A small party tromped out to the Waterfall Wall today for some sunny, brisk climbing. Bruce and Eric, Eastern Mountain Sports folks, were looking for a relaxing day of climbing to get Eric back into the swing of things after a long hiatus. Val and Jaysen came out so Jaysen could work on his leading skills and of course, so they both could do some climbing.
Since I was the odd-man out, I ran ahead to set up a top-rope on Fifi’s Frozen Fingers so we could all take turns on something a bit steeper than the lower three pitches of the Waterfall Wall. Soon, I heard footsteps below and exclamations, no doubt regarding the ice flow between us; Bruce and Eric had arrived. I rappelled down to the base and soon we were taking turns running up Fifi’s Frozen Fingers. I took the first run, trailing a rope to set another top-rope on a tempting mixed line next door. That chore took quite some doing, but before everyone else completely satisfied themselves on the ice flow, another rope was available. I took first dibs again – selfish me! – and found it enjoyable and challenging.
As one person worked the new line, others turned their attention back to Fifi’s and began working harder variations. The left edge was thin and delicate, a bit hollow but firm enough to tap gently up it. At the top, the right side had a short bit of ice bulge, so Jaysen set a directional there and we worked that part as well.
We continued happily running between the two lines until the sun began nudge close to Crane’s shoulder. As our routes ducked into shadow, it became chillingly similar to a walk-in freezer roping up for a turn. Eric and Bruce had obligations elsewhere; with their exit and the dipping temperature, we all decided to pack up and descend.