I'm always shocked at how long this climb takes, every year I'm convinced that its only a 4 hour route...but it just keeps going and going. This year it was a bit thinner and pitches that are usually bulbous and cruiser, were thinner and had hollow bells of ice that I felt like I was going to fall through....it kept things more interesting that's for sure!
The First Step
Ry Coming Up
This is the second year in a row that Ry has won the rosh for this pitch...a little annoying, but I told him I get it next year no matter what the rosh is....such a fun line.
The Biggest Pitch
More Moderate Ice
I felt a little rushed because I was trying to make it back to town by 5 so I could have dinner with a friend...We topped out at 4 and I knew we would be a little late, but didn't anticipate a 2 hr descent. I started to traverse across a windslab about 300 feet wide, about 20 feet in the whole thing, "whumpfed" and settled, I quickly scurried back to the tundra...Ry went up higher where it thinned out and about 10 feet in set off an avalanche, the whole slope collapsed and slid, Ry luckily realized what was happening and got back to the side before things got crazy. Since it had slid to the ground it made traversing the slope much easier...we got into our gully and started down...then it got dark, then there were 1000's of devils clubs mixed with alders, then there was a cliff to rappel, and finally at 6ish we popped out on the road and I almost layed down and hugged it with joy. Avalanches, alders, devils club, cliffs in the dark is not my favorite way to end the day, plus there was no way I was going to have time to make dinner...felt like such a loser calling to cancel on my friend...next year though I'll read this and remember that it really takes about 6-7 hrs to top out with minimal breaks, and its at least a 2 hour descent : )