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Deep Freeze 

WI5-6 M5 R

Type:  Trad, Mixed, Ice
Original: WI5-6 M5 R [details]
FA: Alex Lowe and Eric Winkelman
Season: Fall and Winter (sporadic
Page Views: 7,700
Submitted By: Kelly Cordes on Oct 17, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (11)
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The ominous, deep cleft high and left on Thatchtop, above the Loch. Usually best approached from the right after climbing Necrophelia (though other ways, including a sometimes formed direct chimney, can be had), making for a great day of hard ice and mixed. From the shelf atop Necro, the climbing is easy and rambling to reach the crux final pillar, which is most often climbed as a steep ice pitch. However, when the pillar isn't touching, there can be brilliant mixed climbing - fairly hard, and all free-hangers are serious (and pumpy!), of course. These conditions are normally found early season, so be ready! A great route.


If it's all ice, it can protect with all ice screws. However, excellent cracks border the bottom half of the left-hand side of the crux final pillar - assorted nuts, and finger to hand-sized cams to form a medium rock rack are good. There's a fixed anchor at the top and in the gully all the way down (unless you walk-off left), but be prepared to leave your own if you can't find them or they're gone.

Toprope Protection 

Not applicable

Photos of Deep Freeze Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: John Chobobian climbing Deeep Freeze, 11/2005.
John Chobobian climbing Deeep Freeze, 11/2005.
Rock Climbing Photo:
Rock Climbing Photo: Thanks for the belay, Ralph.
Thanks for the belay, Ralph.
Rock Climbing Photo: Billy leading up the Deep Freeze pillar.
Billy leading up the Deep Freeze pillar.
Rock Climbing Photo: Billy pointing out our route for the North Gully s...
BETA PHOTO: Billy pointing out our route for the North Gully s...
Rock Climbing Photo: A nice ice pitch ahead, below the crux pitch.
A nice ice pitch ahead, below the crux pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Topping out the direct start.
Topping out the direct start.
Rock Climbing Photo: Deep Freeze.
Deep Freeze.
Rock Climbing Photo: Here's yer sign.
Here's yer sign.
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben Hoyt on the beginning of the pitch.
Ben Hoyt on the beginning of the pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben Hoyt leaning on the lower icicle.
Ben Hoyt leaning on the lower icicle.

Comments on Deep Freeze Add Comment
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By Kelly Cordes
Oct 25, 2001

Last Wed, Oct 17, Scott DeCapio and I climbed this route after Necrophelia - sorry I slacked in reporting sooner. Was far better than Necro, offering superb mixed climbing. The final pillar wasn't anywhere close to touching, but great rock climbing (felt 5.9-ish - good pick locks & hand jams) with good pro led to it. Unfortunately, the cracks ended, so the awkward and strenuous climbing onto the upper dagger were run-out (unless you want to place screws in it to experiment with natural selection). Water was running off the pillar, it was chilly, and it's colder now - it may be getting fatter.
By Edward Corder II
Nov 23, 2004

Deep Freeze in good shape, climbed it a few weeks ago. The first pitch is WI3 with good rock gear. The 2nd pitch is 30 feet of dry tooling (M5) to a exciting yet awkward chimney. Mostly good gear the whole way. On the way down my ice tool managed to work loose out of my harness and [disappear]. It is a Cork hammer with a new pick, reward if found.
By Greg Sievers
From: Bozeman, MT
Dec 10, 2007

When the (start) chimney pitch of Deep Freeze is being a nasty bugger, and the tunnel is choked with endless sugar; the first WI3 pitch of North Gully on Thatchtop makes a great way to access Deep Freeze. The broad terrace safely traverses to the right and is an easy walk when dry. Even with snow, it was easy to simlu. climb. It will deliver you in the gully below the WI4 pitch of Deep Freeze. Enjoy.
By Ben Collett
Nov 12, 2009

The direct gully start on this is very much worth doing. When dry, it offers fun dry tooling winding around a couple of chockstones and turns the route into more of a full day.
By erik rieger
From: Ridgway, CO
Nov 3, 2013

As Ben says, the direct start really adds to the route. Once in the lower gully, head up the arching thin cracks with the fixed angle—this is on the right side of the cleft directly below the first chockstone. This involves steep and pretty in your face dry tooling with okay protection. You can also burrow deep into the back of the chimney, but it's not as good. You'll wind behind the first chockstone then out the front of the other. The direct start makes the route close to 1,000' long, though there's plenty of easy rambling.
By Captain America
From: Longmont, CO
Dec 4, 2014

Climbed the direct start via the right hand crack yesterday. As a start for the Deep Freeze pillar, I'd rank it #2. Necro is the best (if it's in with some ice), #3 is probably the Thatchtop Gully to the east and a traverse on the upper bench. Lastly is the adventure climbing deep in the cleft of the lower gully. This is often a battle with snow mushrooms.

The right hand crack as previously stated starts as in your face dry tooling with decent pick locks and crampon placements. The gear is ok with a fixed cam lower on the route. There is a short airy traverse on the gully wall prior to reaching the upper ledge system. A bit of a committing move here without great feet. The remainder of the first pitch involves nice turf sticks on somewhat easy/runout climbing to the anchor. Call it M5+ on the 'Wellborn alpine scale'

The Deep Freeze pillar was touching down for us, but the upper part was an eggshell soda straw, completely hollow. We bailed at the fixed wire, not wanting to bring the upper part down.

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