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North side of Devils Gap 2018-19

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  • North side of Devils Gap 2018-19

    Sat 29-Dec-2018

    Climbed Aquarius today. Climb in good shape although there are thin spots. Mostly fat ice with lots of places to use 16cm's. Since when do ice climbs in the Ghost get bergshrunds, anyone need to hide a car-to-go?

    Ice was in really nice shape with good pro. The steep section off the halfway ledge is more of a squeeze chimney than a curtain and was fun.

    just before the climb hits the narrows, the manky rusty 1/4" bolts there now have a couple of newish ring hangers. The narrows has ice to get into the Recital Hall but from these ring hangers, 2x60m ropes easily reach the base.

    While the climb was pretty dry, the approach ice was quite wet but a dryish line could be followed on the left side of the biggest approach pitch, especially if you use screws to keep the rope running out of wet spots.

    Cautionary tale: Another party arrived just as I'd geared up when all of a sudden numerous large chunks of ice came flying down from the Recital Hall. It was incredibly windy and the chunks flew 50-100m from the base of the climb. One of the new arrivals got a chunk 4-5" across, hit on the helmet, then another smaller piece cut his face. I" understand the helmet was damaged. I seriously would not expect ice falling from the climb itself to have reached where he was stood. However this was a very large piece that smashed into smaller pieces as it ricocheted off the canyon walls. It's my belief that the ice fell from one of the climbs in the Recital Hall and while this is an unusual occurrence, its not unheard of in low snow cover that would otherwise catch falling ice before reaching the narrows. Will it happen when you're there? Maybe not but locate your belays accordingly, and keep a heads up when climbing.

    Fearful Symmetry wasn't formed a few weeks ago but unknown condition now.

    Rainbow Serpent has had a couple of ascents via the mixed line behind the first pitch. A party up there earlier this week reported that the partially formed first pillar collapsed while they were up there. It's broken off at the roof now.

    Sunshine is in and getting ascents.

    Malignant Mushroom sounds like it is fairly recently formed with lots of chandelier. From the valley it actually looked like the middle would be steep too and there may be some not so friendly mushrooms.