As part of the High Altitude Mountaineering School (HAMS) with the CMC we spent a day ice climbing at Lincoln Falls. For many of the students it would be their first time ice climbing.
When we all met at the trailhead at Montgomery Reservoir we found another CMC HAMS group also destined for Lincoln Falls, only this group was from the Colorado Springs chapter.
The sun was coming up over the mountains to our east and highlighted the water ice flows we’d be climbing. The sun wouldn’t last long on these north-east facing slopes however.
As a group we hiked up towards the ice flows in the path of the Colorado Springs group.
I helped one of the instructors setup a fixed line over some lower angle ice for everyone to prussik up as a warm up. Meanwhile, a couple other instructors had climbed up the falls and setup two top-rope anchors for the group. Then I was asked to demo the fundamentals of ice climbing by climbing up one of the top ropes. I think I was doing a fairly good job of demoing descent technique (keeping my heels low, making efficient swings, etc). Then in the middle of my demo the spring clip on my right Grivel crampon loosened and suddenly that crampon was hanging in two parts from my boot. After being lowered I repaired the crampon and vowed to replace the spring clip with a bolt and lock nut like I had with my mountaineering crampons after a similar experience on the Dead Dog Couloir.
I backed off from the large group gathered at the base of the two routes and took a break back at my pack. I chatted with a few of the assistant instructors and then joined a few other students practicing v-thread anchors. With a v-thread anchor the ice screw is used to bore two connecting holes in the ice through which you thread a runner to form an anchor.
As more of the students finished a turn or two on the ice climbs I returned to the ropes and took a couple laps trying some different tools and searching for the most vertical portions of the ice.
I had to skip the post-climbing trip to a local bar with the rest of the group as I had some prior work commitments to hurry back for. Still, it was a fun return to ice climbing and reminder that I need to get out and climb more ice in the winter months.
Instructor Dave’s Photo Gallery