guerrilla climbing: steep, cool, with friends, in the dead of night.
neither climbing nor photos are easy when all you’ve got to go by is the spot from a head torch
a clear night at about -13 made for nice conditions. the added paranoia of getting spotted added to the pump of steep ice
the right stuff: Polartec being used in 3 of its forms – Neoshell, Windpro & Powerstretch
it wasnt huge and it wasnt grand, but it was a guerrilla-style caper with good friends for a long-awaited objective and we pulled it off and thats what i call fun.
after a bit of recon in the daylight we went back after dark and the plan unfolded perfectly – good enough to even swap the boots and tools around so everyone who wanted to could get a climb in. after much deliberation we decided to top rope it: the ice too steep, the top-out too sketchy, getting off the top logisticly a problem and shouting calls too risky for our cover. but what we sacrificed in boldness climbing we made up for dodging the security cameras.
a good little line too it turned out, well worth climbing in its own right. 15m of thinnish, partially hanging, vertical, nicely formed ice. slight vertical chandeliering made for great hooks but not too difficult for feet placements. the bottom 3m or so slightly overhangs once wed excavated the snow, and the top 3m thinned out to be a little hairy but worked out ok. i think it would go at maybe WI5- on lead as placing screws would be solid work.
thumbs up to nori & junko, beau and grassy, and the old guy who caught us scoping it out in the day, but after hearing the plan liked it so gave us the security beta and promised not to tell anyone.