Ascent of Icicle Buttress on 2014-05-11

Climber: Patty Cokus

Date:Sunday, May 11, 2014
Ascent Type:No Summit Goal
Peak:Icicle Buttress
    Elevation:1 ft / 0 m

Ascent Trip Report

Day 2 of Rock2 field trip. Climbed Tree Route on Lower Eight Mile Buttress. Climbed with Joanne Frank and Bri climbed with Abby Hunt. I was nervous about climbing pitch 1 after discussing with Kat so Joanne led pitch 1 - we went into the 'chimney'. Joanne I think did more of a standing lie back but I got on my back and slithered up, at some point having to awkwardly push up and stand up to get over left and up and around on top to the belay with chains.

I lead pitch 2 which was easy with a few slabby moves. Setup a gear anchor.

I lead pitch 3 after discussing my concerns with Joanne and a backup plan. First crux is the step around corner but I could protect with a gold cam and felt solid about it. Walked up and was able to get around without too much issue. Next crux - the leg eating off-width crack! Joanne and I each had brought our biggest cam, #5?, and we borrowed from Stef a #5 and an insanely large #6. So I had 3 large #5's and a #6. Thinking that just in case it all went to hell I could really put some pro in. I got the first #5 in and had to pull on it just a bit to get my body up into the crack and somehow got myself too high to remove it as the idea was to move up the cam, follow it, move up the cam, follow it, etc. So I left the first one and then placed a second #5 which I could then move up as I climbed. Kept my right leg/thigh in the crack and left foot out of the crack on small features and 'rock crystals' (really helped that I top roped classic crack day before for confidence). At a certain point the crack widens so you have to switch to the giant #6 cam. At this point I moved above that cam and it is just a few 'hump' moves to get to the end. I think I successfully did not do a 'belly flop' maneuver to get out but it probably wasn't super elegant either. Quite level ground and was told to belay off a tree, hence the route name. First big tree I see is totally burned and dead. Continue looking around...apparently the big live tree is above the BIG boulder I was moving around. Ended up making a gear anchor and using the last big #5 so it was worth carrying them all! Felt awesome about conquering my fear of leading something I hadn't first well as an off-width crack.
Summary Total Data
    Route Conditions:
Rock Climb
Ascent Statistics
    Route:Tree Route (led p2&3) (lower Eight Mile Buttress w
Descent Statistics

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