Friday, March 13, 2009

Off to Valdez again

This weekend is the Ice Pixies Festival in Valdez. A gathering of women climbers from around Alaska. This festival is pretty laid back with a weekend of climbing, drinking beer, dancing and yoga. Last year I was inspired by the energy these women had. They climbed all day, danced late into the night, and then got up early to do yoga and climb again on Sunday.

The ice climbing season will be coming to an end in a few weeks. Yeah, there is always ice to find, but after awhile it starts to feel desperate searching for ice, crossing sketchy ice bridges over creeks, and climbing little bits of falling down ice. The transition between Winter and Summer in Alaska is always hard. The old season lingers and the new season takes it's time getting here. And break up is generally a big mess until everything dries out.

But in the next few weeks I have my eye on something. I checked out Lost Chord in Hunter Creek last weekend while climbing at the AK Ice Festival, and it looked doable. It's rated a Grade 4, but right now looks more like a hard 3. I climbed this once before with Jayme, but never led it.

I sat underneath the climb on Saturday and stared up at the ice. I mapped out the route I would take and where I would place screws. I have been wanting to lead this climb for a long time and this might just be the time to do it. I know I can get most of the way up, it is just a matter of having the nerve and energy to climb the top curtain, which is vertical. The good news is that there is an almost flat deck before the vertical curtain where I could rest and figure out what I want to do. I am going to try to drag Brian out next weekend to give it a go.

Have a good weekend!


JordyB said...

Love that first picture! What are the colors for on the ice? To mark your climbing destination?

Julie said...

We were actually trying to make a rainbow. Every time someone went up, they added drops of food coloring. The next day there was a rainbow of color all the way down side of Bridal Veil falls. I guess it was a way to make our girly mark on the ice.