Sunday, May 31, 2009

Colorado Ice Climbing Conditions May 28, 2009: Dark Star, RMNP

Thursday, May 28 Tom and I went up to Meeker to look for ice and luckily found some, in Dark Star and Right Chimney. However the temps were much higher than forecast and the ice was far from bonding to the rock at the crux of Dark Star. A fair amount of post-holing was required to get up there (starting where you go left from the "trail" from the Loft descent - the photo with the Big Horn Sheep that Tom took shows how dry the approach in general is now, above tree line), and it was nice to see a wall neither of us had been to. We were in a full on snowstorm mixed with thunder around 13,200 feet, watch out for storms! Right Corner looks very fun.

Above is Dark Star, below Right Corner is the obvious corner system, left of center (Dark Star is off to the right)

Tom, 70m below, about to follow.

I have abandoned alpine climbing for the spring, with just a few days left til I depart for K2 I feel fit and ready. A few days of rock climbing in the sun would be nice. Final days before trips are very fun, last minute preparations include: resole favorite approach shoes, attend SCARPA sales meeting - a great way for me to see the new product coming for Spring 2009, a meeting at CAMP to pick up some new things, one last photo shoot and then a bunch of sitting and waiting for Fedex and UPS to deliver new clothes from Marmot, rope from Bluewater and goggles from Julbo. Other things might arrive if I am lucky.

Above, Fabrizio Zangrilli, me, at the crux of Dark Star. Below a storm fast approaching as seen from near the top of Meeker