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Cascade Waterfall and Slide - Winter is Here - 2016 December 10

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  • Cascade Waterfall and Slide - Winter is Here - 2016 December 10

    Distance to runout: 500 feet
    Length of runout and slide: .75 mile
    Slide elevation gain: 1,400 feet
    Maximum width: 240 feet

    Photo Set: https://goo.gl/photos/yGKMgnEqepweyaLv6

    CLICK TO VIEW/DOWNLOAD FULL SIZE IMAGE


    It was time to dust off the ice tools and take a run up Cascade Slide. Warm weather turned cold and built the waterfall quickly though it was completely frozen for this adventure. Nolan Huther joined me for his first multi-pitch ice climb.

    We walked down to the isthmus between the lakes and looked up at the climb at around 8:30 a.m. Water was clearly running at the top which tends to be the sketchy section. The view from below didn’t look particularly inspiring, but I suggested that we take a walk up and give it a go as far as we could. I used the short approach to build my ambition. Sometimes I feel better once I’m actually climbing. This turned out to be a good choice. At the base, we found consistent ice and it looked like I had route choices at the top. My concerns revolved around ice screw placements, something I don’t have to consider when soloing the falls.

    Killer Photo of us climbing from Pitchoff courtesy of Fran Shumway.


    The climb went smoothly though there was a fair amount of air in the ice. Placing the screws was tricky when I set up an anchor about halfway up—there wasn’t much quality ice to work with. I reached the upper pitches and listened to the 4” hollow ice resound underfoot as I climbed above running water. At the top, I moved to the right side where it looked fun and challenging. I climbed up partway and kicked my left foot into a bulge. It wasn’t bonded and fell into the falls. Higher I struggled for good placements and bent the tip of the pick on rock under a crust of ice and snow. Grumbling, I moved into the running water and topped the route—crampons rock and the tools in ice.

    Atop the falls I set up a final belay from a stout cedar. Nolan climbed as I chipped ice off the rope before it went through the belay device. Thereafter, we soloed the slide. There are about 4 more good pitches. One lies immediately after the main waterfall. The second is before an obvious dike which transforms into an ice chute during the winter—a very unique area. The third is a 30 foot wall of nearly vertical multicolored ice and the fourth lies at the top on ice covered slab. In between each pitch lies sections of snow slogging and smaller ledges.

    My usual MO is to bushwhack to the summit, but Nolan had a deadline and it only takes about 45 minutes to descend via the woods along the slide. We began the descent in 3 foot deep unconsolidated snow and made good time along the north side. We avoided the falls as well as Green Gully at the bottom and arrived at the parking lot around 2:30 p.m.

    Most of my outings push me hard, this was a nice relaxing change and good way to dial in the layers and gear. It was a good reminder of why I love ice. Climbing is only part of the equation and seeking a “rush” doesn’t factor in at all. I’m enthralled by the colors and sculptures underfoot at every step as well as spending quality time with good friends. Here’s to a solid winter of cold adventures!

    CRUX ON THE RIGHT...ROCK UNDER ICE AFTER THE VERTICAL AREA

    BLUE CALCITE UNDER ICE


    NOLAN IN THE TRAP DIKE/ICE CHUTE


    THE FREEDOM OF SOLOING (3RD PITCH OF THE SLIDE)


    AHH...SLIDE VIEWS


    NOLAN ON ONE OF THE UPPER RUNS OF ICE
    May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.

    www.adirondackmountaineering.com

  • #2
    Hi Kevin. Beautiful pics!

    Hey, I recognize that bit of calcite!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Gregory Karl View Post
      Hi Kevin. Beautiful pics!

      Hey, I recognize that bit of calcite!

      Hi Greg! Long time, no talk. Good to hear from you! Those calcite & diopsite boulders really stick out. Looks like a few things have shifted above the falls since my last visit too.
      May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.

      www.adirondackmountaineering.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Finally getting around to responding. Yes it was a good time. We climbed withing a few inches of an active waterfall, in many directions. A few times the waterfall was to our side. Other times it was underneath us. Above the technical climbing, we found that what looked like solid ice was occasionally hollow like a egg! I'm still surprised how the ice manages not to collapse when it is basically crust over running water. Of course, it only seems to do this when it's a little steep, as seen by my breaking through on one of the flat sections of the slide into the water- and above my gaiter! Kept my feet warm by snow slogging though. Getting fresh socks would've involved going into my pack and undoing gaiters, crampons and boots, and I was feeling lazy and warm enough to deal with it. I probably would've been fine, my pack is a mere 45 liters. Unlike Kevin's. Who else would take a 100 liter pack up a roadside route?

        As for the bushwhack down, Kevin fails to mention he cheated by following the tracks of some endeavouring deer! I didn't mind, the deer seemed to have a better idea where it was going.

        Another good slide climb! Much more mellow than my usual trips with Kevin...

        Also, "maximum width"?!? This is not enough information, people need to know the maximum hypotenuse to succeed in the climbing of the slides

        Comment


        • #5
          Didn't see the response, Nolan. ...yes, the 100 L pack wasn't filled though. I'm going to start putting rocks in your pack when you're not looking
          Always follow the deer; they know the ways around things. Bear paths aren't bad either--at least it worked on Stewart in 2006.
          We'll up the ante next time, my friend!
          ...last comment...bloody, engineering students...
          May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.

          www.adirondackmountaineering.com

          Comment

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