Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Split Mountain - ICE!

Split Mountain East Couloir
Nov. 2005
Timing is everything. And I timed this climb just right. Pavel and Kris joined me for this trip but they climbed as a team and belayed the ice pitches while I soloed. We got a pre-dawn start and I met them on top - barely. I was just about to head down because I was getting very cold on top waiting when I saw them coming up into the notch between the north and south summits. Pitch 1 held a short pitch of WI3, then a little slogging to the crux ice pitch. About 100 ft of WI3 followed by several hundred feet of ~WI2 slabs. Then onerous post holing to the summit. I descended while Kris and Pavel were still on the summit. We met back at our camp at Red Lake and hiked out to the car. 

Sunrise and headlamp

Approaching pitch 1 ice with pitch 2 visible above

Approaching pitch 2 ice

pitch 2, steeper than it looks

Looking down the ice slabs

My tracks coming up out of the couloir at the notch

Looking down St. Jean couloir on the descent

Looking across at the route from the descent