Sunday, January 17, 2010
Rain, rain, and more rain
By Saturday the ice went from great to unsafe. Joel Torretti, Josh Hurst and I made the best of poor conditions. Josh came all this way to climb so we did. We even put him to work. We decided to equip a new line at Upper Meadow Amphitheater. A short ice start leads to steep roof climbing, from there leave the rock, punch the curtain and finish on the last 15' of the ice pillar to the top OR continue left passing 1 more bolt to the left hanging curtain. Despite a single attempt by Josh and numerous attempts by Joel and I the line still remains unclimbed. (Josh was feeling under the weather with a head cold and busted ribs from a fall on Caveman extension the previous day). If he weren't in bad shape I'm sure he'd fired the line with little trouble. The line is strenuous and powerful. When completed it could be the hardest mixed route in SWPA. With all the rain in the forecast I doubt the finishing ice pillar will still be upright, thus rendering a true ascent impossible until ice reforms at the lip. Dont let that deter you. The route stays day and can be worked on rain days. Keep the season alive, go give it a go. Today we went back to work the line some more and possibly equip another. Instead we were lucky enough to witness a very cool natural event. As the morning temperatures rose an ice dam broke further upstream. The small, tame Meadow Run became quite intimidating in less than 2 min. We quickly gathered our gear and headed for higher ground up in the ampitheater. we sat and watched in amazment. Large ice debris and class five rapids lasted for 20-30min. then slowly the water receded. Quite a cool thing to see happen. Even though it was warm and rained we still had a great weekend, climbed hard and laughed most of the time. (Hope your ribs are feeling better Josh)!