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[TR] Crowded Point - Crusty Jewel 2/8/2014


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Trip: Crowded Point - Crusty Jewel


Date: 2/8/2014


Trip Report:

the snowpacalypse arrived promptly to resolve a week of unbearable woe - beacon closed - bastards howling at all hours - worst of all, a complete failure to cave in and give up on a craving to go a month w/o wine - a week spent crawling the walls n' slurping down endless cups of scalding mint tea, chewing fingernails n' feeling deeply listless n' disinterested, leafing through the pages of yet another war-book


adventure the order of the day - the blizzard of the century came howling in thursday morning, scattering the baser bitches in all directions just after lunch - to the gym then home, the red devil skittering all over the frozen highway - a long walk to the park w/ children grown crazy w/ snow fever, the dog-damned god sprinting n' leaping like a lunatic set free - the frost-gale growing in gusts, the halls of the ice-lords turned upside down


school cancelled for the day after, my union-agitator-training discarded as peremptorily, so a session of madness seemed promising - fortuitously the powderhund was looking to skip work too n' play, so there's the rope gun all lit along, now all i have to do is survive the drive - glorious sun, clear skies to hood shrink-wrapped in storm-clouds, not that i could see much of any of it w/ the windshield cleaner fluid frozen solid in the lines, leaving me reliant on my jedi mind-skills to keep it all on the road - wrecks all around, the detritus of ice-zombies in various states of revivification, wresting themselves from their ruined rides - troutdale's winds not quite the hurricane force i'd feared, bryan happy to drive n' me happy to sit aside n' smoke cooly, gazing out on the wintry columbia, gorge walls clad in frost-fangs and the piers on the river shackled in rime high above the wave-lines


set the car down at the rooster park - the wind howling, drifts all over the lot - we seperate as bryan decides at the last minute to buy a year pass and figures he's always walking my slow ass into the ground so i might as well get started - made sense, until in hindsight later on, i realized he might be tempted like any fool who's going to the crown jewel the first time to try to eschew the hike down the highway to the access road in favor of following other fools tracks down to the boundary lakes :)


great gusts at my back as i hoofed along alone, a steady stream of frantic looking drivers glancing me over as they screamed on by the interstate, fingers white on the wheel - no sign of bryan behind - quick chat w/ a stranger out scouting the ice planning on come back tomorrow


turning back east on the train-tracks, had to suss out the snow-goggles to keep my eye-balls from being flenzed off by the foul breeze


lovely little cliff


a bit crestfallen i'd reached the joint only to have the partner completly unaccounted for - i pictured him swimming in the slush in his plastics and settled for a cigarette n' some low-ball soloing while he got his shit sorted out


eventually saw a figure or two hove into view from the wrong end of the tracks - thought at first it might be my boy but then it resolved into two - their tracks no doubt helped taunt bryan to the same grief they'd just endured, plunged partway into the lake then forced to circle-round it the long way


all was well, the 'hund emerged even as the two portlanders began to punch their way up


hardly great conditions for just sitting around n' bullshitng, bryan too got geared up quick and blitzed up the waterfall - fine ice conditions - some water bubbling behind but mostly solid and thick enough for screws - we climbed to the right as the other crew took the left, bryan arriving a few minutes before them to the bolt-anchor (rigged up w/ an american death-triangle for reasons passing understanding in this modern fucking era)


i froze my fingers good following and paused for a mild case of the buzzing barfies - ole'boy said the upper pitch looked like bullshit and i make it a point never to argue w/ case i'm in complete agreement w/ - we settled for doing as many tr-laps as we could squeeze in before the next round of storm was due to come scuttling in


setting up the tr


soon enough it was time to go, the sky gone all gun-metal grey and the stinging wind, never absent, now laden w/ flecks of white - packed up quick n' bugged out, the big breeze building in leaps and lulls - the walk back on the interstate truly rewarding w/ the wind in our teeth


fresh crash on the on-ramp, an suv in the trees, partly rolled and ruefully smashed - cops n' medics n' onlookers converging from all directions, we passed in silence - troutdale again - parting is such sweet something - bryan off to fetch his little-lovely from a plane bound from old mexico - me to home and snowball fights n' hibernal hijinx w/ la familia after an eye-opening commute, highlit by hitting ice n' oscillating back n' forth off course at 35 mph


fine season in this here city this winter - can we get a third wave i wonder?

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We rolled by and saw someone just under the top on the left side at about 9am? Maybe 9:30? Couldn't see a rope above or below, but I was driving and trying to at least acknowledge the icy road from time to time. Illusion or solo??


Was major stoke to see the first climber of the day, though. We hit Mist Falls right after and had a couple other parties show up before I was halfway up pitch uno. Solidly WI3 line just right-of-center... lots of good stances between lots of spooky bulges- was fun. Well protected alcove, we only got hit with a couple strong gusts, but we also GTFO before the storm hit full blast. Back to Portland by 1!


Damn shame we only get this stuff a time or two a year, if that.

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Great report. The Crown must go down next freeze...


You guys must have been the first party at Mist on Saturday yeah? We showed up behind you (two orange-jacketed bearded monsters), saw the same guy on Crown, wondered the same thing.


Fun climbing on the right of Mist, fun on the left too, ropeless is the way to go over there, with the old Sword of Damocles hanging above, whiched was wildly sculpted from the wind.


Ice Tally for 2013/14 Season:

# of Days


Portland: 3

Bozeman: 2

Canmore: 2


Portland is winnning?!

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