Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ice Climbing - Lincoln Falls 3.20.11

Me leading the center route ramp
Man, the 2010/11 ice climbing season has been great.  I have climbed so many different areas and everyday has been incredible.  Lincoln Falls just south of Breckenridge was definitely my favorite area this year.  I think all in all I have been up there four times.  I returned to Lincoln Falls the weekend after my ski vacation with family in Winter Park with a crew for the fat spring conditions.  The falls are very wide and have multiple overflow areas that create mixed lines and delicate curtains and pillars.  The ice is always thick because of the aspect of the hill and therefore the freeze/melt cycles occur daily.  This weekend was after a good warm week and the fall was particularly thick and there was even a curtain on the right side of the main fall.  I had my eye on leading the easy center ramp to warm up and then tackle the pillar/curtain on the right.  There was even a thin smear mixed line to the far right that looked like it had just come in a couple days before.  Ryann was back in town for her Spring Break from UNL and we decided to head up to Lincoln Falls with Mike, Crystal and Brian Williams.  It was Brian's first time ice climbing and we were excited to get him hooked on it.  I roped up on the easy route first and we all got laps.

It was pretty good weather for the day so we decided to bring two ropes and get a couple routes going at the same time.  I was the only leader so after I hung the first route I wanted to get on the significantly harder right side line.  The left side probably went at nothing harder than WI 2 but the right route probably pushed into the WI 3+ area.  The top half was a shallow dihedral and took stemming well, so overall it wasn't that hard, but placing screws became a problem just under the topout and so I sprinted through the last 10 feet.  Chains were up top and I was happy to see that, because I wanted to top rope the thin smear mixed line just to the right.  Everyone had a great time climbing both routes.  Brian Williams did an amazing job for his first time ice climbing and he seemed super psyched to try it again.

Brian Williams, right side route, getting ready for the upper section
Crystal getting good sticks on the first route
Check out more after the break!

Brian Williams on the first route
Crystal, ready for battle!
Mike and Crystal racing to the top
Mike doing a variation of the center line
My lady, Ryann, doin' work!!!
Ryann shaking out before the harder upper portion
Flying through the upper section
The last route I did was the smear mixed line to the right of the main flow.  The second we arrived earlier that morning I knew I wanted to give it a go.  It looked super delicate and technical, as well as powerful with what looked like some pretty pumpy sections.  It did not disappoint.  Check out the pictures and come back soon for the ski video and maybe another ice video!!!
The smear!
Super delicate, you could see right
through the ice!

The precarious topout


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