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[TR] Tuolumne Meadows - FA of Effervescent Glory (Wi0) 12/30/2011

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Trip: Tuolumne Meadows - FA of Effervescent Glory (Wi0)


Date: 12/30/2011


Trip Report:

Originally posted on SuperTopo, I figured some PNW ice climbers might like this :lmao:


This has been the driest winter in California since the 1970s, and while Tuolumne Meadows is normally a multi-day ski from the nearest road in the winter, this year we could drive across the pass as late as mid-January. Ice lines were forming up on the various granite domes of Tuolumne Medows and first ascents were being put up left & right, merely minutes from the road.



Sometimes one just needs a different perspective on climbing in order to see the potential for new route. The Chief helped me realize a new way of looking at ice climbing during an exchange of ideas on SummitPost as to whether steepness had anything to do with the difficulty of an ice climb.




... steepness really has absolutely nothing to do with difficulty.


Over and out BOB PICKERING.

- The Chief




In the spirit of this comment, I went out and did a FA of a pretty difficult ice line. I think I'd rate it Wi0 (Walkable ice, 0).




It was a cold December morning and the ice had formed thick on the route. For safety I made an anchor of two stacked logs on shore, in the event that the ice failed me. Eventually I ran out of rope, and in order to push the route to a logical conclusion on a nice lake ledge, I risked life and limb, cast off the rope, and soloed through the final ice bulge crux.



Scoping out the route the night before on ice skates.


The climb was a great workout, and a big success.



Har-duh ice climbing


Now be warned that although I've conservatively rated the climb at Wi0, the rating is a bit sandbagged and is not without dangers and a need to exercise caution.


I dunno Mark, that ice was pretty slippery! Wi4 at least!And I [fell] on my butt at least once!


Another brave adventurer had this to add:

I nearly pulled some muscles trying to not fall on my ass. It's best to stretch out properly before attempting the lake! Also I think the psychological duress of the loud cracking and whoomping sounds should be taken into consideration when rating walkable ice.


If you listened closely, the lake did make some interesting booming noises each time my pick slammed into the ice.



Where to next? The potential of where our climbing can take us is only limited by our imaginations. There are all sorts of potential for other climbing ascents rated without regard to steepness.


Gear Notes:

Standard lake ice climbing gear.


Approach Notes:

Drive on Highway 120 until you reach Tenaya Lake. Park on the side of the road and walk towards the route. You can't miss it!

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if you drank more 'forehand, you could probably bump this up to w1+

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When you lay down lake ice is pretty much WI5, maybe someone should repeat it and correct the grading.


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