Tuesday, April 14, 2009

An Eklutna Canyon Mixed Nasty

For quick access to some great ice climbs, there's no place better than Eklutna Canyon. While most of the climbs are typically mellow in nature (WI3-4), there are lots of options to explore and the setting is beautiful. Lately we've learned that there is lots of potential for dry and mixed lines on the steep walls of the canyon.

Recently a local climber established a really pumpy seven-bolt drytool route at the back of the canyon. Like a vanerial disease in a hippy commune, word quickly spread about this supposed new route.

After pulling out of work early, photographer-extraordinaire Matt Hage along with his lovely assistant "Super" Ags Stowe accompanied me to the canyon. Perhaps they hoped to get some good shots and maybe witness a little carnage amid the myriad of crumbling rock, fracturing ice, ropes and sharp pointy things.

The route was indeed pumpy and I did my fair share of hangdogging the first time. On the second lead though, I only fell once. Perhaps next time the climb will go clean!

All photos courtesy of Matt Hage. Please check out his website at HagePhoto.com

Ags looks normal but I look all fat. Damn Matt's weird lenses!

Scratching up the lower section

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