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Whitemans With MB
25th Jan 2011Posted in: Blog 0
Whitemans With MB

Well…some days you feel good and other days you try to tell yourself that you do…this was one of those days. Merrie-Beth and I decided to head into Whitemans/Redmans for a fun day of personal climbing.  As we drove to the end of the road, we noticed that the approach might take a little longer then expected.  Fresh snow and wind had filled in all the existing ski tracks for the 5km plus ski to the gully entrance.  To add to this, I forgot about my ski touring blisters from the week before and by km 4 had added 2 new ones to my old pair…ouch:(.  In both the ice and mixed guidebooks, this area is noted as avalanche free.  Both Merrie Beth and I however decided that this is not really the case after a big snow dump, and as we wallowed through the knee deep snow in the canyon and up and over old avalanche debris from side walls and other gullys we kept out eyes out for changes in temperature and weather.

After scurrying up the approach pitches we arrived at the climbs 3.5 hours after leaving the truck!  Yikes..not quite the record time we were hoping for!  Feeling under the weather and lethargic, Merrie-Beth took over and decided to lead the first pitch of Whitemans.  Armed with plenty of screws and a strong desire she battled and worked her way up the first pitch, safely ascending the 40 meters of aerated, brittle and untravelled ice.  A solid hour and 45minutes had her singing the words “secure” and “on belay” out of the cave on the right.  I headed up behind her recognizing quickly why she had moved with such careful thought.  Having the whole climb settle on me once as I seconded the pitch, added to the aura that this climb gives, and added to my respect to MB’s lead. Having climbed and guided the route a couple times in the years past, I felt that the present condition was a fair amount harder.  Sadly, I still did not feel up to leading the second pitch, and with darkness not too far away, we opted to bail and head back.  Not quite the two climb link up we were hoping for, but still a great day out.!  Thanks Merrie- Beth, looking forward to working with you in the Ghost next month!

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