Tuesday, 13 November 2012

More acclimation.

Today was a rest day. I don't really feel like I needed it, but I've been behind on sleep so it was probably good for me.

Sunday was another easy acclimation day. Grant had already made plans to take some friends out  so I tagged along. As it turned out they were also from St.Catharines and I had met Mary a few years back. After bushwhacking to the cliff it wasn't nearly as big as it looked from the road and the two mixed routes listed in the book didn't have any ice. Thankfully I learned long ago that its not what you have, its making the most of what you were given. After leading the first routes we just set up topropes and I was able to climb the rock and hanging ice to the sides of the main flows while everyone else got to get back into the groove of climbing on ice.

On Monday Grant, Brenden, and I headed to the Ghost Valley looking for multi-pitch ice routes.

We were hoping to climb Wicked Wanda and from the valley floor it looked thin but climbable. After a nice 45 min. hike through the woods we were at the base.

The view of the mountain from the parking lot.
Wicked Wanda is visible just above the trees.
What we couldn't tell from the road was how wet the ice was. Brenden started out leading the 1st pitch. After climbing around 25 feet of vertical slush he tried putting in a screw but there was no solid ice. Another 10 feet higher the ice looked a bit better, but the water pouring down the ice flow made it difficult to look up. After some debate we decided getting soaked might not be worth it so we headed back down to the valley floor to look for something else.

After a bunch more driving around on 4WD trails we stopped to take a look at another cliff. Brenden noticed that one of the tires was leaking air. Fortunately he is pretty handy and came prepared after an hour or so the tire was fixed and re-inflated.

We had just enough time to go check out a couple of short mixed routes at the Bird Cage before driving back out. We started on Free Bird M7 which started on ice climbing up a small roof with a few rock moves before the curtain of ice above. Dodo Bird M8 was similar, but with a deeper roof and a few more rock moves. After finding the hold at lip of the roof, a series of figure-4's and figure-9's lead to the ice above.

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