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Steph_Abegg

first ascent [TR] Twin Needles, Southern Pickets - Thread of Ice, Twin Needles - FA 6/26/2009

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Trip: Twin Needles, Southern Pickets - Thread of Ice, Twin Needles - FA

 

Date: 6/26/2009

 

Trip Report:

During a north to south traverse of the Picket Range last summer, I was intrigued by a couple of lines on the north side of Twin Needles: the sweeping north ridge and the 1200-ft snow/ice couloir next to it. I later discovered that these two lines were the "Thread of Gneiss" and "Thread of Ice" named by John Roper on his ascent of the Twin Needles in 1984. As far as I know, neither had ever been climbed.

 

Here is a great photo taken by John Roper in July 1984 of the north side of Twin Needles. The Thread of Gneiss runs up the left ridge, and the Thread of Ice is the central couloir.

 

Thread of Ice is central couloir:

Twin_Needles_7_23_84_286081.jpg

 

Wayne Wallace and Mike Layton had attempted the “Thread of Gneiss” in 2007. They had encountered a rotten fault line that was almost impassable, and deemed the buttress not worth the risk. So I turned my attention instead to the steep, skinny, shadowy, snow couloir that snakes its way to Eye Col between the two Needles.

 

I emailed Wayne Wallace and asked if he was interested.

 

"Heck, yeah."

 

So, on June 26, we headed up the Barrier into the Southern Pickets, hoping that the June conditions in the couloir would be a 1200-ft continuous line of steep snow and ice. We hit the route under ideal conditions, and had a great first ascent of what turned out to be a pretty cool route.

 

(Note on conditions: This route is very dependent on conditions. A melt-freeze cycle could result in an amazing water ice route, heavy snows could create the potential for a challening ski descent, or patchy/nonexistant snow and ice could make the ascent impossible. Under ideal conditions of continuous snow and ice, the route does not pose any major challenges.)

 

I posted the TR on my website, but can't figure out how to make the html work here. So, until I figure this out, here is the link to the TR:

http://sabegg.googlepages.com/threadofice

 

Below is a video and a couple of photos to give a taste of what is in the TR on my website...

Video taken by Wayne as he climbed up the route:

[video:youtube]

 

Steph near the top of the Thread of Ice:

P1080237.jpg

 

Wayne on the summit of East Twin Needle:

DSCF1637.jpg

 

Link to the TR:

http://sabegg.googlepages.com/threadofice

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