Avg: 4 from 39 votes
|Type:||Ice, 2300 ft (697 m), 9 pitches, Grade V|
|FA:||FA: Burgess Twins, Bugs McKeith, Charlie Porter|
|Page Views:||17,077 total · 114/month|
|Shared By:||Dave Rone on Oct 23, 2010|
|Admins:||Dave Rone, Tom Gnyra, Richard Rose|
Polar Circus offers nine pitches of ice, with the crux pitch last. The bottom pitches are separated by some gully walking, which can be strenuous if the snow is deep. Eventually you will reach the Pencil (WI6). When formed this is a free-standing, 150' tall icicle. A most impressive feature. Usually, however, the Pencil will be broken off near the top, and this being the case, climb up and right on easy ice to a bolted belay station. While it may be possible to climb a couple pitches thin ice up from the anchors, most parties will continue up right, to some small trees that can be used for running belays. After the trees, cut back left, and traverse an exposed snow basin back to the gully below the main falls.
As you climb each of the upper tiers in 2 pitches. Bolted anchors/rappel stations exist at the base of the upper two tiers, and at the top of the last pitch. There is also a bolted station mid-way on the right of the last pitch. You will also likely find some in situ v-threads
Be aware of snow conditions and avalanche hazard!!!
The descent involves between 9 and 11 rappels, depending on where you left your packs. After rappelling the upper tiers, you can descend the drainage to a rappel anchor at the top of the Pencil, rather than backtrack the snow slopes. This will save about an hour and it is an exciting rappel. Be sure to check the rappel anchor carefully!!