Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Screaming and Kicking Until the End

This winter has been the gift that keeps on giving. I was out a few days ago in the Catskills and was pleasantly surprised to find that the rain early last week did very little to damage the ice. There's still a ton of ice to climb there, and many of the ravines are really fat.

If you're still climbing ice this season definitely use caution on steeper sections of climbing. While climbing Buttermilk Falls the other day I experienced stress cracking on every single pitch. The constant freeze-thaw cycle, without the addition of new moisture, has left many climbs with dry, brittle ice. Steep, unsupported pillars or free-hangers are probably out of the question. Otherwise, being able to enjoy winter this late in the season is amazing.

Here are a few recent photos of days out in the Catskills.

Alan Kline on Purgatory, 3/10/14

Slavo on the final pitch of Buttermilk Falls, 3/16/14