Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Anorexic Queen

Last weekend I finally made it out to the mountains again, and for the first time this year into Stanley Headwall. My partner Jon Walsh had to get a rope from the base of 'Men Yoga', so with no specific goal in our minds we skied up to the base. On route we looked around for options to climb, and it seemed like we both were attracted to the very skinny looking 'Uniform Queen'.
Below a few examples of how different this route can form, if it actually forms at all. This time around we had it obviously pretty thin, and 4 years ago I had it very fat. According to the guides book description I guess the first ascent was somewhere in between.
Above you can see pitch one as almost pure rock pitch, although the white spots are actually frozen snow. The pitch protects well on rock gear and is 50m long.
Jon following pitch 2, delicate climbing on a thin layer of ice with less than stellar protection.
Flash back to November 2007, this is when the route formed the last time to my knowledge. The same pitch was a walk in the park. Here is Marc Hammer enjoying his first time at the Headwall.
Jon leading out on the incredible 3rd pitch, something really rare to get as a Rockies Winter climber. Perfect rock and very fragile ice with great, natural rock protection. Already out of sight at the top of the pitch was the first and last ice screw placed on the first 3 pitches.
Flash back again to 2007, the entire pitch was iced over, I could only get one piece of rock gear in, the rest were bad screws. Still a great climb then, but an entirely different experience.
Suffer Machine in the center and the skinny pencil of the Uniform Queen to it's right, as of Dec. 10th. Fiasco is left and looks pretty thin too, but also got climbed last week. Game on!

1 comment:

maikaljj said...

Living it up; living advertisement statesman n a lot more.
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