Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mission Mountains

Sunday, the planets must have aligned or something, cause Shapiro and I had a day off together. Temps were forecaste to be moderate (12f) so we planned to climb at Mission Falls. As were drove there, bank signs read -4f so I began to question the forecast. Some down-fall prevented us from reaching the parking lot so our 2 mile approach was annoyingly extended. Temps remained cold and neither Jeff or I could keep our toes and fingers warm. Despite the misery, we kept laughing as we slogged up the horrible trail.

When we got our first glimpse of the ice, we were amazed that there wasn't more. Not that there wasn't a lot, we just thought that with the recent below zero temps there would be more. No worried though, there was plenty to climb.

Still cold, we decided to boulder around and check stuff out to warm up. After quite some time we realized it was just too cold to properly warm up. We were both "over it" and the idea of sitting at the bar next to a fire enjoying some food and drinks was much more appealing. We had slogged all the way out there so with our last bits of motivation decided to climb. Basically so we could say we did.

The plan was to climb as quick as possible so we could begin our progress towards the bar. The cold brittle ice shut me down though. Screws were tough to place and tool placements had to be thoughtfully chosen. The occasional shotgun sounding crack of the ice as it accepted my place on it, mentally slowed my progress. Eventually I made it up and quickly put Jeff on belay. After an intimate visit with the "screamy barfys" Jeff topped out and we were on our way.

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