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Khyber-Bennies Loop 2020 November 21

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  • Khyber-Bennies Loop 2020 November 21

    Pics: https://photos.app.goo.gl/cPtetJwmuQ8yrBRH7
    Partner: Don Mellor

    The slides give us a glimpse of the geology of the High Peaks during the dry season. Sometime in November or December, they ice up, slowly at first until the anorthosite loses its heat, and the xenoliths and dikes disappear under a translucent covering of gray, blue, green, or yellow. Layers of snow change the character of the slides again. I love the cycles of nature.
    The transition period to ice is a sketchy time for slide climbing, but it is usually when go hunting up high for the first sticks of the season. …and it helps that I love verglas (but I’m a little odd that way).

    This was the thinnest ice I've climbed on Khyber with other ice trips over the years including December and February.

    Khyber’s Slide/Bennies Loop
    November 21, 2020: The Khyber Slide on Lower Wolfjaw has two large steps and, when there is bonded ice, they offer fun climbing. We found ice on the first step at 3,100 feet in elevation, but the sheet was delaminated and unsupported at its base…a giant semi-frozen bass drum waiting to fracture and fall. Only gravity held it in place, Don and I continued.

    I climbed 30’ up the second step before retreating; a few key moves would have sliced the odds a little too closely for comfort. Finally, at the Khyber’s top (around 3,600’) we grabbed a hundred or so feet of thin, bonded ice before bushwhacking to the summit and exiting down Bennies Brook Slide to close the loop. Bennies had even less ice.

    For the moment, the backcountry is not frozen and any ice one might climb requires intense scrutiny. It’s difficult to tell what this coming week will bring, but a bit more cold weather, and we’ll be in business!

    Regardless of the ice, it is always a blessing to get outdoors, climb, and philosophize about life with Don.

    Click image for larger version

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    May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.

    www.adirondackmountaineering.com

  • #2
    That must be a favorite early season climb of yours. Or may it was Skinny posted before.

    Seems like there is a bulge (convex) feature on that slide. I think the bulge extends around at the next slide to the west that branches off slide track. Not Skinny but the one above the branch above the one to Khyber. We climbed the one off the branch not long after Irene before thinking it was something else. Long bushwhack to UWJ from top of that one.

    Don

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    • #3
      It is, Don. It generally sets up with ice early, but the ground was too warm. It was likely great 2 days before. I do like the Skinny, but it's not as icy up high.

      This one is on LWJ, not UWJ. Did you whack from either the Skinny or Wide (the one that nearly took out Wolfjaw's lean-to during Irene?
      May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.

      www.adirondackmountaineering.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by mudrat View Post
        It is, Don. It generally sets up with ice early, but the ground was too warm. It was likely great 2 days before. I do like the Skinny, but it's not as icy up high.

        This one is on LWJ, not UWJ. Did you whack from either the Skinny or Wide (the one that nearly took out Wolfjaw's lean-to during Irene?
        Consulting the Slide Guide. We'd climbed and whacked from Wide. It was long but not terrible. I have a recollection that the top was not too clean; so, perhaps Irene just refreshed and of course created the huge runout below. It was interesting to see the summit of UWJ from below having climbed that way. We had to circle around to trail so summit from the east side.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Hear the Footsteps View Post

          Consulting the Slide Guide. We'd climbed and whacked from Wide. It was long but not terrible. I have a recollection that the top was not too clean; so, perhaps Irene just refreshed and of course created the huge runout below. It was interesting to see the summit of UWJ from below having climbed that way. We had to circle around to trail so summit from the east side.
          It is a bit mossy. Irene flushed the west side of it which cascaded down into that gully then down the lower areas. It also did some minor enlargements to the east if memory serves, but the primary slab we see up high is still from Floyd.

          I'm surprised it wasn't too bad of a bushwhack!
          May your ambition for the goal allow you to be a student of the journey.

          www.adirondackmountaineering.com

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