Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"Ice, Wind, & Sky" WI4/5, 3,800'

Erik Johnson and I jumped right back into Montana winter (from a quick stint in Indian Creek) with an ascent of "ice, wind, & sky". I.W. & S. is the continuation of the classic "California Ice" (WI4/5) located in the East Rosebud of Montana. We broke trail up new snow to the base of Cali ice, climbed the 3 long (60m) pitches, then broke left at the top of the third pitch into the I.W. & S gully. Upon entering this interesting gully we simul-climbed the remaining 1,000 feet to the plateau climbing quality moderate ice with some character building snow slogging to keep us honest. We topped out the plateau then descended into spread creek back to the truck, about 12 hours later. Ice, wind, & sky is by far the best way to top California ice out (having done both top outs now) it entails at least 90 more meters of good ice climbing in a spectacular setting and grants about 4,000' of ascending total!

Cheers, Loren

California Ice and the top of "Ice, Wind, and Sky" in the upper left. (Photo By Erik Johnson)

The first 2 pitches of California Ice

Myself at the top of the California ice headwall (Photo by Erik Johnson)

The upper pitches of "Ice, Wind, & Sky"

And then the ice just ends. ice, wind, and sky indeed.

This pretty much sums up the descent

Erik Johnson... international man of mystery

we are claiming the first recorded mustache ascent of the route

Monday, March 21, 2011

Indian Creek

Montana can dish out some long winters and this season was no exception. The only remedy for these brutal winters is to grab some rock gear, flip-flops, and fill the gas tank to full.
A rather large group of us headed down to southern Utah to enjoy 9 days of sunny bliss; no ice screws, no cell service, and miles of dazzling red cliffs split every meter by the most perfect cracks on Earth. Here are some pictures of the trip.

Cheers, Loren

Super crack... lives up to the hype

Bridget enjoying the Super crack

Erik Hayes becoming "Way Rambo"

Chris Hayes tapping into his inner "Big Guy"

myself on just another 3 star unnamed perfect crack

Bridget leading "Wavy Gravy"

Summit of South Six Shooter, and a strange pictograph

Matt Welles on "Ruby's Cafe"

"learning to Crawl" Bridger Jack spires

we topped out Thumbelina spire just as Erik Hayes and Rick Dvorak topped out the Sparkling touch spire.

Bridget Cruising the last pitch of Easter Island Spire

We found Hulk Hogan A.K.A. Erik Johnson on the summit

Scott Salzer determining that the desert life is a good life