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[TR] Snow Cr Wall - N.Dih.Direct/Swing and a Praye


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Trip: Snow Cr Wall - N.Dih.Direct-Swing and a Prayer


Date: 2/3/2007


Trip Report:

Saturday Gary Yngve and I,Wayne Wallace, climbed the thin line left of White Slabs route on Snow Creek Wall. It went in 5 long pitches and was extremely difficult.The route got gradually harder as we went, which helped because we were both O-T-Couch. The intital 2 pitches went up fantastic thin ribbons up ramps and micro gulleys. Though thin,hard,and awkward they entertained us for the fist 120 meters emensly. At times the ice was 4 inches wide, half inch thick!They ended up in a wide curtain that felt very thick though an inch and a half deep.I ran this out 100 feet to reach the stance below the overhanging ice crux pillar.

The ice pillar was short but extremely strenuous due to the overhanging angle. After that we entered a Scottish style ice gulley, more fun, though Gary had to relieve himself midway with a S3 bowel flush while following.

Pitch 4 went up thin ice in the dihedral until the ice ran out then became very difficult dry tooling in a long sketchy lead. Many times I felt I would fall and die on the runout. Pitch 5 was easier though the deep snow and short hard sequences drained any energy we may have had available. Topping out after 8 hard hours we reveled in the glow of our first climb together.

Hats off to Peter for dropping the hint of this climb,and Rat and Caps for exploring to make this an enticing prospect and wonderful testpiece. Thanks< Wayne and Gary

Gary will follow with the pics, Cheers and hope to see you at the Mongo/Erden show this Thursday


Gear Notes:

Screws, pins and cams to 3"

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Wow, I am f'n thrashed. I was getting over a cold, and I think the cold just came back for an encore. But the climb was worth it. I had a great time climbing with Wayne. Even though I've chatted with him at Pub Clubs, read about his exploits, etc., I never really had an idea how tough he is until he ropegunned me up these five pitches.




White Slabs on the right, Northern Dihedrals Direct on the left. The inset offers a little better view inside the dihedrals.




We couldn't see the wall until we were roughly right across it and we had gotten above the clouds. A party was at the base of White Slabs, which may have made it easier for Wayne to get stoked about the left route.




The first pitches consisted of thin runnels with the occasional mixed move.




For the most part, the belays were pretty sheltered.




(photo by Stoney Richards)

Wayne forgot to mention that on the 2nd pitch, he had to downclimb 40 feet to retrieve the first piece he placed (a gold camalot) so he could protect the moves to come.




The crux of the 2nd pitch was an off-balance dog-leg runnel of thin ice.




The ice got thicker, and Wayne belayed below the base of the pillar.




Wayne was happy to sink an 18cm screw to the hilt!




The ice steepened considerably, and was thin in spots.




Above the ice was short snow slog and then a sweet narrow icy gully.




Wayne enjoyed the good ice while it lasted.




Then the mixed climbing became delicate, then desperate.




(photo by Stoney Richards)

I flailed up the mixed moves, slipping a few times and happily hooking a fixed pin, all while wondering how the hell Wayne managed to lead it with the potential consequences of a nasty fall. The mixed moves were full-body workouts.




The last pitch certainly wasn't a gimme. Some fun mixed moves, thigh-deep snow groveling, and a little bushwhacking.




Capped off with a classic finish through a tunnel.




We walked off the backside, scrambling down two short rock steps.

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So what kind of grade do you give the pitches?


I am reluctant to give it grades as it may be fatter or thinner when another party does it.. but when we did it it went a little like this.

P1; m4 wi3 thin connecting ribbons

P2: m5 wi3+® Thin! Belay at top is amazing!

P3 : wi5- short overhanging pillar followed by scottish gulley

P4 : m6 wi4® dissapearing thin ice to hard corner-dry

P5: m3 wi3 energy gobbeling friggin around

Overall: IV-WI5-M6-R 300m

It was just my kind of route with so much variety. A little piece of climbing heaven in a spectacular-historic location.

Glad you enjoyed the tr, I enjoyed the other fantastic ones on this site for sure!

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