Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Climbing into Darkness

The rains of Fall 2013 continue to deliver rare works of frozen masterpieces.  The G-man and I enjoyed a reprieve from our usual long slog to Long's for a pleasant hike to the south side of Loch Vale and the Thatchtop-Powell buttress.
Necrophilia vanishing before our eyes

With a full compliment of gear I started up the sublimating face.  This was my consolation for backing away from the Smear of Fear.  Here was a climb I could deal with; thin ice, but decent rock protection and only short runouts.

Geared out (photo by G. Laurens)
Driving through Necro (photo by G. Laurens)
Eyeing the Necromancer (photo by G. Laurens)

Gordon following the sexual deviant
Approaching the thin line of the Necromancer
Only smears remain of the Necromancer 'Pillar'

Pulling hard through the crux
Gordon continued past the belay and on to the start of the buttress bench.  With some easy scrambling we made our way to the Deep Freeze approach ice in the next gully to the left.

Gordon leading the approach ice with anticipation building to what we will find
Deep Freeze as big as it gets!  No free hangers here.
On the Pillar (photo G. Laurens)
Moving through the middle (photo G. Laurens)

Steep ice approaching the crux

Precision swings on thin ice

Sunset at the top of Deep Freeze

A clawed hand appears from the Darkness!

Thankfully it's attached to Gordon.
A rap down Deep Freeze pillar, the approach ice, some scrambling in the dark, and a long rap down Necrophilia brought us back to the base and the usual apres climb gear sort.  A great day in the mountains...

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