Hit Hard, Kick Harder: Ice on the MR 11-21-09

Originally posted on the WPSMB on 11-23-09

A big group of us headed up the MR Saturday to hit the ice below Girl Scout (Thor, Frog Pond, Dave Kirk) Lake. Conditions getting there were really less than optimal:

1) Trail is dry essentially to LBSL. The creek crossing below the E-ledges has some tremendous ice coverage, so watch your step. E-ledges are clear .

2) Snow coverage above LBSL is spotty , dense, hard, and slick. Some leap-frogging between rocks and scree is possible, but I would at least recommend trekking poles for touch balance to avoid slipping.

3) The trail and the slabs below Clyde Meadow are covered in thick, white, hard ice. I couldn’t tell if the outlet from CM was running, but it was a solid-looking white path as well.

4) Snow conditions just below the falls were mostly hard-pack that allowed for just enough front-pointing with boots to walk up. I would imagine there are some areas higher (the chute above Iceberg) that might have similar conditions.

5) The ice is fat and in on the falls . The middle line is where the bulk of water flow is happening, and produced quite a shower and rope freezing when we were on it. Watch your step at the base: the areas of hard ice are not consistent across the belay line, and Miguel broke through to water at one point. I tested another area with my kneecap, and, unfortunately, lost that battle.

6) Afternoon freezing is really kicking in by 1500-1600. The descent to LBSL through the rocks was pretty unpleasant and slick. Again, poles would have been nice.

A few pics from the day:

We spent a great night at the Lone Pine CG, then hit the rocks in the Alabama Hills on Sunday. The Shark’s Fin was our first target, and we covered the routes with ropes across the east side. I took a stab at the 10b (top rope) on the south edge of the arete, but the overhang was a killer. Knuckles bore the brunt of the day there, but we finished the day at Paul’s Paradise with some nice 7’s and 8’s on the face.

Pics from the MR are here.

Pics from the Alabama Hills are here.

Thanks Miguel, Kevin, Gibran, Will, Joan, Christine, Dave, Amy, Mike, Fred, and Justin for a great weekend. Let me know about the next trip so we can work on our log-flipping into the fire skillz! \:o

From the luckiest girl in the world: Climb Hard, Be Safe.



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