Friday, February 29, 2008

Day 25 - Rehab Wall, Evan-Thomas Creek

Today I went with Carlos Buhler to a newly discovered area just 45 min walk upstream of the Moonlight crag, Evan-Thomas Creek. Quite amazing that this area had not been discovered until this season given that people have been climbing Moonlight for the last 20 years!

The new area is similar to Haffner Creek and Bear Spirit and sport single pitch WI3-4 ice routes and bolted mix climbs. Carlos would obviously like to try climbing in an area he had not visited before, so we went there albeit quite late in the day.

Initially I led the route The Treatment (35 m, M5, WI4). It had a fun start with 3-4 moves on rock until I reached the ice with my axes - then followed by fun bridging with one foot on rock and the other on an icicle. All in all a fun route - and my first lead on a bolted mix climb! So far I had only led trad protected mix routes - so I was not sure if this was a step forwards or backwards......

Next Carlos top-roped the route to warm up for the test-piece of the area Physio-Therapy (50 m, M7, WI5). I then belayed him for 2 hours while he was figuring out the moves. The crux of the route was to get from the rock to a large overhanging icicle. Pieces had broken of recently making this move very hard as he could not bridge out with his feet to the icicle anymore. He was thus pretty pumped when he topped out and it was getting quite late so I decided to save my energy and not attempt to follow.

So what's out verdict of this new area? Well, we quickly agreed that the quality of the rock & ice did not merit the longer approach (1 hrs 45 min total) compared to the shorter distance to Haffner Creek and Bear Spirit. However, if you go up to the popular Moonlight area and find a big queue it is certainly worth going the extra 45 min rather than wait for hours or go home!

Carlos approaching the Rehab Wall. The mixed wall is right above him flanked by WI3-4 ice routes on both sides.

Carlos top-roping The Treatment.

Carlos on thin ice below the crux of Physio-Therapy. The crux is to get from the rock onto the broken icicle.

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