The equinox has come and gone and other than a bit more daylight to play in I haven’t noticed much of a difference! Yesterday was one of the coldest days I’ve had this season as we concluded another AIARE 1 Avalanche Course but first lets talk about how awesome the ice climbing conditions are!
Last Thursday, March 19th, I took former AIARE 1 student Kurt out for a day of Private Ice Climbing instruction. Kurt had a couple seasons under his belt (or harness) but wanted to get a jump start on his skill set. We headed out to Frankenstein and covered quite a bit of ground and information in a very fun filled day!
We started with a very big & blue Standard Route (Grade 3, 350 feet).
Despite it being a little bit of a PITA stopping in the cave I choose to do so as I think every first timer should see this cool feature. Experienced climbers who have seen it can greatly increase communication by skipping this feature and combining pitch 1 & 2 in a long 190 foot pitch.
We topped out around 11:30 and made our way back down to the tracks for some lunch, then headed over to the Amphitheater. There Bob’s Delight, (Grade 3+ 100 feet) was still in great shape, though a little soft. After I led the route I lowered off and Kurt took a top-rope lap on it so we could focus on efficiency & technique.
One more run up it to clean the anchor and I grabbed a shot of Kurt finishing the route.
We had just enough time to squeeze in one more route so we hopped over to Cave Route, and finished on that 75 foot Grade 3. Definitely a fun day out I look forward to climbing with Kurt again soon!
The next day began a full AIARE 1 Avalanche Course that ended yesterday. As is becoming custom this winter we had perfect conditions for the course, despite yesterday’s field day being quite arctic we still learned a lot and enjoyed some fresh powder in the Cutler River!
Despite air temps far below 0 and even colder wind chills we had a really good day up there. Today I’ve spent catching up on errands while preparing for an AIARE 2 Course that starts tomorrow.
While the calendar may say Spring I am certainly still in a winter mindset!