Teale for lugging a barbecue over to the base of the route and cooking up salmon, and Laura for being the in town everything organizer. And thanks of course to all the cool friendly ladies that showed up to climb!


No comments: