The last few weeks we drove some distance. We decided to head to closer climbing at Kushog Lake and a big fat flow called Blue Boy, WI2+.
The sun was starting to rise a little higher in the sky, promoting melting mid-afternoon even though temperatures were sub-zero.
Most of the day it snowed. The snow was the fine type that settles then melts making everything wet. We got soaked but had a blast!
I led to the trees at the top and set a top rope on the right so we could run laps on the right.
After a while I moved the top rope to climber’s left so that we could run laps up more vertical terrain.
We had a great day of practising technique on ice that changed character a great deal through the day.
Ice is an interesting medium. On placing ice screws I noticed that the upper layers were soft and sun-baked.
Then there was very hard ice for four inches or so. It was almost impossible to get the screws in. Below that layer – air pockets. Pure air for another four inches.
Ice isn’t what you think it is. It’s a complex medium to climb and to understand. Care must be taken!
It was a good day from one point of view – bulges! There is a certain technique to getting from vertical ice to the top of a bulge.
Get good hooks on top of the bulge. Walk the feet up and stick your butt out.
Get hooks further away from you and walk feet up a bit more. Stick butt out further. Rinse and repeat until you can get feet on top of the bulge.
So many laps up bulges gave us much needed training in this area.