Bill emailed me a picture of the gravel creek pillar last week, it looked mean and beautiful, I thought Bill could lead it for sure. He told me that it was a 2 hour approach from the yurt, I said maybe I would come up the night before and we could leave super early, and a plan was made.
The Gravel Creek Pillar
"In all its early season glory"
photo by: Bill Billmier
The Pretty Approach
I'm always astounded at how different climbs look at different angles, it truly is a reoccuring theme of amazement in my life. The picture of the pillar above looks gnarly. By the time I was standing underneath the climb looking up it looked about 100 feet tall, 50 feet of that mellow grade 2 ice....
Me Being Deliberate
Photo: Bill Billmier
It felt steeper and longer than it looked from the ground. Sometimes that happens just because I'm leading, and sometimes like this day, it really is a long pitch. The feet on this climb were amazing, huge ledgy steps and wide stems, but the ice felt steep, about the hardest I want right now. It went good, but I had to concentrate : )
Bill lead the upper pitch and it was super fun. The ice was bone dry, a sharp contrast to the rain shower on the pitch before.
A fantastic day out.
Top Out Shot