Friday, March 13, 2009

Rain Check and POS

I have to admit that after our double dipping in climbs the day before, I was feeling a bit worked in the morning. My companions weren't a whole lot livelier than I, but we still all wanted to go climbing. Lynn had never done Rain Check, and Ry and I hadn't done it in at least 4 years so it seemed like a good place to go.

Its a beautiful ski, and fairly uncomplicated approach. Some poor souls forgot their skis the day before and we could see a crotch deep wallow leading back to the climb....I'd recommend the ski!

Bear Creek Canyon


We all roshed to decide who would get to lead the first pitch, and Lynn won. Although she started out a little nervous she did it in fine style, and then brought Ry and I up.

Lynn Leading the First Pitch of Rain Check


There was only one little mishap along the way....Ry's crampon fell off about 10 feet above the ground. Now this is normally not a big deal, but we discovered a flaw in the Petzl autolocker belay can't lower on it at all. The BD autolocker has a small hole where you can string some cord and pull on it and uncam your rope....yeah the petzl one is lacking that. I haven't looked into it more, but if anyone knows how to set it up for an unexpected lower with the rope weighted mid route, let me know. Luckily we had radios so I just called up to Lynn and explained the situation. Ry set a screw, I was on a big ledge, we unweighted the rope and Lynn switched her device and lowered Ry back down.

Ryan and His Crampon Malfunction


Ry and I finished climbing the first pitch and got to Lynn. It was just one of those days where everything was just harder than it needed to be. Because of the lower, and Ry and I climbing at such different speeds, the rope ended up getting stacked....lets just say interestingly entangled. Once we got that sorted I started up the second pitch. Because of where the belay was in order to not pummel my partners with falling ice I needed to scoot over just about to where a beautiful groove went up. I love climbing in grooves. Although it didn't turn out being the grade 2 it looked like, ie vertical to near vertical most of the way, I scratched my way to the top.

Ryan and Lynn Coming up the Second Pitch

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Although you can do Rain Check in two pitches, we were going to break it up into three so we all got to share in the joys of leading ice when you are tired. I got to the last step and set the belay. The ice at the top pitch was skanky, rotten, sun baked crapola. I had to do some major excavating to put in the belay. Ry didn't much like the looks of the last pitch he had won, and offered it up to me and Lynn. Both of us felt happy with the pitch we led and little desire to excavate up to the top. So we called it good, and rapped down.

On the way back through the canyon we passes a bunch of friends climbing Piece of Shit (POS), which I think is actually a super worthy piece of ice, and ran some laps. A beautiful day out.

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