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    Winter Climbing Roundup

    Can't stop Dustin! Climbing Hidden Falls in Eastern Oregon's Owyhee Mountains 

    Can't stop Dustin! Climbing Hidden Falls in Eastern Oregon's Owyhee Mountains 

    Despite the strange weather and sometimes bizarre conditions in the mountains this winter, we've been getting a steady stream of reports from our team members as they get after it.  

    Dustin Fric checked in with a quick e-mail which made us tired just reading. Dustin is one of the most stoked ice climbers ever: 

    Ice season started strong and early on October 15th with an early season 50 day trip to Alaska. We climbed in Portage, Aklutna Canyon,The Alaska Range, Nabesna,The Chugach Range and Whittier. After one week of rest it was off to Montana to climb some classics in Hyalite and judge at the Bozeman Ice Festival which expanded to the U.I.A.A. North American Open Ice Climbing Championships. Since then I have been focusing on abstact Waterfalls in Idaho and in Eastern Oregon. 

    Read Aaron Montgomery's blog post about his Korean Ice Climbing World Cup competition experience and his recent decision not to go to the Olympics in Sochi. 

    Chris Kalman continues to send in Cochamo and you can follow his journey here.

    Marcus Donaldson sent us this update, proving that you can live in Portland and climb and bunch of ice:

    It has been an exciting winter so far to take advantage of rare conditions and visit some new locales. An early season dash up the Lowe Direct on Montana's Sphinx set the tone right out of the gate.  Two subsequent trips into the Colorado's San Juan mountains have yielded ascents of fun classics like the Talisman, Birdbrain Boulevard and the infrequent Telluride prize 'Sapphire Bullets of Pure Ice'.  Then recently we traveled into SW British Columbia to explore Bull River Canyon and stand atop Gibraltar Wall above the Kootenay River.  

     

     

     

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    Cochamo Update

    We just got an e-mail and photos from Chris Kalman who's down in Cochamo, Chile right now where he just finished putting up a big new route with Austin Siadak and Florian Haenel:

    Highlights of the route include a true knife edge bolted arete for two pitches that was wild to bolt on lead, a traversing pitch to a dirty dihedral which I led onsight with a 50 foot runout to a  5.9 friction stance where I handdrilled half a bolt hole just to clip a sling to a hanger to stand up in and lunge for the trees!  Florian also had a pretty epic lead with a 5.11 runout over some pretty marginal gear.  By and large, the majority of the route has gone up at 5.8X or 5.9X.  However, as is the Cochamo way, it is not so much about how you first establish the line, but what you leave to future generations.  Thus, we will be spending another couple days working on the route, bolting on fixed lines or lead where necessary to make the route safe for future climbers.

    Interestingly enough, though this will be technically the easiest route I have ever established in Cochamo, it will be probably be the most difficult to put up.  As is often the case, easier means lower angle means more cleaning and more bolting....  I have always wanted to establish an easier line, since I have had many experiences with more novice climbers coming to Cochamo and not having a nice line to climb.  This will be the longest route under 5.11 to reach the spectacular summit of Cerro Laguna, and probably very popular for that reason.

    Photo courtesy of Austin Siadak

    Photo courtesy of Austin Siadak

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    More Alaska Range Sending from the Tribe

    We just received these photos from Eric Dacus of his and Jon Jugenheimer's ascent of Freezy Nuts on London Tower in the Ruth Gorge. Eric says:

    The salopette I bought last fall worked great. I was really impressed by how dry I stayed despite all the snow climbing we found. Also the chest pockets were placed well, and it was really easy to swap out my camera batteries to keep them warm enough to stay charged

    Good work gentlemen!

    Eric Halfway up Freezy Nuts

    Eric Halfway up Freezy Nuts

    Jon on the last ice step, Freezy Nuts

    Jon on the last ice step, Freezy Nuts

    Rappelling Freezy Nuts

    Rappelling Freezy Nuts

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