Monday, January 21, 2008

Yesterday Jim and I climbed Repentance on Cathedral Ledge. I'd never climbed Cathedral's most classic hard ice climb before, so it seemed a good thing to do, despite the fact that it was bone chilling cold out! In hindsight, it was not a bright choice. Jim led the first two pitches as one, figuring that with me being taller I would take the chockstone roof pitch. Sounded fine to me. The first half of Jim's lead went easy enough, and even the crux moves to establish in the wide crack were OK. It was after that the situation turned grim. There was next to no ice in the crack, and what was there was mostly unconsolidated slush. Fightening! It took Jim 2 hours to ascend the pitch. I wondered what was taking so long, until I followed the pitch. Thank GOODNESS it was not me up there, was all I thought. I followed much more quickly, but it's easy to do so when you have two ropes over your head. I led the rest to the top. The ice in the upper chimney was brittle and weird with some sections of no ice at all. I was quite proud of my three slung icicles for pro half way up the pitch. Maybe they would have held. The ice was quite low under the chockstone, so Jim tells me, which made the exit to the left quite difficult. A strenuous hand/arm jam let me reach around the roof, and get a hook and then turf shot above. Jim was stymied by the sequence, but ended up doing some very nice stemming to surmount the crux. The one consolation to the frozen toes and painful fiingers was a booty #2 rigid Friend.

It seemed others had the same thought as us and were also looking for adventure on Cathedral on maybe the coldest winter day so far. Matt polished off the first couple of pitches of Diedra and Doug and Steve were scratching up a new line to their right. I wonder how
that went?


Eric McCallister said...

Just an update. Doug was successful on his new route, and it sounds quite difficult. Mostly thin gear with a 25' runout over a ledge. A couple of bolts can be clipped on Bayard's route (name?) and Kinesis. Go Doug!