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first ascent [TR] Agassiz, Hopyard Hill - F.A - O.C.D Pillar 37m WI4 12/24/2008

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Trip: Agassiz, Hopyard Hill - F.A - O.C.D Pillar 37m WI4


Date: 12/24/2008


Trip Report:

So this morning MikeW picked me up and we went over to a roadside climb in Harrison. I led it but Mike started feeling sick so we left.I was trying to figure out what to do as the day was still young but all the low angled stuff I would solo was getting buried in snow. I remembered that on a little hill named 'Hopyard Hill' 1 or 2 km's west of Agassiz's city center there is a NE facing bluff of dirty, crappy rock. On this cliff there is a rarely formed pillar that is usually just a couple of icicles. I thought it might go this year so after picking up a new pair of climbing pants at the post office, I convinced my GF to come out and give me a belay on a pillar. It took a fair bit of convincing to get her to go out in the cold and heavy snow, she told me that I was 'obsessed' to want to climb the route this badly... thats where the name comes from.

It took us about 1/2 hour of walking to reach the base of 'Hopyard Hill' from my house and the pillar looked good but quite small. We hopped a fence, crossed a little field and hiked up snow covered rocks and bushes to the base of the climb. We put harnesses on, I racked up, then started up the ice below the pillar.

I started on the right side of the flow, climbing a very short step and then a slightly longer steep step above the first. From the top of the second step I headed up and left towards the pillar on thin, but low angled, ice. Once I reached the base of the final pillar I was surprised to see that it was actually about 10m long, vertical, and chandeliered... I thought to myself, 'dammn, I've never lead water ice like this', and was hesitant to continue. I thought of placing a screw right at the base of the pillar but decided to conserve them (I only have 7) for the steep section, plus I needed the long one to make an Abalakov if neccesary.

I started up the chandeliered, dripping pillar and got a screw in partway up, I continued up the steep pillar until I got to just below an obvious crux and fired in a short screw. I did a few more moves and got some bomber sticks at the top of the pillar and pulled into a shallow cave. The very top of the cliff was a few feet above me but getting there would require pulling a roof on a 3 inch thick curtain, the shallow cave had good ice in it and I built a solid abalakov and rapped down. My 70 meter rope didn't quite make it so I ended the rap in some bushes to the right. It then started to snow very hard so we quickly packed up and walked home.

Overall the route was much better than anticipated, it was longer and steeper than I had originally thought and made for a nice F.A on Christmas Eve....


My only picture of the route sucks... I'll get a better one tomorrow if visibility improves :P



The route from the base, it starts on the right hand side then diagonal's up left to the base of the obvious pillar. I ended in the shallow cave at the top of the pillar.


Gear Notes:

Screws, V-Thread Tool....


Approach Notes:

Just off Mountain View Road in Agassiz, Look for some bluffs facing the road on the hill... the obvious pillar above the trees is the top of the route...

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