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Hard Ice on TR?


Original Post
Hunter Enochs · · Cookeville, TN · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 15

I am hoping to expand my skills as an ice climber this season. I dont feel I will get there leading WI2-3 gullies all season, and yet am hesitant to jump on steep ice without some more practice. Any suggestions on where I can find some toprope accessible WI4-5? Closer to Park City the better.

Sunny-D · · SLC, Utah · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 700

Provo Canyon has tons of hard ice that can be top roped.

josh holmes · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2008 · Points: 215

The Donorcicle in Joe's is easy to get to the top of.

Hunter Enochs · · Cookeville, TN · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 15

Examples of the 4-5 toprope-able ice in provo? Ive spent a couple of climbing days there, been over this site and the Falcon guide and am not seeing anything obvious.

Michael Davidson · · Bellevue, WA · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 125
Hunter Enochs wrote:Examples of the 4-5 toprope-able ice in provo? Ive spent a couple of climbing days there, been over this site and the Falcon guide and am not seeing anything obvious.
The apron of Stairway to Heaven can definitely be WI4 and there are multiple lines there. I believe you can walk around the first pitch of the Fang (WI3 if you take the easiest line). Same goes for the routes west of Stairway. Many of them you can walk around to the top and the walk isn't that long.
Allen Sanderson · · On the road to perdition · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,187
Michael Davidson wrote: The apron of Stairway to Heaven can definitely be WI4 and there are multiple lines there. I believe you can walk around the first pitch of the Fang (WI3 if you take the easiest line). Same goes for the routes west of Stairway. Many of them you can walk around to the top and the walk isn't that long.
The apron is at best WI3 but that said you can walk around many of the lower pitches. Over the weekend while doing to Bridal Veil I noticed that if one is careful one could climb the first pitch of Bridal Veil and then walk out the ledge west and get to the anchors at the top of White Nihgtmare which is a nice little WI4.

One suggestion for learning to lead on steeper ice is that when on WI3 like the bulge pitch on GWI take the steepest line.

You best best for lots of TRing is a trip to Ouray.
Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 15,387

I guess "hard" is all relative...

You can find options on the apron on Stairway that should feel harder than WI3. If not, just drop a tool and climb. If that's too easy, drop the other and go sans ice tools.

Apron on Stairway couple weekends ago:

Stairway apron 12/4/11

Stairway apron option 12/11

bsmoot · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 2,199

Hunter:

If you really want to expand your ice climbing skills, you should try leading something steep. Top roping can give you a false sense of security. I never learned that way. Most of my climbing partners didn't either.

Start out with something short and protect it well. You can always back off.

zoso · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2007 · Points: 495

Also, try leashing your pics to your harness. That way you can cheat a little and dog on a well placed axe. Sink a screw and then you're off again.

ddriver · · SLC · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,344

When/if the Scruffy Band in LCC comes fully in there's a WI5ish curtain on the left thats in line with the tree rap from the standard WI3 line. It's not that dependable, however.

Crag Dweller · · New York, NY · Joined Jul 2006 · Points: 125

remember, you can always clip yourself into a tool via a PAS (or similar set up) to hang and recover if you get pumped out.

i'm not advocating getting in over your head but wanted to point out that there are ways to work up to harder grades without having to top rope. plus, it's a good trick to get comfortable with in case you need it.

Hunter Enochs · · Cookeville, TN · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 15

Thanks for the pointers guys. Really looking forward to some of that steeper stuff getting in. Hopefully getting out Fri, hopefully get the chance to push myself a bit.

Martin le Roux · · Superior, CO · Joined Jul 2003 · Points: 279
bsmoot wrote:If you really want to expand your ice climbing skills, you should try leading something steep. Top roping can give you a false sense of security. I never learned that way. Most of my climbing partners didn't either. Start out with something short and protect it well. You can always back off.
There's a guy named Will Gadd who might disagree with you.

gravsports.blogspot.com/201…

"Climb on toprope more. Many, many laps. Practice putting in screws, climbing with and without crampons, hooking, making placements, etc... At least 150 30M laps is the bare minimum to have any sort of understanding of ice."
RonB · · Northern VA · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 265

You might try climbing those easer routes again only this time try placing screws while fully on the steeper sections. Don't forget to put an easy screw in at the obvious stances to cover your behind. Try a fifi hook girth looped to your harness loop or extended with a sling. Tuck it away and use in desperate spots on a screw or tool to cop a rest. Practice doing so on the ground though before on lead…

Tom Hanson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 950

Be careful toproping on ice.
Back in the late seventies I was toproping some vertical ice in northern Minnestota.
Just as I swung my tool my belayer took up some rope and I ended up taking a core sample of my rope, effectively chopping three quarters of the way through my cord.
That tr became a solo rather quickly.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Northern Utah & Idaho
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