FA of Effervescent Glory (Wi0)


Ice climbing Tenaya Lake. Effervescent Glory (Wi0 - Walkable ice 0)

December 30, 2011

Sometimes one just needs a different perspective on climbing in order to see the potential for new route. The Chief helped me realize a new way of looking at ice climbing during an exchange of ideas on SummitPost as to whether steepness had anything to do with the difficulty of an ice climb.

"What ever BOB PICKERING. ... steepness really has absolutely nothing to do with difficulty. Over and out BOB PICKERING. - The Chief"


In the spirit of this comment, I went out and did a FA of a pretty difficult ice line. I think I'd rate it Wi0 (Walkable ice, 0).

It was a cold December morning and the ice had formed thick on the route. For safety I made an anchor of two stacked logs on shore, in the event that the ice failed me. Eventually I ran out of rope, and in order to push the route to a logical conclusion on a nice lake ledge, I risked life and limb, cast off the rope, and soloed through the final ice bulge crux.


Scoping out the route the night before on ice skates.

The climb was a great workout, and a big success.


Har-duh ice climbing

Now be warned that although I've conservatively rated the climb at Wi0, the rating is a bit sandbagged and is not without dangers and a need to exercise caution.

"I dunno Mark, that ice was pretty slippery! Wi4 at least! And I [fell] on my butt at least once!"


Another brave adventurer had this to add:

"I nearly pulled some muscles trying to not fall on my ass. It's best to stretch out properly before attempting the lake! Also I think the psychological duress of the loud cracking and whoomping sounds should be taken into consideration when rating walkable ice."


If you listened closely, the lake did make some interesting booming noises each time my pick slammed into the ice.



Where to next? The potential of where our climbing can take us is only limited by our imaginations. There are all sorts of potential for other climbing ascents rated without regard to steepness.

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