Hush Hush Crag! 10th February!

We ended up in Muskoka at a crag that is open according to everyone we spoke to. Perhaps the rumour about it being closed to climbing is to meant to keep this wonderful place safe and secure for those who started the whispers.

Hush Hush Crag (ok, that’s not its real name) is quite beautiful, even if it had taken a beating in the warm weather of the week. I first climbed there in 2005 when I was cutting my teeth on ice.

Chris heads over to our climb.

We arrived at the crag on a cold Sunday morning and geared up. Chris forgot his harness. You have to understand that this isn’t the first time. I have a feeling Chris wants to be a soloist or just hates climbing with me and is flipping me the bird by forgetting important equipment.

We decided slings would make a good swami belt (a homemade harness) and headed through thigh and chest deep snow to the crag. Unloading the gear we found that I had forgotten the double ropes. Luckily we had a single 65m aptly named sexy in Chris’s bag.

Hush Hush Crag pillar looks bigger in person. WI4 when it is in, it has two tiers to the top at 40m.

The condition of the crag was really interesting. Climber’s left of the pillar was soft and slushy and wet. Climber’s right was solid hard ice. In between the left and right were sketchy looking chandeliers hanging precariously from the rock above. Had the warm weather made these icy beauties dangerous and prone to falling or were they solid. We opted to run to the right and hang around Psycho Yuppie Mutual Funds area.

Chris passing me the only gear for the route. A single stubby ice screw.
The upper section of Psycho Yuppie Mutual Finds, WI3+ from the first tier.

We hacked around the crag for the day trying not to stand under falling ice (there was some) and ate subs and drank hot tea. We ended up doing lots and lots of laps half way up Psycho, where we had set a top rope. We exchanged my harness and worked on technique for the majority of the day. Forgetting the doubles, not having two harnesses and having a ropey rope took its toll. What do you do in that situation? Climb what you can, hack at ice, work on technique and have a blast! And boy it was fun!

The back of an ice climber’s car!