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Waterhole and Irish Mist early 2020

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  • Waterhole and Irish Mist early 2020


    A late start and no surprise to find other parties there. We pulled up on the shoulder to find snow plough debris alongside With the front wheel sliding sideways through the snow we opted to not drive into the ditch and couldn't see any wheel tracks at all. It would be very tricky to get out of there and up to speed with any traffic coming. The other parties had parked in the pull off across the highway on the west bound side. Use caution crossing the highway.

    Irish Mist - Looked in decent shape with a good start to the second pitch.

    Waterhole - We lead both left and right lines on this. Once again decent ice. There was some fractured ice on the right side making questionable tool placements but avoidable because it was only a short bulge. Pro was good throughout but include a few shorter screws for thinner sections.

    Question on anchors: Rapping the route with 2x60s gets you down from top to base but with a single 60 you need an intermediate station. There were a couple of v-threads but bolted stations exist. Left side rap would involve a tree and awkward to get on rap because of how close to the edge but manageable. On the right side, from the top, you would need to rap a short ways to climbers right and two ring bolts. I think these are placed for a mixed climb. From there to the ground. If you miss these you end up on a ledge maybe 20ft off the ground. My question then is about whether the community would consider it advantageous to place a rap station on this ledge. Obviously the right side can be rapped without a new station but tat on a single bolt on the mixed rig tells me that parties are unaware their ropes wouldn't reach down until they get to the ledge. A new station would help but isn't essential, so should one be installed?

  • #2
    Seems like the extra anchor would reduce faffing and congestion. I vote yes .
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    • #3
      So the deed is done. A new chain anchor now sits on the right side utilizing the big ledge 10m above the ground. If you climb the right side there is a bolt anchor by the big tree making an approximate 40m pitch. From this anchor its a 30m rap to the ledge with the new anchor, then a 10m rap to the ground.
      If you climb the left side and go all the way to the bolted anchor on the back wall (approx 45m), two 60m ropes will reach the ground or if using a single rope, you'll have to utilize the tree for two rappels.

      The attached pic shows the new anchor. It is pretty much straight down from the upper anchor. Note the roof left of the anchor. It and the slight overhang above the anchor offers some protection for those at the anchor as others rap or pull the rope. Not easily seen from the ground but very visible when you rap to the ledge.
      Attached Files
      Last edited by Grant P; 12-Jan-2020, 10:23 am.


      • #4

        Irish Mist in good condition and the crux pillar on the second pitch is well hooked and straight forward.
        Wanted to add a note about getting off Water Hole in light of the new anchor for rapping the right side. Over on the left side if you have a single rope, and go all the way to the bolted station at the top, rather tan trying to rap the right side with the new anchor, you have a bolted option on the left too. It was a remark someone made that caused me to think about this, that a lot of people were unaware of the rings on the left. I'm not even sure how long they have been there but years ago we had to use tat on trees. The intermediate tree was (and is) awkward to use. However below this tree about 10m is a set of ring bolts. Currently a bit of snow on the sloping ledge makes it a reasonable stance for two people but less snow would leave you standing on smooth sloping rock. Probably still better than the tree stance though.

        So there you have it, both sides of The Water Hole can be rapped with a single rope using bolted rap stations. Please lets reduce the use of tat for v-threads and leaving it as litter come spring.