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Wicked Wanda early 2020

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  • Wicked Wanda early 2020

    Approach: tracks left the double track at the usual cut off but dropped back to the double track so whoever set them probably lost previous tracks. We picked their tracks up a little further and followed through bushwhack terrain before getting onto better tracks. Some posthole sections once into the narrow drainage and wind had scoured previous tracks.

    Should have used waterproof layers, wear yours. First pitch had a weird black ice runnel and dust all over it. The black on the right was wet but partially avoidable. Generally good ice and pro for the lead.
    The belay cave is somewhat small and needed icicles clearing. Right side was drippy. Still better to climb in two pitches using the cave rather than one long pitch because the belayer would have to stand too far back to give an effective belay. The falling debris was a good 30ft out from the base.
    My partner took the second pitch and opted to traverse out to the right side of the second pitch. From the ground it had looked a good option but he found it to be unconsolidated and shedding large dinner plates. He returned to the cave and re-examined the left side. Although very wet with an awkward start he went up the right side of the pillar. The line eased higher up to better climbing. He remarked that screws bit well but were sticky as he placed them because of the wet conditions. Seemed like a stout lead to me. My right side got a soaking, water to the elbow and knee and a penchant for my goretex at the base. Beware the snow at the top out, it contains knee deep water too.