Thursday, February 21, 2013

Glacier Ice Climbing

The weather window was small, but Ben and I decided to check it out anyways.  Our plan was to ski into Snyder Lake basin and climb "6 pack" to the summit of Mt. Edwards.  I had done the climb about 8 years ago and knew it would take us two days.  As we began our ski in, we quickly realized the area had receive a lot of new snow and that the idea of climbing on Edwards would be a bad one.  When we reached the lakes and our campsite, we could see signs of natural avalanches all throughout the basin.  Our hopes to climb Mt. Edwards were shut down, but we had a back up plan...brainstem wall.

The brainstem wall is in a slightly less hazardous location and the climbs were in good shape.  We set camp and prepared for a cold night.  We woke to clear skies hungry to climb.  We started by working on a new route.  I climbed the first pitch only to be shut down by loose rock and poor protection.  As we were setting an anchor, the sun came out and the south side of Mt. Brown came alive.  Small slides came shooting over us at shot regular intervals.  We waited for a fair bit of snow to release then made our descent.  We made it back to the packs without a problem.  

As high clouds moved over Glacier, I decided to climb Brainstem.  It was in amazing shape.  The left side was touching down creating 50m of vertical ice.  It was one of the best pitches I've climbed.  I threaded off the climb and we packed up to head home.  Ski conditions were great so the ski out was actually an enjoyment.  Back to the car early, we made our way to Whitefish for dinner and drinks with friends. 


Assessing pitch 2 

Watching clouds roll in the basin 

The approach 

 Left side of the Brainstem wall

Ben starting the approach 

 Pitch one

Little Matterhorn

No comments: