Sunday, April 11, 2010

Spring ice

April: robins have returned from their wintering grounds, green shoots are appearing on trees, and rock climbing season is well under way. Or at least it would be, if temperatures were not hovering around freezing. Well then, why not go spring alpine climbing? That would indeed be a good idea if the avalanche reports did not the show the infamous "red brick" of high hazard. Fortunately the ice climbing season in the Rockies is a long one, and there is still plenty of ice about if one is so inclined.

Yesterday, taking advantage of a gorgeous clear day, Lyle Rotter and I enjoyed what is arguably the best ice adventure to be had in the Ghost: the Hydrophobia-Sorcerer link up. The morning was cold, the sun was strong, and the ice was blue. Walking along a high ridge between the routes was a bit like being in the wintry alpine. But the echoing staccato of a woodpecker as we touched down at the base of the Sorcerer for the second time was life waking up in the valleys.