Saturday, April 18, 2009

Slush Fest in Hunter Creek

Lynn and I were highly aware that we could get shut down as we stepped out of the car and into a 50 degree spring day. The approach was surprisingly good still, and the snow bridges felt firm on the way in. The climbs were marginal to completely rotten.

We walked almost all the way back to the Christmas Tree amphitheater down the left fork. It was fun hopping across rocks and ice as the canyon narrowed. The ice climbs back there looked pretty rotten and unprotectable. We decided to rosh for Lost Chord, and I was snicey. My tools would go in to the hilt, but it still felt debatable if it was solid.

Lost in Space sits in the shade and had the best ice in the canyon without rock fall. Lynn led it in fine style

Lynn Getting it Done

It seemed like a relatively good idea at the time to climb up to the base of Hollow Head and have a look around. The sun was undeniably amazing, and the climb was without a doubt wet and funky without much solid ice. The rock that wizzed by cinched the decision to retreat.

The Slush Stream that was Hollow Head

Its pretty funny that Lynn said, "I've never fallen through a river before" and I told her that it was pretty highly overrated so she need not try it. Minutes later I'm walking across the ice and then poof, I drop 5 feet in superman position into the river. Luckily Lynn went in too and I don't know how I ended up facing her, but I'm glad I did. She grabbed my arm and helped me to my feet. My biggest fear with rivers is getting sucked under and ice bridge and then getting pinned. Fortunately we were able to climb up and out the way we had went in...definitely made me super paranoid about all the seeming solid looking ice.

The Weak Spot

When we had first got the the canyon the sun was still behind the clouds, but by the end of the day it was bluebird. The water level rose considerably and wiped out one of our ice bridges. I don't think access is going to last long, but the ice is going quick too. I'm sad that the season is almost over.

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