SCII conditons on Friday Dec. 11 - We drove to the parking area, hiked in and shot photos of the conditions. Wow, it never ceases to amaze me how fast the ice comes in here. Just the previous day I went to check conditions and there was ice, but not that much. By now I shouldn't be surprised at the amount of ice here as it is some of the biggest, earliest and most reliable ice in PA. Next weekend I'm sure the lines will be in great condition and we'll be picking our way up old favorites. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that with a little luck and some kindness from the weather I'll get an early season crack at the FFA of The Sick-le my long standing project! I first climbed it via top rope early in the 2006/2007 season after visiting climber Joel Toretti and I scoped it out from afar in late season 2005/2006. The fickle, Sick-le has been eluding me year after year. Then in Feb. 2008 after another in and out PA ice season, I was bolting the mixed section and checking the solidity. I was under the gun to get on or wait another year. I had just put a bolt in and kicked the monster to knock down the dangerous daggers near the bottom of the main sicle. A loud creak and the massive free hanging SICK-LE itself came crashing down a mere foot from my face while hanging from the rope. The decision was made for me, it was not to be climbed that season. The fall and explosion was massive and I was glad to NOT get on (crushed). Makes all that little rockfall most rock climbers experience seem trivial by far... Videographer Ray Burnsworth caught most of it on video. While a short video was edited for our personal viewing. Rayman willing, the whole spectacle will be put out for viewing after the FFA. Check out Ray's webpage to see various footage of SWPA climbing and more. http://www.wildfilmproductions.com/cinema.html
Above photo: Laura checking on our local playground of 100'-200'+ lines at SC II. The Sick-le is the last large flow on the right end.