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John Frieh

first ascent [TR] Cody FAs + Bozeman Ice Festival - 12/7/2009

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Trip: Cody FAs + Bozeman Ice Festival


Date: 12/7/2009


Trip Report:


12/4: PDX -> BZN; solo laps on G1

12/5: The Fat One, Magically Delicious and The Good Looking One w/ Drew, Pete and Dana

12/6: Get Bryan @ airport; drive to Cody and climb first 2 of Broken Hearts with Bryan

12/7: First Ascents of In a Silent Way (4p; WI4), Ice Bender (1p; WI4) and Hatebags Welcome (1p; WI3) with Bryan and Doug

12/8: Rest day; drive back to Bozeman

12/9: Rest/taper before comp: climb Palisade Falls with Bryan and Ryan

12/10 The Mammut Hyalite Ice Breaker Pro Invitational Competition (9 hours/10 routes/11 p) with Pat Wolfe. RIP Guy Lacelle

12/11: White Zombie and Thin Chance with Doug

12/12: The Big Sleep Aaron and Doug

12/13: BZN -> PDX



Given the events that transpired during this trip I struggled with writing this trip report. On one hand I had an awesome trip: 3 first ascents in one of my favorite ice climbing destinations with 2 of my favorite partners as well as sneaking up an Alex Lowe test piece the day before I had to drive home. On the other hand the death of Guy Lacelle: one of the humblest, strongest forefathers of this very sport. Both ends of the stoke spectrum unfortunately. I tried to keep the blabber to a minimum. Some pics:


Pete looking good on The Good Looking One:



Bryan on Broken Hearts. Given the temps that day Frozen Hearts would have been more appropriate



First Ascents: Two years ago Bryan and I made the trek up Deer Creek to give Bitches Brew a go. We climbed the first two pitches but bailed given the condition of the 3rd pitch. Before returning to the car we opted to hike up the drainage just a little further just to see what we see. Not even 20 minutes up the drainage we spotted what appeared to be a few pitches trying to form. We asked Aaron Mulkey about it... he hadnt climbed it before but wasnt sure if someone else had and encouraged us to ask Stan Price about it. At the 2008 Ice Breaker Bryan and I cornered Stan and were stoked to find out no one had climbed it yet. A month after the Ice Breaker Bryan and I found ourselves back in Cody ready to return to Deer Creek. Unfortunately for us we found bad avy conditions and opted to bail. Our attempt would have to wait until next year.


Unfortunately conditions a year later werent much better. Though the avy was safe the predicted high for that day was -2 F. When we left the car it was -14 F. Doug, my partner from AK, was in Cody so Bryan and I invited him along.


Suck it up butter cup



Return to Deer Creek



We made good time and about two hours later were looking at this: unclimbed!



Bryan on Pitch 1:









Following pitch 1:



Much to our delight another pitch awaited and Doug gladly led pitch 2.


Doug on Pitch 2:



At the top of pitch 2 we got really stoked... not only did our climb continue up the drainage but in the same amphitheater were 2 other ice climbs. :rawk:


We opted to follow the multipitch line as we didnt know how many more pitches awaited hoping we could snag the other two lines on the way down.


We soloed an easy WI2


Soloing the third pitch:



and found another pitch!


John on pitch 4:





Though Pitch 4 turned out to be the hardest pitch of the route it unfortunately was the last pitch that was formed for us so we immediately rapped and down climbed back to the 2 remaining unclimbed lines.


Back in the amphitheater Bryan nabbed the center pillar...









...and Doug led the final pitch of the day.





All in all we climbed 3 new routes: a 4 pitch WI4, a single pitch WI4 and a single pitch WI3. Given the proximity to Bitches Brew we thought In a Silent Way was an appropriate name for the multipitch route. We named the center WI4 pillar Ice Bender in tribute to all the trips benders we've had in the past few years and lastly we named the WI3 Hatebags Welcome in honor of Doug's current residence Colorado. :laf: :laf: :grlaf:


The next day Bryan and I rested and returned to Bozeman. The following day, the day before the comp, we took it easy and climbed Palisade Falls.


Bryan on Palisade



So the Ice Breaker... this was my second year and I was looking forward to another year of running around the canyon climbing as much ice as possible in 9 hours. I was paired with Pat Wolfe, a super strong local so I was stoked.


Pat and I were assigned Twin Falls as the area we had to start in... we reached the base of Twin in 48 minutes from the parking lot :noway:


After ticking Twin Right and Twin Left we worked our way to Unnamed Wall climbing Solstice, something between Solstice and Equinox, and Equinox. At Unnamed Wall we climbed Elevator Shaft, The Fat One, Magically Delicious, Jeff's Right, and The Thrill is Gone


Pat on The Thrill is Gone:



On the way back to the parking lot we ran into one of the comp organizers and learned about Guy's death and that the comp had been canceled.


I'm not going to pretend I knew Guy well, unfortunately I turned down my chance to climb with him when I went to Cody earlier that week. That said he was one of the most humble, polite, kind climbers I have ever encountered. And best of all the dude crushed. He will be missed. RIP Guy.


The following day Doug and I took it easy and played around on White Zombie and Thin Chance





Saturday, my last day before having to drive home, I got to team up with Doug and another good friend of mine Aaron Mulkey for a run on The Big Sleep.


"When fully formed The Big Sleep is as good as anything in CAN" JoJo



After bringing Doug and Aaron up the initial pitch Doug stepped up to tackle the Alex Lowe 5.9R. He fired through the crux :rawk: but broke a hold just short of the anchor. He hopped back on and sent :tup:


Doug on pitch 2. I wish anyone who says 5.9 is easy would have to lead this pitch :laf::grlaf:



Aaron following the 5.9: he had to bare hand it



Looking down midpitch following the 5.9



This brought us to the crux ice pitch... we didnt know what to expect... the book predicted somewhere between WI6 and 6+. Lucky for us Aaron leads Cody WI7 :rawk:


Aaron getting to the business:



Aaron enjoying some spindrift midcrux:



Looking up the pillar :noway:



The pitch went much easier than I expected... we all agreed it would have been a 5+ in Cody, a 6/6+ in Colorado and unclimbed in WA :laf: :laf: :grlaf:


Doug fired off the last pitch and took us to the ridge


Doug on pitch 4:



Aaron and I simul followed







BRAIN FREEZE! Love the spindrift!



We tagged the top, rapped and hiked out for :brew:


Epilogue: Though the passing of Guy was rough I still managed some great climbing with some great people. RIP Guy


MANY MANY THANKS to JoJo, Coop, Greg/NLs, Barrel and everyone else that puts together such a great event as well as everyone that I got to climb with and/or meet this week!


Gear Notes:

I heart climbing with Mammut Athletes



Approach Notes:

zoom zoom

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Nice work dudes! Those look like some quality pitches in Cody :rawk:


And way to tag Big Sleep - I think that's one of the coolest looking routes in Hyalite.

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Nice trip. What grade would you give your new route? Perhaps David and I should go out there and climb it sometime.


Good seeing you in Bozeman!

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Thanks all! :wave:


Let me see if I can answer all these in one post


- I (and Doug who took many of these) both shoot pics/video with a Lumix DMC-LX3S. Very pleased with it to date. :tup:


- Great to see all of you out there!


- Ratings? In a Silent Way is a 4 pitch WI4, Ice Bender is a one pitch WI4 and Hatebags Welcome is a one pitch WI3. Though a longer walk than Cabin Creek very similar in options/grades. Shoot me a PM for all the beta!


- Do I have more vacation left? Of course I do :grlaf:

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The pitch went much easier than I expected... we all agreed it would have been a 5+ in Cody, a 6/6+ in Colorado and unclimbed in WA :laf: :laf: :grlaf:


Ha! Classic!


Great looking trip there John!

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Phatt! and I mean that in a good way! :lmao: Thanks for sharing it all, great photos (and looks like a great t RIP as well) is an understatement.

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this shot is unreal: awesome.



Love all the deep blue ice too. Was the blue in the pics enhanced?


Nope! 100% organic free range MT ice :)

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