Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Slabby WI2 at Lincoln Falls CO

I went up to Hoosier Pass south of Breckenridge, CO just to see if there was any ice at all. From the roads in Summit County it appeared for all the world like there was nothing below about 12,000'. Surprisingly though the Lincoln Falls climbing area looked to be in great shape.

I went up the road to the water inlet to the Montgomery Reservoir and up the approach boulder field. There was powder snow over a thin sheen of ice which made footing treacherous. Coming back down would be like walking down a water slide.

At the ice I scoped out a few possibilities, but because I hadn't expected there to be anything really worth climbing I had only brought minimal gear. I decided a slabby WI2 would be okay, so I got my limited amount of gear out.

  • 2 stubbies (short screws)
  • 2 normal screws
  • 4 wiregate draws
  • 30 meters of 9.8 mm rope

I figured I could lead solo that. It's been a long time since I did a lead solo and I didn't want to spook myself too badly. I didn't think I'd fall off a WI2. At the bottom of the slab though was a great steep boulder field to fall into and break bones and stuff.

I had to snag a locker from my rapping rig on my harness to set up the bottom anchor. I messed around with tying into the rope, which caused a tough tangle that forced me to untie about 20' above my last piece to get it sorted out.

heading to a tree for a rap down, but not enough rope or gear
The ice up higher was too thin for anything but stubbies so I ran out pretty quickly. I headed to a tree for a rap down, but I didn't have any slings and the rope wasn't going to be long enough so I went back to the ice sheet. Then I had to downclimb from about 30' above the last piece without pro. That was a ton of fun on my first ice climb of the 2014-2015 season.

Anyway, I have to take more stubbies next time. And slings. And lockers. There will be a next time. Soon.

I posted a longer article with more pics HERE if you're interested.