百竜壁アイスプロジェクト WHITE DRAGON WALL ICE PROJECT 2015

northern honshu’s Sendai area has the best ice & mixed climbing in Japan. possibly asia. ‘best’ means the largest range of routes worth coming across japan or around the world for. these are not fun little local routes, rather they are committed, steep / overhanging and technical routes a good distance from the car. you have to work for them, they dont come easily.

working it out: some routes are long forgotten, most are unclimbed, all need time to figure out, clean and assess.

the White Dragon Wall Project is now in its 3rd winter, with the first trip done. 5 days in the valley showed us 3 things – that early conditions on the White Dragon Wall are fluctuating wildly, that conditions on the opposite wall are the best weve seen them with more route than ever, and that viewed from the opposite wall the White Dragon Wall is waaaaay more extensive than previously thought.

early images here, the good ones are on the way time & supplies: the equation for going to work new areas out boils down to hard work and preparation. choices made in the car park resonate for the whole trip.

 the process of working routes out means getting what you need to where you will use it. when that beta isnt clearly defined you have to cover as many options as possible

 extended stays mean eating properly and taking the time to relax. multi-day efforts need more sophisticated energy consumption than just snickers bars and instant coffee

our week-long base in the valley. comfortable and protected.

 

tho when the snow front hit things looked a bit different.