Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Upper Meadow Project 2011

Winter is our favorite season here in the Laurel Highlands.  
Laura and I spent a wonderful snow filled day at Upper Meadow Run in Ohiopyle State Park.  It was my day to pick where I wanted to work out and Laura was my belayer.  I decided to spend a little time working on the project that was bolted last year.  After it was equipped I spent 2 or 3 days working on it, until the pillar fell and it went out of condition.  This season I've spent one day on it about a week ago, but didn't have much success.  It was like being on it for the first time again.  I had to refamiliarize myself with the moves, which was a workout in itself.

Here's the route description:  It begins with about 15' of ice and dry tool moves to the roof.  From the roof you work horizontal about 20' while moving up about 5' clipping as many bolts as you can along the way.  From there you exit out the cave onto the largest free standing ice pillar and climb it to the anchors at the trees.  Sounds easy enough...

I can't remember, but it takes either 6 or 7 draws and an optional ice screw.  All of the draws are now prehung, except for the first and last.  Its a pretty strenuous climb (at least for me) and has yet to see an ascent.  Todays session went much better than the last.  I managed to link the line together in about 3 goes and felt better now knowing most of the moves.  Laura did a great job keeping me moving while on the route.  She was giving me the encouragement only she knows how.  While resting between goes, the large falling snowflakes made for an incredible view.  The landscape turned white and fresh throughout the day which was a nice contrast to what started out as a drab and overcast day.  Sorry "butt" our climbing shots weren't that good since it was just the two of us today.  You'll have to be amused by what we did get.  Happy climbing!

checking out the view
Eyes closed flipping a tool around?  Not good sending technique.
Starting out into the upside down
in the middle somewhere
Exiting and happy to be on ice... 
L  found these critters crawling around the ice
Laura killing time between laps
Laura standing beside the pillar that the route finishes on

Laura walking back to the car after our fun day!

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