Friday, November 20, 2009

Ice Conditions: The Ghost (Nov 20)

Marc Piche and I had a recreational day knocking off two classic single-pitch Ghost classics--Phantom Falls and The Sliver. Both are rare to form and I have wanted to do them for awhile. Marc fired Phantom, which is a 55m pitch that thins and narrows near the top. Bring stubbies to protect just before the crux. The new bolted anchor on top could use some chain. Steve (forget last name) showed up with Rockies legend Jeff Marshall and did it after us. True to form, Jeff was kicking it old school with a one-piece MEC windsuit from the early 90s. To complete the retro look, he busted out a vintage pair of Footfangs.

Since Marc had done the Sliver before, I was given the lead on this gem. Similar (i.e. narrow and thin) to our warm-up but definitely steeper and more technical. Lots of hooking in a body-wide column with a bit of a roof near the end of the difficulties. Despite a fragile appearance, the ice is well bonded and accepted 13 and 16cm screws. The three V-threads scattered up the pitch gave it a sport climbing feel (well, not quite).

Burning and Drowning also look good and we brought the rock gear for it but time was running out with our late start and me having to be back for movie night at Noah's school.

photo: Jeff Marshall kicking it old school with a early 90s era one-piece MEC windsuit.

photo: Phantom Falls, North Ghost

photo: The Sliver, North Ghost