First Jaunt with Friends

Matt Wood coming up pitch 1 of the Waterfall Wall

Matt Wood coming up pitch 1 of the Waterfall Wall

Paul C, Matt W, and I ran up the entire Waterfall Wall on Saturday the tenth of January. A thaw was forecast and already beginning to be felt as we finished up the day.

My apologies to Paul, who led a fair a pitch of the climb, but I was always otherwise engaged while he did. He did man the belay so I could shuffle about playing photographer.

Paul C. manning the belay at the top of pitch 1

Paul C. manning the belay at the top of pitch 1

As is visible in the photos, the Waterfall Wall is “doable, not screwable”; while it has plenty enough ice to climb, virtually none of it is anchored well to the underlying slab, so screws tend to be meaningless. Fortunately, its low angle allows a soft touch and renders a complete collapse unlikely.

Matt leads up pitch two

Matt leads up pitch two

The penultimate pitch was a bit dicey topping out of the initial slab, since its ice was missing for the last six or eight feet. Matt managed the details without too much trouble. The top pitch was another story. The curtain itself was in good shape: thick and solid sounding. But all the ice above the overhang was spookily hollow, and since the real crux is not so much climbing the curtain as getting established above the curtain, none of us was interested in leading it. We opted for a rope above, and each took a spin before calling it a day and descending.

Back to work for Paul, belaying as Matt heads upward

Back to work for Paul, belaying as Matt heads upward

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