Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What's your "too cold too climb" limit?

Last weekend I wanted to get out to ice climb, because I haven't been yet this year. So when Kim said she had rented one of the yurts in Eagle River I thought it would be a perfect opportunity.

But it was seriously cold last week. Down below zero for most of the days. Good for forming up the ice, not so good for climbing in. Especially since Kim got frost bite last year and mild hypothermia when we were climbing in Eklutna Canyon at minus 5.

Everyone has their limit. "I don't climb below zero." "I don't climb below minus 10." I haven't yet figured out what my limit is, but I know it stops being fun and starts being more about survival when it's below zero.

Friday night when we hiked out to the Yurt it was about minus ten in the valley. Niko even got cold on the 2 mile hike in.

We piled in the yurt like sardines and awaited the morning. Saturday morning it was still pretty cold. I don't think it was at my limit though, but everyone else said no, so we declared a recon day.

We hiked 5 1/2 miles out to Heritage falls and Icicle Creek to check out the climbs out there. They are in, but there was a wide open gap in the river to get across to Heritage. The climbs in Icicle Creek are in as well, but it's sort of a long approach, maybe one for the fat bikes when the river freezes over completely.

The echo bend climbs were in, and it looked like we could get across the river, but alas we left our gear in the yurt. And by the time we hiked all the way out to Icicle Creek and back it had been 6 hours and guess what? We only have about 6 hours of daylight these days.

The cold temps made for some serious frost on the trees...

All in all it was a good day out. I love to use up all the sunlight we get on the weekends, especially because watch the sunrise and set from my office during the week.

And at least we got to use our tools for something...

But I'm really itching to get out and climb. Long weekend is coming...

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