Friday, January 28, 2011

Staying Positive

Last weekend Justin Woods and I planned on heading to Glacier for a possible long day. We had been itching for a long route and conditions looked like they could be good. However, I had to go and screw everything up. While out skiing Saturday, I tagged a snow covered stump which quickly put my face down in the snow. During the crash, my right ski tried to continue down its path right while my body twisted left. The twisting force put on my right knee was incredible. Having "blown out" my knees before, I waited for the "pop". Everything came to a stop and nothing. My knee was sore, but no ligaments had torn. I got up and skied back to the snowmobile knowing that I was going to be sore the next day.

Justin working the Mule Palace

I awoke with a very stiff knee. Struggling with the idea of not climbing in Glacier, I had to call Justin and give him the disappointing news. I was feeling good enough for a local trip to Finley Creek so that is what we ended up planning on.

Monday, with my knee feeling better, we hiked into Finley. What we saw was disappointing. The recent warm weather had done a number in the ice. With hopes of getting a workout, we settled with doing laps on a bolted mixed climb which can be climbed in nearly any condition.

We ended up having a nice day out there. Chucked a few laps and got a bit of a pump. Turned out to be a better day than we anticipated. It was no Glacier Park though......

My turn

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Working on New Stuff

Yesterday Justin, his roommate Dan, and I slogged into the Missions with hopes of establishing a new route. We were eyeing an overhanging rock roof between Whispering Left and Center. We had a drill, but hoped to climb it on natural gear.

After a good effort to make the line go natural, we deemed it too unsafe to climb without bolts. We had the bolts at our side, but weren't motivated from the extremely wet conditions the weather was giving us. Justin worked his way through a hole in the ice and finished the pitch.

Whispering Left and Center

We rapped off and decided we ought to get one more pitch in since we were there. I led Whispering Center which was in great shape. A good steep 60m grade 5. We finished the day feeling content with our efforts and made hast to the 44 bar.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hyalite Ice

Monday Jeff and I headed back to Hyalite Canyon with expectations of working ourselves over on some ice. We had plans of pushing our leash-less climbing abilities so we headed right for the business. Last time I led "Airborne Ranger", this time it was Jeff's lead. Extremely cold temps made the ice brittle and very thought provoking to climb. Through delicate climbing with frozen hands, we topped out on the pillar. A short pitch took us to the top and reminded me how tired I actually was. The day was coming to an end, so it was time to rap off and find something to eat.

Jeff starting up Airborne Ranger

Tuesday we headed up to the Bingo cave. This area hold some of the most difficult dry-tooling routes in the canyon. Rather than pump ourselves out right away, we decided to warm up on the "Good Looking One". We made two laps on it, each being extremely fun. We were feeling the workout from the day before, but still decided to give the cave a go. As was expected, it worked us over and finished off the burn in our arms.

Mid pitch

With a half day remaining before heading home Wednesday, Jeff and I headed back to the canyon for one last climb. Some other parties beat us to the climb we wanted, so it was off to an old favorite; "The Scepter". We made short work of it, but were definitely reminded of our previous days work. Feeling totally sapped, we packed up and headed home.

Jeff topping out

Jeff starting up the "Good Looking One"

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Deep Snow and Cold Temps

Wednesday, a big weather system hit Montana bringing with it cold temps and lots of snow. Knowing avalanche conditions would be bad, we headed to Lolo Pass Thursday. The snow was deep and cold temps made the snow soft.

Friday the temps were forecasted to be even colder, around 0 degrees. Knowing nearly no one would brave the cold, Patrick and I headed back to the pass. The snow had set up even better and the shinning sun took the edge off the cold air. We found a place away from anyone else and enjoyed untouched powder all day long.

Bob charging Thursday



A bad hore-frost layer 2' deep