What an amazing weekend. Friday started off this weekend as an ice-climbing ‘trip’ at home. We spent a couple of hours at Hillsborough for some ice. That area has seen some high tides recently – causing the bottoms of the climbs to be gone. Thankfully the ice came down far enough for us to still climb…but it wasn’t great ice :S oh well – we got a couple of climbs in before we headed back to the city…
I enjoyed a solo evening, chillin’ with some left-over pad thai (my new favourite obsession since first having some this fall in Rumney). The Pad Thai (& Wonton Soup) from Vien Dong in Moncton is quite yummy…and was actually better warmed up the next night. I complimented these delicious left-overs with a glass of Resling while watching Season One of Third Watch. 🙂
Saturday was a stellar day…5 of us heading to the waterford area…Parlee Brook…but we weren’t heading to the regular Parlee Proper climbs…we headed to a new(ish) area that another climber documented awhile ago. It’s just behind the cabin … and VERY cool. Parlee North.
When we arrived at the first wall, I got super motivated, and decided that I would take on the challenge of leading my first real ice climb….(I’ve led KF Gully in the Parlee Proper, but it was super low angle). WOW – what a great feeling…I wasn’t spooked, and even with the mossy top-out, I was pretty pleased with my comfort level. It’s been dubbed ‘Treesicle’ on our climbing forum…a great name, as the hanging ‘icicles’ on the trees were very cool!
Everyone climbed up (Mike led up another line on the same face)..then we hiked up the gully to find another beautiful wall (dubbed “Winter Warmer” wall)…
Séb took off on his first lead as well! WHAT an awesome day! He did fabulous! A real natural. And then Mike & Greg led up the middle line. We all took a burn on the center line before heading back to a special surpise climb that Greg has been promising us all day!
We were all pretty stoked to see what this surprise climb was all about. Well – let me tell you – the surprise was worth the wait! WOOHOO!
We decided to go on two ropes for the 5 of us. Greg led up, and then Mike & I were on one rope, with Shaun & Séb on the other. The first pitch was about 80 feet of ice, low angle but fun, and interesting to be climbing below the middle persons, and beside someone…I really enjoyed it.
The second ‘pitch’ was a snow gully…and Greg was able to place pickets on the way. VERY cool! It was neat to stem some of the rock as we went up the gully.
At the top of the gully was a chockstone, which required some moss-eneering to get around 🙂 Frozen moss is actually quite easy to move around on. There was some really nice ice just above the chockstone…the variety on this alpin’ish type climb was superb…BUT we hadn’t even gotten to the surprise yet!
We made a bit of a traverse through some alders (to be swacked at a later date), and arrived at the surprise…the entrance of a ice/rock cave! WOOT WOOT! This was gonna be fun. It was wide enough with ice on the bottom, but you could also use the rock sides. The boys all had to remove their packs to shimmy up and through…I’m glad I have narrow girlie shoulders 🙂
Then we all solo’d up some low grade ice to the top! Found the trail to the Friar’s Nose, and headed out! What a spectacular climb!!! My definite favourite!
We headed back to Moncton, and enjoyed some company over drinks & burgers at the Pumphouse!
Sunday, I was tired…but keen for some more climbing…so after a bit of a later start, we headed into Glebe. I thought I might want to lead up Glebe Falls. We rapped in, only to discover that a lot of it was wet from the southern exposure and rains we’ve had. We went to check out The Lampion that the boys did last Sunday, and it was almost totally out. :S
So we figured we’d do a couple of runs up the practice walls…WOW the ice there was hero!
I led a route on the upper practice wall…hmm – I think I like this leading thing…even if it IS on ICE 🙂 hehe
We finished our climbs at the practice wall, and then headed back into the amphitheater. What an amazing day! The weather made the ice plastic and beautiful! I was in heaven!!!!