Dave's and my annual trip to Canada. Each March for the last few seasons, we head up for some warm weather, big sun and plastic ice-Paradise-
This trip was open ended, with a week and a half scheduled that turned into two via a high pressure system rolling into town for the last few days. Couldn't drive home early!
Tick list via each day
1-25 hour drive straight to the Ghost from Wisconsin
3-The Real Big Drip
6-Lower and Upper Weeping Wall (6 hrs RT)
9-Monsieur Hulot (17 hrs RT)
12-Ski Approach to Consolation Lakes
13-Gimme Shelter (~8 hrs on route) and ski to car (~36 hrs RT)
After every big route, we wanted MORE! After Gimme, we were done. It was time to go home.
The 13 mile or so ski in took about 5 hrs. Not bad. We scoped the route and put in a track to follow to the base of the route that evening as well before dinner. The am came early, up at 5am to -19C. Perfect temps for the objective hazards of the route. We got to the base of the route and racked up, no sign of anything falling down, and only a few point release slides via solar triggers.
I lead the first pitch. Thin ice, shitty ice when thicker. Went at 4+ unto the large snow bench. A full 70 meters to the belay. Dave took the second pitch. A Full 70 meters out (we brought 15 screws) to a three piece belay (Dave never makes three piece belays on ice). Seconding the pitch, removing 1/2 of his screws that were crap, the other 1/2 good. The climbing was hard. Vertical and shitty ice.
Getting to that belay "I will follow you up all the way, but I am not going to lead this shit and am ready to get back to WI now" Dave's reply "WE are going UP!"
Damn that man has got it!
Dave lead the next 4 pitches. Some easier, some harder. The crux for us came at Pitch # 5. We graded it WI7. Not a number I have ever used in my past before, nor Dave. But I can say it with a straight face.
Down the route via 5 raps on threads to the ground. Back at the tent before dark and out to the car by 1 am. A local hardman, and an ex local hardman both think about a dozen people have finished this route. Fuckin impressive to them all.