On the first day of 2015 I decided to try a backyard multi-sport day. I have always wanted to check out the gully above rock creek falls in Red Lodge. This historic ice climb is a classic of the area and is arguably the first ice climb in the U.S.A. that was climbed using the modern front pointing technique.
I skinned up the approach on skis, alone, in an extremely quiet forest covered in bobcat tracks. When I got to the ice, put the crampons on, and soloed up the falls in ski boots. I rigged an anchor on top and hauled the skis up on a munter hitch. It worked great.
Once on top I stashed the climbing gear and clicked back into my skis. The gully above was a consistent 25-30 degree slope to the plateau 1,000 feet above. I was not expecting such a mellow (and fun) descent, the skiing was blue square terrain all the way back to the ice climb with 2 inches of fresh snow on a crust I was staying on top of.
When I reached the ice I rappelled it, clicked back into my skis and skied the entire approach back to the car. I was back home 4 hours after leaving it that morning. I am excited about this ice/ski and will do it again this year; I highly recommend it.
looking down the ice
Hauling the skis
the gully above the ice
my tracks heading down the mid section of the couloir