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kevino

[TR] Cody, WY - Various Classics 3/1/2015

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Trip: Cody, WY - Various Classics

 

Date: 3/1/2015

 

Trip Report:

Ah, the South Fork of Shoshone. Nothing quite like it. David and I first climbed with John, way back in the fall of 2009. He played tour guide on our first trip to Cody: Early Season Carter Mountain Ice

That trip yielded a lot of driving and some ice.

 

Fast forward 4.5 years later: I'm out of school and working full time. David is currently slaving away on night shift. John is traveling the world. Somehow we were able to line up 4 days and rendezvoused at the Double Diamond Ranch and climb some great routes.

 

Day 1: Pillars of the Community, WI4+

John has been talking about this route for as long as I've known him - and for good reason. Imagine our surprise when we got out of the car and saw it in.

 

All smiles.

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On the left.

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Yep, still looks steep.

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We soloed the lower step, so we could fire the upper ice in one pitch.

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This one was all John.

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Did I mention it was his first day of ice this season?

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Send time!

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Evening light on the hike out.

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Day 2: The Moratorium, WI 4+

Cold, windy, snowy. Not sure it ever got above 5 degrees that day, and the wind chill was definitely <0.

 

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Thankfully John was in AK training mode.

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My turn to lead...A little more ice than seen in your guidebook!

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John and David warming their hands back up.

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It was a belay jacket kind of day.

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Boom.

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When horizontal meets vertical.

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Cruising up the last bit to the top.

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Don't Stress the Sheep.

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Day 3: Mean Green

Hoping to get some more vert today, we headed to Mean Green. We found it to be lean and brown. The second pitch pillar looked unappealing in it's current shape so we just TR'd the first pitch.

 

The wind was still blowing, causing some enjoyable spindrift for David.

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David getting back into the rhythm after a year break of ice climbing.

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John getting a taste of the Shoshone.

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Day 4: Sendero Illuminoso, WI 4

John had to leave to return to parental responsibilities. I've always wanted to climb Sendero so it was an easy choice.

 

So asthetic.

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It climbed as good as it looks.

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Scenic hike out.

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Double Diamond Ranch

We stayed here throughout our trip. This is their second season in operation with Matt, the owner and his wife running the place. Good rates, clean facilities, great food and lively saloon. If you guys are heading to Cody, we recommend them. Plus, you can't beat a 5 minute drive from your cabin to the ice climb.

 

Double Diamond Ranch

 

Morning view from the bunkhouse.

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Night life.

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One for the memory books. This was one of my favorite ice trips ever, due in large part to our stay at Double Diamond X Ranch. Matt and Jenine are some of the best people you'll ever meet, and they have truly developed a special place to stay. A few things:

 

- Matt is a better cook than you. Go for his meals in the lodge, you won't regret it. You'd be hard pressed to find better food in town, plus you skip the 45 minute Wyoming stand-off with wildlife known as the South Fork Road

- You're a five minute drive from any climb in the valley. Big days are easier to pull off, as are slow relaxing ones. Enjoy

- Ask if there are other climbers staying there. Go find them when the day is done and meet-up in the saloon. Swap tall tales, play pool on the antique table, and order a double of Wyoming Whiskey. We ran into another party of 3 from WA. Good times!

 

As we were packing we were already discussing next year's trip to the South Fork and Double Diamond X Ranch. Go there, and tell your friends! Let's help Matt spread the word in the climbing community.

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Good times Kevin and David. Let's do it again soon.

 

Second the recommendation on the DDX bunkhouse; much improvement with the new owners and AAC members still get their discount.

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I live in Portland and will either fly through SEA to Billings on Alaska Air or through SLC to Billings on Delta. Price usually dictates which carrier I use.

 

You can fly into Cody but it bumps the price significantly. I'd recommend either flying to Billings (2 hours to Cody; 2:45 to the Ranch) or Bozeman (3:30 to Cody; 4 hours to the Ranch) if you plan on climbing in Hyalite or the Beartooths in addition to Cody.

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