2020-03-07 Santaquin Climbing

March 7, 2020

Carly, Nate, and I squeaked out one last day of Utah ice climbing on Saturday. Temps were predicted to be warm, but Backoff (WI4+) is not a free standing pillar like the last couple days I’ve been out (1, 2). With the temperatures as warm as they’ve been I thought we might be able to ride bikes up the road for most of the two miles to the climb. This was a good idea for about 200 yards then the road was mostly covered with snow and ice. Nate and Carly had slightly better luck than I did on their mountain bikes. I only have an old 10-speed road bike.

Angel of Fear has finally gone out of condition after about a month of being in. It is pretty amazing that it has lasted as long as it has given the warm temperatures for much of the last month.

We did Backoff, which was in hero ice conditions and thicker than anticipated at the top, though getting right to the anchors was tricky. While on Backoff we hear a wet avalanche on Squash Head one drainage over. We finished our session on our climb and went over to take a look. Lots of snow and some impressively big logs had come down in the slide.

A fat bike probably would have worked for these conditions. Unfortunately we didn’t have them.