Saturday, 14 December 2013

Ice Festival Time!

Today was the 1st and only rest day of our trip. Tonight is the athletes meeting and tomorrow is the competition that we traveled out here for. I wish I could say that the last few days have been filled with climbing hard routes, but they have been mostly a bit laid back.

On Tuesday we hiked up to the Black Magic Wall to do some drytool routes there. The hike in was a bit more than we expected. The steep mountain approaches take a lot out of us flat landers and breaking trail along the slippery slope at the bottom of the cliff was slow going.
The approach to Black Magic wall
We started out on Roman Candle. Its one of the more classic moderate sport mixed routes in Hyalite. Even though the air temperature was warmer than it had been the last few days, the wind had picked up adding a windchill that seemed to negate the warmer temps. It took what seemed like forever to climb the route. I would do a few moves, then stop to warm up my hands, do a few moves and then repeat the cycle.
Onsighting Roman Candle

There is an extension that goes on above the anchor for Roman Candle that would have been nice to try, but it was too cold and we weren't having much fun so we called it good for the day.
 On Wednesday we decided to climb some ice. What seemed like and okay road quickly tuned into "the only way off is up". A sketchy drive up the unploughed road in our rental car and we were at the parking lot.  A nice 45 min hike thru the forest covered in fresh snow and we were at the ice flows Omega and Alpha.
Rebecca coming out of the woods and up the talus slope below the ice flows.

 I was hoping to climb all three lines at the cliff, but on closer inspection only Alpha seemed to be in good enough shape. We were able to do a bunch of laps to practice our ice climbing since it was the first real ice route of the season for us. We were happy to make it a short day since we wanted to make the drive out form the parking lot while it was still light and while we would be able to find someone to help if we got stuck.

Thursday we ended up back at the Bingo Cave. Lots of people had started to show up for the Ice Festival so it was pretty crowded.
 Rebecca got to try Straights of Gibraltar some more, this time with some borrowed fruit boots.

 I got to try the other hard route in the cave. The House of Flying Daggers. Fortunately Will Gadd had already climbed it the day before and got the holds cleaned out and ticked so working it was pretty easy. I went for a redpoint go for my second attempt and came about as close as I could to doing it without doing it. After pulling the lip of the roof, my high tool ripped out of the ice and sent me flying. In the process breaking off the small dagger of ice at the lip of the roof. I gave it one more try, but I melted off just short of the lip. I was tempted to go out today and try it once more, but I was really in need of a rest day. The next two days I'll be competing so its unlikely that I'll be able to get back out there this trip to finish it.

Tomorrow (Saturday) is the big lead comp which I will be climbing in. On Sunday is the speed comp which Rebecca and I will both be climbing in. The comps will be live streamed at 
The comp will start at 8:15 AM MST. I will be climbing around 9:20AM There will be two rounds for prelims and the second round should start just before noon and follow the same time schedule and order. Finals will be in the evening.

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