When Billmier mentioned doing a Bridal Veil Green Steps link up I was almost immediately on board. I wasn't sure of success, but felt like I was at least up to the challenge. I have to admit I feel a little bad for not climbing with Ry and Kremer, but a team of 4 is pretty cumbersome and neither of them were super psyched on the idea. So they went and climbed Simple Twist and Glass Onion.
Billmier and I did the customary rosh at the bottom of Greensteps and I won the first pitch. He had this idea of leading 2 pitches in a row then switching, I've never climbed like that, but decided there was no harm in trying it. The first pitch was super fun climbing and didn't feel as hard as it usually does. The second pitch of Green Steps was probably the best pitch of the day in regard to ice quality and fun of climbing.
Glorious Ice on Pitch Two of Green Steps
Photo Thanks: Bill Billmier
Things moved pretty steadily, I never really rushed or neglected to put in pro, and neither did Bill, I was super stoked that we made it to the top in about 3:20. Since a party had climbed it a couple days before there were awesome v-threads all the way down, and pulling ropes down steep, smooth ice is pretty easy! Under four hours up and back down...
Keystone Green Steps
There were two guys climbing Bridal Veil when we walked over. We hung out at the base of the route and debated the probability of getting hit with ice....it was highly probable. Instead of sitting in the wind on the snow we went up to Kremer's van and hung out while the two guys finished the last pitch.
I offered to keep the rotation as it had been, instead of re- ro-sham-bo-ing at the base of Bridal Veil. I didn't really want to lead the killer pillar and Billmier was feeling pretty feisty and seemed more than happy to take in on. So I led the first two pitches, which were super long and fun.
I was in the sun by the top of the third pitch and it was stellar. The snow and ice around me was glowing as I belayed Bill up.
Bill Coming up the Second Pitch
Billmier cruised the killer piller with barely a pause, and I was on my way up soon after. It was a super fun line, steep but doable, and I had some good pick holes to choose from!
Billmier on the 3rd Pitch: the Killer Piller
Neither Bill or I had ever done the last pitch on Bridal Veil because it usually looks super unappealing. However it was mostly ice right now, and was a stellar grade 3ish pitch. It was the 8th and last pitch of the day.
There was not a single V-thread on the upper parts of Bridal Veil, and we decided to walk to Green Steps and made use of the V-thread highway down that. Ryan met us as the base and helped us coil our ropes and we were back to the van before we even needed headlamps...Super Awesome Day!!! Lots and lots of beautiful pitches, I am so psyched that we pulled it off!
Slide Show of the day!