Friday, January 27, 2012

"It wasn't pretty, but it was safe"

Ames Ice Hose.  1/25/12
Joe, Steve and Myself

Three pitches, thin ice, climbed it the "right" way.  Joe had the first pitch, a thin, gear-less WI5 hook fest.  The climbing wasn't hard, "easy grade 5" cuz of how hooked out it was, but it was the psychological crux of the route.  Joe was able to get in a screw of the ground to keep him from "Ass Rocketing" down the snow slope approach and into the woods.  Another few meters higher he got in two more screws.  A 16 straight in (wow) and a sideways stubby.  From there it was a run out to the top with full on ground fall potential until above the vertical section and onto the bench.

Pitch one

I say the "right way" because of the way Joe climbed it.  He kept himself safe and climbed smart.  He took on the rope instead of risking a fall.  He put in the high screws and was lowered to the ground to fully rest.  Instead of just gunning it for the top with no gear and getting pumped, he climbed the respectable way, the right way, the smart way.

  Joe firing for the top.  

Following Pitch One.  

Pitch two was the technical crux of the route, but it had gear the whole way...Thank God.  It was my pitch and I tried to back out after getting up underneath it.  Joe, being a good partner kicked my ass of the dock and into the water.  He pushed me (cuz he knows me) and I thank him for it.  It was a bit hard getting up over the overhang but I had rock gear and bomber screws below and could get in good gear above.  It was one of the harder pitches I have led in the mountains and one of the most fun times I have ever had as well. Finishing off that 55+ meter pitch was sooo cool and I will remember it for some time.

Steve topping out of Pitch two. 

Pitch three was another completely different animal.  It was thick ice getting wetting the higher you climbed.  Joe took the sharp end back and got us all to the top.  The climbing was steeper than it looked from the belay.

 Joe leading pitch three. 
The top. 


  1. Way to go guys. I am jealous? Glad your all safe and had fun. YES! Never climb past sketchy gear and get pumped while ice climbing.. it's a bad idea... always play safe and make sure ya got the guns to power through.

  2. Terrific account...sounds like the adrenalin was turned on...its a good drug when you want to have fun....see you next week

  3. Very nice! Glad you guys were able to get it in.