Belly of the Beast
WI5+ M6-7 C1 X
Avg: 3 from 2 votes
|Type:||Trad, Aid, Mixed, Ice, 750 ft, 6 pitches, Grade IV|
|FA:||Gary Newmeyer and Nik Mirhashemi, 1/8/15|
|Page Views:||799 total, 22/month|
|Shared By:||Nik Mirhashemi on Jan 15, 2015|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac|
DescriptionThis new route is the culmination of three separate attempts in mid-December 2014 and early January 2015. The climb takes a line up the major chimney system right of the Ames Ice Hose, passing through several chockstones and a few rock bands before joining up with an ice flow that can be seen from the highway up and right of the Hose. Check avy conditions before tackling this beast as it can become a major garbage chute, and even in good conditions you will experience periodic spindrift.
P1. Do a short pitch through an M4 chockstone followed by a slog through deep snow until you find yourself looking up at the first major chockstone. This pitch can be soloed if the chockstone is mostly buried. Belay off a #0.5 Camalot on the left wall (100 feet).
P2. Chimney up below chockstone placing gear where you can (a #4 comes in handy). Pull first roof to stance in/below squeeze chimney where you can place a #1. Squeeze and stem past chockstone, and then tunnel through a sizeable snow wall/mushroom to alcove below next set of chockstones. Belay off slung pinch (M6+, 100 feet).
P3. Strenuous chimneying brings you below the next chockstones where you can get your first piece. The first ascent party used two points of aid here before pulling the roof utilizing very wild stemming. Tunnel through another very large snow mushroom to yet another chockstone. Easy M4 stemming gets you past this one and into a deep canyon. Slog through steep snow until you are halfway up the canyon where you can place a KB in the left wall for a belay or continue up higher and belay off screws, though youll be exposed to rock and icefall from the next pitch (M6+ C1, 150 feet).
P4. Climb steep, thin ice into an ice choked offwidth flare (WI5+). Use your best OW technique to fire the exit onto the steep snow above (M6/7R). Continue more or less straight up through a few rock bands (M5+ X) separated by exposed steep snow for another 100+ feet, and then through a short section of frozen turf. Belay off a small tree just left and down from the obvious ice flow above. It may be better to break this pitch up after exiting the OW/flare section (if you brought a drill and bolt kit) as you must simul-climb the last 50+ feet to reach the tree (250+ feet).
P5. Above the belay, more frozen turf leads to a rightward traverse on moss covered slabs to reach the main ice flow. About 100 feet of WI4 brings you to a ledge below the final rock band. Belay off a #0.75 and yellow C3 (M5/6 R/X, WI4, 150 feet).
P6. From the belay, step up and right through frozen turf and some poor rock. Battle past a pine tree to the snow and trees above and posthole up and left until the angle eases. Belay off a tree (M4, 100 feet).
Descent: the easiest way down is to work your way down and climbers left to the top of the ice hose, and then follow those raps back to the base of the wall. In the event that you cant find the top of the hose or you reach the top after dark (which is likely), the safest options is to traverse climbers left until you can bypass the entire Ames Wall and drop back down to the trail. Depending on snow conditions, this can take 2 hours or more, but it requires no downclimbing or rappelling.