Crystal Tear & Cobra Verde Ice Climbs
We climbed Crystal Tear up Grotto Canyon yesterday. Despite the recent warming, we had a good freeze overnight and the route was in pretty good shape. The exception would be the first pitch after the narrows which faces south and had melted out for about 3m. The skinny pillar of ice beneath had separated from the rock and provided a marginal short screw, as did the skinny gully ice above (see photo). This section could use a bolt or two to extend the season. It is basically an M4 solo now.
There are a few new bolted raps now so we did 6 x 30m (or less) raps to get off with a single 60m rope.
The sun came out pretty hot in the afternoon and that mixed section was melting fast, much to the chagrin of the party that showed up at 2:30pm when we were leaving.
Today we climbed Cobra Verde in K-Country which was generally in good shape save for some thin shell ice over running water at the top of the 1st pitch and on the ice steps of the 2nd pitch. It was easy to punch through the shell with tools and feet. This climb is only about 160m tall, not 250m as the guidebook says. We did 5 x 30m raps off trees and some downclimbing to reach the base.
Shaun King ACMG / UIAGM Mountain Guide
Mountain Sense Guiding & Instruction