Sometimes one just needs a different perspective on climbing in order to see the potential for new route. The Chief helped me realize a new way of looking at ice climbing during an exchange of ideas on SummitPost as to whether steepness had anything to do with the difficulty of an ice climb.
What ever BOB PICKERING.
... steepness really has absolutely nothing to do with difficulty.
Over and out BOB PICKERING.
In the spirit of this comment, I went out and did a FA of a pretty difficult ice line. I think I'd rate it Wi0 (Walkable ice, 0).
It was a cold December morning and the ice had formed thick on the route. For safety I made an anchor of two stacked logs on shore, in the event that the ice failed me. Eventually I ran out of rope, and in order to push the route to a logical conclusion on a nice lake ledge, I risked life and limb, cast off the rope, and soloed through the final ice bulge crux.
Scoping out the route the night before on ice skates.
The climb was a great workout, and a big success.
Har-duh ice climbing
Now be warned that although I've conservatively rated the climb at Wi0, the rating is a bit sandbagged and is not without dangers and a need to exercise caution.
I dunno Mark, that ice was pretty slippery! Wi4 at least!And I [fell] on my butt at least once!
Another brave adventurer had this to add:
I nearly pulled some muscles trying to not fall on my ass. It's best to stretch out properly before attempting the lake! Also I think the psychological duress of the loud cracking and whoomping sounds should be taken into consideration when rating walkable ice.
If you listened closely, the lake did make some interesting booming noises each time my pick slammed into the ice.
Where to next? The potential of where our climbing can take us is only limited by our imaginations. There are all sorts of potential for other climbing ascents rated without regard to steepness.
I did notice one rookie mistake at 2:12, when the rope got looped behind your leg; you fall when it's like that, man, and your'e inverted and airborne all at the same time...scary sh*t! But you recovered nicely and that last, ropeless dash to the finish was inspirational.
Pellucid Wombat, Sorry for the thread drift but I was wondering if you could provide a bit more beta on the Tenaya Lake FWA (Incidentally, somehow this has missed the radar of the alpine intelligentsia - perhaps something to do with all that brou haha in patagonia). I'm just loading up the van to burn down and nab the second ascent ( I hope)
1) In your estimation what was more dangerous, crossing the highway or avoiding collision with mother and pram? How often are you likely to encounter that particular mother or for that matter, any other?
2) Again, not to belabor the point but don't you think rapping the route would be less hazardous than navigating the shore line? (unless its windy, or too many prams and mothers) Or by walking, do you mean you actually walked straight back down your line of ascent?
3) Finally, would you think a solo to be within the realm of the possible?
Once again good effort. It shows where a little visionary "outside the box" thinking can take you (No offense! I mean this in a positive way). I hope you don't mind but i sent your video off to Alpinist. Nice job on that retaining wall by the way!
1) Definitely the pram. If that thing got loose from the mother, you'd have to move pretty deftly to avoid getting hit!
2) The extreme angle of the route makes rappels tricky. You'd either need some tension assistance or down-lead on rappel. I found walking sideways from the route to be the easiest way off as that was the shortest line back to shore. Just take care with the shoreline - the crumpled ice could be tricky!
3) Did you not see the final bit of soloing to reach the ledge? The route can certainly be soloed by the truly twisted.
I tried this a few years ago. Had a leader fall after too much to drink and dinged my tailbone pretty bad. a couple years of rehab and a persistent goal to return and CONQUER it was the only thing that kept me going. Last winter season, I free soloed it. Conditions were a bit fatter than your ascent so the crux was a bit easier. Car to car in 28 minutes. It was a transformational moment for me as I reached the upper banks and took in the view. Thank You ! Your beta was helpful and I could not have done it with out your vision to open up such a difficult yet rewarding climb.
We did that thing before you were born. And we didn't have any of your fancy modern gadgets like crampons or those tiny little sissy "ice axes" you use. Me and me mates were capable of proper ice-work and chopped steps the whole way. Although I will admit that because it was slightly steep, we did use slater's picks rather than our usual long axes for the overhead cutting. Not entirely sporting, I'll admit, but moreso than this nonsense with nylon ropes and bespoke equipment.
Right, and we didn't go telling every Tom, Dick, and Harry about it, neither. Kept it to ourselves, we did.
Rye? Well that's about what one has come to expect from you colonials. But of course we weren't drinking rye. Whatever that is. Wrapped a small flask of hot malt whisky up in me sporran, as usual.
Reminds me though of one expedition we undertook to your mountains. For some reason we thought it might be entertaining to bring along a local and show him what real climbing was about. Stupid bugger brought along a blended whiskey. A blended whiskey. Couldn't believe it. We dropped him and his bloody blend into a crevasse.