Scoping Ice for New Year’s Day

Took a walk to the Waterfall Wall this morning to see how things are developing. Good news: the Tempest side of the Waterfall is building. Soon, we will be able to climb a bit steeper ice on the starting pitch.


The “normal” (i.e. easiest) route goes to the left. The Tempest variation climbs directly up the ice curtain.


The Waterfall’s third pitch is fat enough to also provide more exciting climbing.

I climbed the first three pitches (admittedly, not taking the hard way), then followed the walk-off south until I could cut across to the base of the Slanting Cracks Wall. I hoped to find a feasible new route running up along the base of the steep cliff guarding access to the Black Arches Wall. There were a few possibilities, but nothing I felt confident soloing, so I continued, walking up along the cliff base, then cutting across the landslide area beneath the Pinnacle Overlook Block.

 While beside the Pinnacle, I stopped to take some pictures. First, looking over to the Isobuttress section of the BAW.


The BAW Portal (3 – 4) is left of center, Isobuttress Left (2+) is to the longer one to its right.

Turning around, I snapped one into the sunlight, looking up at the South Corner Cliff. There’s some wild ice to climb there, but it looks pretty sun-baked in spots.


Looking up at the South Corner Cliff’s abundant, but sun-baked, ice flows.

I reached the BAW path and began walking out, breaking off for awhile to climb up to Blueberry Ledge and have a look-see. Todd Paris’ route Mme. Blueberry may well yield a narrow, exhilirating ice route. I gave it a short stab, but deemed it a bit too much without a belay.

After that, it was time to head homeward. Having come around the lee of the mountain, a chill, steady breeze hurried me down and off the slopes, onto Sky High Road, and from there back to my house.

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