Near Hope - FA Tradewinds 210m WI3Date:
This nice ice line has formed up right of Tailwind, in an area that is often dry or the ice is thin... it may be the same one that David and Nick Jones climbed a couple pitches of on an attempt in 1989 (see WCI guide p.94)
In between Tailwind and Tradewinds is a very obvious unclimbed line in a fresh rockfall scar/corner that appears to consist of several pitches of mixed slabs in a corner to a vertical pillar with a huge yellow ice roof at the top that looks like a cobra's hood.
Anyways Jesse, Graham, Robert and I scoped this line on the 21st but it is exposed to the down-valley winds and we didn't feel like climbing in 50km/h outflows with gusts to 80...
Winds persisted through the 23rd. Shaun and I were ready for an attempt on the 24th but the record snowfall halted that plan.
After loading our bodies with a few pounds of turkey and micemeat pie we were back at the climb today with no winds and only light snow. Perfect conditions near -4C all day long.
We parked as for Tailwind off Hwy 7 and hiked through forest, prickle bushes and fresh rockfall debris to the base in about an hour. We both simul-soloed the first pitch, towing the ropes up - 50m WI2.
The next pitch had a narrow, awkward ramp and then great fat ice and chimneying moves, with a bit of rock pro. I note parenthetically it's way faster to place a bomber nut off to the side of a climb than it is to fuck around drilling a shallow screw and trying to avoid rocking the teeth. Belay was a weird chimney stance, 55m WI2+
Shaun led what turned out to be the crux, a wall with several short pillar steps and several ledges. Lots of opportunity for variation, WI3 to 3+ lines depending on if the pillar you chose was 3m or 8m long. Above this, another long chimney/ramp, to a belay on a giant boulder frozen in the ice (hopefully solidly). 55m WI3.
I led the final pitch which was a long ramp with lots (by this time) of snow over low-angle and wet ice, and a couple of steeper bulges, finishing to trees. 61m WI2 (Shaun had to take the belay down and climb up a meter or two for me to make the trees).
We rapped the route rather than spend a few hours walking off. Three 55-60m raps trending to climbers left (off tree, off the boulder, and off another tree well left of the ice) got us down to a tree ramp we could downclimb 30-40m to the base of the route.
Total round trip time was about 6 hrs. Mike and Marc were climbing Tailwind at the same time, they were just approaching the final crux pitch as we got back to the car. Looks like the bottom of that route was thin and spicy!
No photos cause in the post-turkey daze both Shaun and I forgot our cameras! Gear Notes:
10 screws plus a set of nuts.Approach Notes:
Highway 7 from Agassiz east 20km then park just past Rockface Trailer Park; hike in: see TR for hiking rt. details.