Thursday, December 20, 2007

Don't Know Until You're There

Had another great day out at Finely creek today. This time I found a partner! I woke up this morning disappointed to see it raining out side. Kyle was still enthusiastic about climbing so I hoped the climbs were at en elevation were it was snowing. As we got near the trail head, the rain sure enough turned to snow. Excellent. There was no way I was going ice climbing in the rain. Kyle hadn't climbed much there before so we decided to start out on Grain Eater. A 200 ft WI 4. In the posting below, its the climb just left of what I soloed. Ice conditions were great. Just enough water content to make the ice elastic but not too much to make it a wet climb.

Next we decided to step it up a little. We headed to an area known as the Daggers gully. The route Truckers World was in good conditions so I felt obligated to climb it. Again the ice was in excellent condition. The curtain wasn't running with water but had enough water content to allow it to be safely climbed. With the remaining day light we had, Kyle and I headed home.

Here is an old photo. Truckers World is the left most line of icicles.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Right and Left Hand Belay

Had a nice day out at Finley creek today ice climbing. It was a quick trip though. Just one climb. No one was available to climb with so I decided to go on a quick solo mission. The temps were slightly warm so I anticipated good ice conditions. Nothing better than burying your picks in hero ice. When I got to the base of the climb, I saw it dripping with water and knew my guess was correct. Gitty with anticipation I started climbing. A little rock climbing gave way to the ice which accepted my picks nicely. I thunked away at the ice and within a few minutes was on top. I rigged the rappel and was back to my pack in no time. A quick hike to the car and I was on my way home. House to house in 4 hours with 200 feet of climbing. It was a great to-the-point kind of day.

At the base, Approaching, The climb (right side)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dust on Crust

The last two days I spent up at Lolo Pass doing a little skiing. Conditions are great for this time of year. There is an awesome base set up and about 8 inches of powder on crust.
Karl skining up the ridge

Friends and I had a blast skiing today, but unfortunately we had a little mishap. At the bottom of our first run, I came to a stop just below my buddy Bob. As I was doing so, Karl's dog Finbar, slipped on the crust and slid into me. I was worried that I may have skied over his leg, but Finbar let out no yelp nor did he act hurt. We continued on and started to skin back up the slope. As I followed the trail, I notices blood all over it. I figured one of the dogs must have ripped a pad open. No big deal. As I approached Karl, he told me that Finbar had a cut on his leg but couldn't tell what size it was. I figured it had to have been from me. The blood trail continued to the ridge top where we finally had a chance to look at the damage. What we saw surprised that shit out of us! Finbar wasn't just cut, he was filleted open. The gash was about 1.5 inches wide by 4 inches long. The entire length of which we could see the tibia bone. A quick wrap on the leg and we were back skiing again. This time to the car. The day was over.

View of the Bitterroot Mountains

Finbar seemed to manage just fine the rest of the day. After some beers, we were heading to Missoula and Finbar to the vet.

Poor Finbar