Friday, April 30, 2010

The O'Malley Loop

There are two ways to get to The O'Malley waterfall. From the Glen Alps trailhead you can take the low route that goes up the valley, or the high route that goes up and over the football field and then down into the valley. I've done both on different occasions, and couldn't really recollect which way I liked better. There is more ski potential on the high route, and a guaranteed slog on the bottom....or so I had remembered.

Ryan Booting to the Top of the Football Field


Ryan on the Football Field


There wasn't quite as much snow on the other side of the football field as I had hoped....but we still got to ski down part of the way...skiing is so much faster than walking.

O'Malley falls looked pretty skanky from the bottom of the valley, but improved the closer we got. There was still a bit of blue shining from underneath a couple of inches of snice, and outside of a few hollow sections it was relatively solid.

The weather was kind of all over the place, snowing then sunny, windy the calm, hot and cold.

Pitch 1: Ry Leading in the Snow Storm


After climbing with 70 meter twin lines all winter, my one 55'ish meter rope felt short, and I was psyched to see a 3 pin fixed anchor right when Ryan was saying, "10 feet", it was a little rusty but way more bomber than the ice around me.

Pitch 2: Ry Coming up to the 3 Pin Fixed Belay

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From the top of the climb a snow slope leads to a bowl, and then O'Malley peak is about 2,500 feet above that. The ridge was mostly scree with small patches of snow.

Heading up to the Bowl


Hiking up the Ridge to O'malley Peak


The sun was out when we finally got to the top of O'Malley peak and so after a little bit of basking, we decided to go while it was still good. The snow at the top was just warm enough to spread nice turns, and it turned a bit isothermic at the bottom of the run, and lower in the valley.

Skiing Down!

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Car to car it ended up taking 11 hours, with multiple snack breaks throughout the day. We belayed 3 pitches, gained about 4-5,000 feet of elevation, got to ski, hike, and climb. Probably would take the low route in next time if there was this much snow melt again.