South Face / Lady Washington
WI5 M5-6 R
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BETA PHOTO: South Face Lady Wash. 10-22-06
Image provided by J...
Stories of ice climbs on the south face have been around since the early 1980s. This is quintessential, ephemeral ice. Forms in 1-3 days when it's cold and cloudy, and because is due south facing can be gone in a few hours.
October 22, 2006
Mt. Lady Washington ice is IN and was fuckin' awesome. Thick by her account.
I led 2 mixed M5-WI4-5 pitches on the far right side of the south face. It's a pretty obvious slab leading to a column in a corner. The real meat is the start of the second pitch - with a plumb 2' x 2' laminated post x 60' tall. Short sections of verglas above that as it leads into a moderate chimney but only a few consecutive thin moves at a time 'til you can stick some 4" wad. The rock pro was scarce (but you'll want a full single rack) but stubbies usually went all the way in. (I did not use any pins). I left a 2 nut anchor above and 20' right of the top pitch - and a 60m rap put us back to the start.
I broke it into 2 pitches because I couldn't judge the distances and there's a good size wide step between the 2. As usual, much of the ice is brittle, but there were nice soft spots at the top of each cruxy area. The trail is nicely snow covered and walks well - the Lady Wash traverse trail is getting drifted in by wind but doesn't warrant snowshoes.
Someone could also do a 200' traverse to the left from the top of the 2nd pitch, and explore what looks like another 2 pitches in the central upper portion of the wall.
The stuff on the far left, that emanated from the base of a huge black roof, looks wicked and rad. Too tuff for me tho'.
The blustery cloud cover allowed us a good, windy, cold day. 20 degree w/ 20mph wind & gusts to 40. The usual spindrift. I'm glad I threw on the extra layer and mircofleece vest. Gortex jacket w/ a hood was a must due to the wicked spindrift and white tornados.
Directly above Peacock Pool, where the Long's Peak/Chasm Meadow trail traverses the South Face of Mount Lady Washington.
A half dozen screws if you're lucky and a single rock rack. Maybe pins.
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