Less than virgin ice on Polar Circus.
Eamonn turning the (unformed) Pencil.
Eamonn on the last tier of Polar Circus.
For no particular reason, other than the fact it is a classic, Curtain Call was next. As if to add greater variety to our day, the weather took a turn for the worse. We walked up in a snowstorm, and climbed the two long pitches of the route in gusting wind and blowing snow. The climbing offered a cool contrast to Polar Circus: while there we ran up miles of moderate ice, here we took it more slowly over crazy mushrooms and overlaps. Rappel, slip and slide down the icy trail, and be back at the car by 4.
The big, bad, beautiful Curtain Call.
Eamonn starting up the first pitch of Curtain Call.
I was happy with the day and prepared to settle in for the long drive home. But as we were passing the Weeping Wall, we realized we still had a couple of hours of daylight left: just enough for the Lower Wall. It looked sun-bleached, but underneath it was still perfect blue hero ice. I had The Count from Sesame Street urging me on the whole way up: “One, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, faster, faster!” We were back at the car before dark, and this time once we started driving, we did not stop until Lake Louise for some bad gas station food. It had been a good day.
A portrait of Quasimodo as a young man.
The Count takes a break from Sesame Street on the Weeping Wall.
How did we get so far with so little?