Saturday, March 8, 2014

End the season with a new line?

Stopping for a sunrise view of Ohiopyle falls
The alarm went of at 4:45AM.  Laura and I decided that we wanted to finish up the season on an unfinished line we started the other day.  We had everything packed and sitting by the door the night before.  We stopped at the gas station for some petrol and coffee.  Then it was off to Ohiopyle State Park to try to squeeze in one last line before things disappear for the season.  We parked at Lower Meadow and made the short walk uphill to the climbs.  I had the small pig loaded up with just the necessities to get the line equipped and done.  I hesitantly walked over to the edge and peered over to see if the small drip was still attached to the wall.  Surprisingly it was and I set up the line to rap in and place a couple bolts.  It's a reliable line that never forms very thick or wide.  The usual protection at best would be short, custom, stubbies.  I'd top roped this line many year ago and found it to be quite a bit of fun.  Although the climbing isn't that hard, we thought it would be a great addition for the intermediate climbers.  We pondered and decided to add the bolts to make it climbable in any condition, for anyone.  It's about 40' long and is a tough one to grade.  It's pretty easy, but a little technical due to the thin, poorly bonded ice and in your face climbing for about 20' to the exciting top out.  I'm sure it'll be committing for the average WI4 leader despite the bolts.  The photo of me below on the first ascent doesn't do it much justice.   This is such a fun line and I hope everyone enjoys it as much as we did.  It's officially called The Tampon WI3+.  We'll leave you to guess at the meaning!
Nearing the top on the First Ascent of The Tampon WI3+
Laura coming up the sunny, starting pillar.  A better perspective of the steepness
Committing to the thin, quickly melting, smear
The line tops out at the Hemlock tree.  Awesome turf.  Laura Hahn seconding
The sun encroached on the ice, quickly turning it to water as Laura was topping out.  She did a great job seconding the line in the deteriorating conditions.  We packed up and headed down to Lower Meadow to see the local top rope posse of Blaine, Dave and Pete.  They were there enjoying easy sticks on soft ice.  We joined in the fun for a few laps before calling it a day.  Pleased with getting our new line done before it fell off the wall.

 Giving a belay to the local top rope posse, Blaine and Dave climbing
Enjoying laps on Hemlock with old friends
The remains of some of the Upper Meadow lines laying on the ground
So is this the end of ice season?  We think not!  We're going to be the optimists and head out in the morning again to go "BIG GAME HUNTING."  We'll see if we get lucky and have some fat skyscrapers.  Check back tomorrow to see!

On another side note, I managed to stumble across these little drips while out driving around.  It appears to get sun, but is monstrous.  Please excuse the bad photo, it was taken with my phone, through binoculars at over a mile away.  

These lines are somewhere around 200'  Yeahhhhhh....  More SWPA monsters for 
next season.   Looks to be more WI3's ;)


  1. That's not a bad shot considering the tools used. Great post brother!

  2. Nice shot of Victoria Flats.