November 16, 2014
Winter is finally here in the Wasatch. Numerous folks were out and about this weekend enjoying the 10-12″ of fresh snow up in the mountains. While they were hitting the still closed resorts for their skiing, it still looked like fun. I’m sure I’ll be getting out for some skiing after the next two weeks which will be busy and keep me out of town for the most part.
Today was not a skiing day for me. I headed to the Sundial with Matt and Eric for a little early season ice. While there has been a bit of ice here and there that people have climbed I haven’t been able to get out and enjoy it thus far. I needed a long low intensity aerobic workout for my training so the two hour approach fit the bill. We more or less went out with the hope that there’d be ice since none of the social media sources I saw mentioned that there was any definitively. We assumed since there was some last year in similar conditions.
The day was cold, but amazingly clear and only light winds in the drainage we were in. The approach up to the Sundial wasn’t too bad as far as the snow since many hikers use it frequently. Once at Lake Blanche we were able to see that indeed the objective was in; 100ft of WI3+ ice. Thankfully we were the only folks there today. I lead up the pitch. I was a little rusty being the first pitch of ice this year so it took longer than normal, but I got to the top without any major issues.
Hooray for winter and more ice in the near future! This year is a new record, ice before Thanksgiving. A whole 3 weeks earlier than my previous best.