Jon with the first lead of the day on the Main Wall, towards the immediate left of the center flow.
Jon leading the furthest left flow on the Main Wall, which we top-roped for a while before pitching out to the top.
Looking at Jon and the other party on the Main Wall, with the Chouinard Falls off in the distance.
Jon working up higher on the left-most flow, which offered some good ice next to rock (and some fun mixed moves for Tony, Rachel and I when following).
Note that most of the above photos are a little blurry as my lens was fogging up and I didn’t notice until about now (hence the pictures subsequently clean up a bit). Same concept in the movie – oh well, I will be sure to check more in the future.
Tony in a fun section of a narrow ramp of ice through the rock portions.
Rachel higher up, working towards the first pitch anchor.
Here you can see the two ropes that we set up on the left portion of the wall. The right top rope was set with two 60M ropes, and the left with two 70M ropes. We each climbed several routes off these anchors throughout the day. Towards the end, Jon, Rachel and I climbed to the anchor on the left rope, and then Jon led a second pitch to the top over the cool and thick vertical ice flow in the upper left of the picture. A really impressive lead by Jon!
Here I am working a really fun thin ice section on top rope. It was fun to have a top rope in this section, so we could test climbing in some thinner ice sections with some fun mixed rock moves. Photo: Jon
Looking down from the anchor on Pitch 1, as Jon was leading up to Pitch 2 on the left-most flow. You can see me down in my red jacket for perspective.Photo: Jon
Jon leading the crux of the second pitch – a really cool ice flow. More impressive was that Rachel followed with only one ice tool! We won’t get into the specifics of why she only had one ice tool at that point, but needless to say, I think she now appreciates the benefits of the leashes/umbilical cords Jon, Tony and I were using ;) Photo: Rachel
Note: Once again, my camera was wet! Ugh.
After a great night’s sleep on Saturday night and waking up to the views of Mono Lake and the Dana Plateau that I posted above, we decided to head to Horsetail Falls at June Lake.
I love the drive along 395, to see the old burnt-out homes back-dropped by the ragged high peaks of the Eastern Sierra.
The trail up to Horsetail Falls was in good shape, with the cog railroad tracks still holding sufficient snow in most spots.
However, as noted in the introduction, Horsetail falls was showing pretty thin ice in spots, with running water on the left-most flow. In fact, the top had been completely burnout by the sun exposure and warm temps from the prior week. Jon did manage to lead one fat portion on the right side, which Rachel quickly cleaned. However, we decided it was warming too rapidly and just ate some lunch and worked on some ice screw/anchoring techniques around the corner.
Jon on the right portion of the thicker section of ice. The running water is to the left out of the picture.
And for the Eastside skiers, here is a beta shot of Dana Plateau during the day on Monday from Jon. All of the chutes look very thick at this point (although I am sure they are boilerplate given the melt/freeze conditions. Photo: Jon
Looking back towards Mono Lake, with the Eastside and Mammoth area in the distance. Photo: Jon
Final beta shot of the Sawtooth sub-range outside of Bridgeport, with the Matterhorn marking the highpoint on the ridgeline. I skied the East Couloir on that two seasons ago with Frank. Photo: Jon