Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /nfs/c06/h04/mnt/86521/domains/blog.mahoneyalpineadventures.com/html/wp-content/themes/crisp/functions/admin-hooks.php on line 160

After the melt down.

Just before the melt down I was able to sneak in  a climb on Omega on Cannon Cliff.  Omega is a ephemeral classic that should not be missed when it comes in.  

In fat conditions on a cold sunny day last year.

In fat conditions on a cold sunny day last year.

It often only lasts a few days and should be absolutely avoided when the temps rise and the sun is out (I know from personal and frightening experience).  Eugene Kwan was eager for a chance to climb this classic and it was supposedly in.  We met in the parking area with fog thick enough to carve.  We could not see the climb but decided it was worth the hike in.   After a slippery stroll through the boulders we finally saw what we were looking for.  It was in, just barely holding on, but it was in.  The forecast for the day was rain and we did not want to get caught up high as the climb fell down.  We readied ourselves and launched up the first pitch.  The climbing was good but thin and not a lot of gear for protection.  If you climb ice long enough you get used to the idea that having good gear is relative to your head space when you are leading.  (I had recently backed off a lead on Cathedral ledge for this very reason.)  This day on Omega the stars were aligned.  As a team we moved quickly up the first pitch.  

Eugene on pitch 1 Omega

Eugene on pitch 1 Omega

The second pitch is the crux WI5+ pitch and it was is good condition.  Steep sticky ice with over hanging bulges.  The climbing was fun and the fog added to the experience.  

Eugene on pitch 2 Omega

Eugene on pitch 2 Omega

We topped out at 11 am and not a moment too soon as the rain started to fall.   We wasted no time as we rapped the route and slipped our way down the boulders and back to the car, soaking wet. The rain continued the whole drive home and the temps were on the rise.  The following day, Dec. 28th,  I was climbing with Michael and Brian Sands at Frankenstein Cliff and the meltdown was in full swing.  We climbed Standard to Penguin and rappelled as the temps peaked at 60 degrees.  The sheer volume of water flowing everywhere was disturbing and frightened us enough to call it a day at noon.  Two days later I was back at Standard route with John and Annie Timball-Gibson with a completely different experience.  The temps were in the low twenties, snow was flying and the wind was blasting 30 to 40 MPH.  The climbing was good and winter was back.  

John and Annie in the ice cave.

John and Annie in the ice cave.

 

 

Annie on pitch one of Standard Route

Annie on pitch one of Standard Route

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply