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John Frieh

best of cc.com [TR] Wyoming Mashup - 5/20/2008

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Trip: Wyoming Mashup -

 

Date: 5/20/2008

 

Trip Report:

*Not sure if this belongs here or in the ice forum...?

 

Summary:

Day 0: PDX -> SEA -> BZN -> Yellowstone National Park Resort

Day 1: The Silver Cord (3 p/175 m), Yellowstone -> Devils Tower

Day 2: Devils Tower: Bon Homme (Horning Variation), Belle Fourche Buttress (1st 2 pitches), One way sunset (1st 2 pitches)

Day 3: McCarthy North Face (4 p)

Day 4: Devils tower -> BZN -> SEA -> PDX

 

Details:

So after a great start to ice season it all came to a grinding halt when I took the plunge to purchase a second home and rent my first one (JayB enter stage left ;) ). Two months of looking/inspecting/bidding/closing/packing/moving/unpacking/renting/etc etc flew by and suddenly it was May! Shit! Where did ice season go!?!?

 

I wanted (needed???) a last ice fix before summer set in and it sure wasnt going to happen around here. I needed a partner and some ice pronto. I tracked down Bryan who had just finished his first semester of grad school unscaved and begged him into a little ice climbing. Made some calls and sent some emails and determined that assuming the road was open the silver cord would likely be in.

 

The Silver Cord Cascade:

the_silver_cord_cascade.jpg

 

Yes not my photo. And no I dont know the difference between a cascade and a waterfall.

 

The story with the Silver Cord is it is located in the grand canyon of Yellowstone National Park... the Cord most definitely forms every year however as the Park doesnt plow the roads in winter one either has to have a sled and/or ride the snow coach in addition to skinning to access the cord. Basically the math is 3 days for 175 meters of ice. So why not just wait until the road is open? Most years by the time the road is open/plowed the cord has already melted out. Due to these logistics involved the cord hasnt seen many ascents even though it checks in @ WI3+.

 

But we were in luck! The road was open (so they said... more later), the temps looked good so I packed my bags, threw in my rocks shoes in case the predicted west coast heat wave made it out east and hopped a plane to BZN. Bryan grabbed me @ the airport and we headed south. We managed to get to the park just before dark.

 

After some sleep we go back up and left the car by 5 am... we found the road wasnt actually open as far as they said it was so we walked some road to the trail head. As one walks along the top of the canyon rim you end up rapping down the cord and then climbing back out. We found the cord using JoJo's excellent beta, rapped the route, climbed and were back to the car by noon.

 

Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park:

wyoming9.JPG

 

!!!

wyoming10.JPG

 

Pitch 1:

wyoming2.JPG

 

Pitch 2:

wyoming4.JPG

 

wyoming5.JPG

 

Pitch 3:

wyoming6.JPG

 

Water ice in May... gotta love it.

 

We were hoping for some more ice so we called Jay @ the Silvertip Mountain Center to see how things were holding up @ Cooke City. Jay told us things were sliding and it was suppose to be 60 tomorrow... alas: good bye 07/08 ice season :( (though I hear Cali Ice is still in!)

 

After a quick soak in the boiling river we headed east for the devils tower.

 

Boiling River: Gotta love the natural hot springs

wyoming12.JPG

 

Moo?

wyoming11.JPG

 

We made it to Devils Tower by 11 or so... I'd never been to Devils Tower before so Bryan ran me around the next two days on a mini sampler of the tower (emphasis on mini... the tower is HUGE!).

 

Stem box:

wyoming27.JPG

 

Wide:

wyoming26.JPG

 

Hands:

wyoming15.JPG

 

wyoming16.JPG

 

wyoming17.JPG

 

5.5 my ass:

wyoming18.JPG

 

wyoming19.JPG

 

wyoming20.JPG

 

Tips to hands:

wyoming25.JPG

 

Woof?

wyoming29.JPG

 

McCarthy North Face:

wyoming31.JPG

 

wyoming32.JPG

 

Tips to ringlocks:

wyoming33.JPG

 

wyoming38.JPG

 

Summit views:

wyoming36.JPG

 

MisterE: eat your heart out :grlaf:

wyoming37.JPG

 

Epilogue:

So yeah: devils tower is worth the trip... I'm hoping to get back out there this fall. Hundreds of multipitch trad routes!

 

Cheers :brew: to Bryan to another great trip, JoJo for great beta, and Frank for letting us dirtbag at his place :)

 

Gear Notes:

BEAR SPRAY! We saw lots of grizzly tracks

 

wyoming28.JPG

 

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Niiiiice.

 

I remember going to Devil's Tower on family vacation years ago, and being baffled at how it could be climbed. Now it looks so inviting.

 

That van is probably the dopest thing I have ever seen.

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Thnks to you both for keeping THE STOKE ALIVE! Great stuff! Looks like the classic WI and Rock combo platter: Da Best!

 

Hey Bryon, is that a roll starting to get around the stomach there? Oh oH! :blush: Watch out if you get married, I use to weigh 40 lbs less back when I was your age, so you see where that might take ya! :lmao:

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Thnks to you both for keeping THE STOKE ALIVE! Great stuff! Looks like the classic WI and Rock combo platter: Da Best!

 

Hey Bryon, is that a roll starting to get around the stomach there? Oh oH! :blush: Watch out if you get married, I use to weigh 40 lbs less back when I was your age, so you see where that might take ya! :lmao:

 

 

Yeah John was glad I was there, because when a grizzly comes you don't have to be the fastest, just not the slowest. Needless to say I was preparing to be meat.

 

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hey John, is there still a route on the tower from the first ascentionists ( i think) with wood blocks driven in?

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Thanks everyone :) I heard MT got more snow today... people should seriously consider going and climbing California Ice... one of the best alpine ice routes I have ever climbed!

 

hey John, is there still a route on the tower from the first ascentionists ( i think) with wood blocks driven in?

 

Climbers right of Bon Homme (Horning Variation):

 

IMGP3431.JPG

 

I dont know if you are allowed to climb it though... I suspect not.

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"MisterE eat your heart out"

 

:lmao: :lmao: Pimp ride!

 

Nice TR, John. Really makes me want to get out to the tower sometime - looks awesome! Thanks for posting

 

Erik

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