Commentary; Ice climbing
NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
10 Feb 2000
New HampshireCoos County
- Mount Washington; Pinkham Notch Trail
- 44.2576 -71.2537
Stereo=1; Spaced Omni Stereo; DPA 4060 Omnidirectional Microphones
NPR/NGS RADIO EXPEDITIONS
Show: Mt. Washington
Reporter: Alex Chadwick
Engineer: Flawn Williams
February 10, 2000
Logged by Van
Rick Wilcox (RW)
David Breashears (DB)
THIS LOG CORRESPONDS WITH THE C-2 LOG, RICK WILCOX'S BACKPACK TAPE
41:57 (CORRESPONDS WITH 1:26:33 ON DAT C-2)
I'M LOGGING ONLY WHAT'S UNINTELLIGIBLE OR NOT PRESENT ON THE OTHER TAPE
42:30 DB: not have to worry about really awful weather, every time the clients go out, are they frozen, are the still alive?
42:50 DB: well I'm racking up again ... getting ready for the next pitch .. .looking up a little slot here in the Pinnacle buttress called pinnacle gully. And we've just finished 165 feet of ice.
44: 13 DB: I really don't like climbing with a pack and a helmet, cuz every time you look up you're jammed.
45:09 DB: so I'm just above rick here, a very pleasant little bit of ice. Typical problem early...you're either new to the season or new to the sport, is to bash you tools in about 20 times harder than is necessary...bash your knuckles, and not get ...just get yourself tired:
46:01 DB: just climbed over a little bulge, and now I'm on easier terrain, getting up a little bit steeper here, kinda messy right here, messy but the ice is nice, as they say, and will suffice.
46:40 DB: little bulge I'm on now, which is nice, make a mistake of not leaning in too far, cuz then you cant see anything, and it's a very awkward position. Stopping here... hey Rick?
47:13 (about 1:30:00 on DAT C-2) DB: In about 15 feet there's a nice place, OK?
47:26 DB: Great. So I'm about 80 feet above the belay, Rick's encouraging me to put in an ice screw, which I shall, because you can fall over 170 feet at the moment. But it's so unlikely... Ice on the left!
47:56 - FX: ICE FALLING
48:15 DB: It was a leftover dinner plate that I didn't see. OK, stopping for an ice screw, right here.
47:27 FX: CHOPPING
48:51 DB: If I run out of rope I'll put in a screw and I could keep climbing, whatever you want. I'll belay ... puttin in a screw here,
FX: ICE SCREW GOING IN
49:23 DB: I'm clipping in the carabiner ... now I'm clipping in the rope
49:38 DB: I'm into a very nice ice screw
AMBI: CLIMBING, BREATHING, ICE CRYSTALS FALLING, CHOPPING, CLINKING VG
51:44 DB: ok now I'm on to some easier terrain here, back into some snow on ice, that was a nice bulge there ... beautiful climbing up here ...
52:23 DB: Hey rick? (RW in bg) I can put a screw in here ...
52:50 DB: Hey rick? How much rope? (RW in bg) OK
53:21 FX: CLINKING, ICE SCREW VG
54:03 DB: I'm putting in a screw here, at the belay. It's very nice...a little bit....the ice is hard here. This is a tough ...guy to go in here. I'm gonna have to tap in with the hammer, which I don't wanta do. A time consuming way to place an ice screw ......And it's almost in. TAPPING AND CLINKING THROUGH THIS SECTION VG
55:34 DB: Now I'm going to ... the screw is in, and I'm going to tie into it and I'm ready for Rick. Rick? I'm off! That's a really quick way, in a gully here where maybe he can't hear me, of letting him know I'm off belay. That means be doesn't have to belay me anymore, I'm anchored up here, that if... and that's good, because then he can undo the ice screw and not have to pay attention to holding the rope for me, and then if I'm ready to climb, and when he's ready, I'm ready. I've got a good solid ice screw, and I.... a lot more, it's just not necessary. A good stance here, very comfortable. It's important to get a good position that one likes ... it's a little bit erratic, the surface I'm on.
AMBI: ROPE BEING PULLED UP--G
57:55 DB: You re on, Rick! That means ...
58:30 DB: He's climbing now, very quickly. I'm in this gully, we have about one pitch left, half a pitch, I'm not sure, but he's really flying up here, so I have to pay attention to the rope. Can't really look around a lot ...it's just delightful in here.
59"07 DB: rick is very very fast, and very experienced ... so he's right on ... .it kinda sounds like I'm bending over ... and my waist strap is pinching my diaphragm a little, so it restricts my breathing. But I'm just here hauling in the rope, and I really take time to look around. My job is just to haul in the rope. And I can see this beautiful green lichen on my right.
59:58 DB: I feel bad about that one big piece of ice. I didn't really knock any loose with my ice ax, so I wasn't' looking. And I came upon another dinner plate, loosened by the party ahead of us ... and I shoulda been more careful, cuz it came down and it was big, and it went right by Rick, 3 feet away. And he dodged it very artfully.
1:01 :00 DB: I'm shifting a little bit, this stance is not my favorite ... rest my ankles a little bit.
1:01:21 DB: rick's not one to complain if I'm not bringing in the rope fast enough. So I have to pay attention ... Now I can turn around and look ... a lot of my view is obscured by the overhanging wall of this gully, which comes out right over my head about 30 feet now. I can see down to the bottom and I can see out into Maine, the mountains of NH, and ... now rick is really climbing fast. .. he's taking out the ice screw now, so there's a little pause .. .I thought there was
1:03:33 DB: it's good to ... I'm sitting kinda on, I'm on my crampons a bit now ... a little tired, ankle bent the wrong way ...
1:03:55 DB: hey Rick!
1 :04:25 FX: WE BEGIN TO HEAR A LITTLE OF RICK CHOPPING IN THE BG
1:04:55 DB: Sorry about that piece of ice... it was a dinner plate from that earlier party, and it was under the soft snow and I stepped on it and off it went ... that was a nice artful dodge
RW: yep (bg) ... you missed me (THIS IS 1:49:54 ON C-2 DAT)
1:05:42 DB: I've kind of made a mess of things here .. .I had it all stacked and then it slipped when I wasn't paying attention ... if we slide that down it ought all just ... go ... nothing to hang up on. Know what I find that's worse than any ice conditions are when you have a little bit of loose snow over ice, and you're not quite sure
RW: yeah, that's really nasty
1:07:32 DB: TALKING ABOUT THE TAPE RECORDER
1 :07:38 DB: we might as well get in a little more climbing
RW: sure, go ahead up
DB: I just wanta make sure that it's not gonna anything in the gully on you. So hold on ...you're still into your belay device ...
1:07:52 RW: You want me to put in another screw here? (THIS IS 1:52:27 ON C-2 DAT)
1:09:34 DB: I mean if! get up there ... I see ... I just don't want to get into some mess you know, of...
1:09:44 DB: I'm gonna have that quickie ice screw, that's all, cuz I'm not gonna go leading above you without putting at least that in
RW: good thinking
1:11:05 DB: but I think I was ok climbing above you
RW: yep. Oh yeah, yeah yeah
DB: I mean I wasn't gonna pop us both off, I Hope not.
RW: no, I'd catch you goin by
1:11:21 DB: next time I do this I'm gonna do what I've done on the Black Dike all the time, and climb with one tool, and assist ... you don't get bent over so much
RW: I know, it's crazy
DB: and you really have to ... fuckin hell ... ok man ..... ok ....
RW: soon as you get that screw in I'll be able to go back to sleep here
DB: all right. Lemme get right to a nice stance, just right here
RW: well you're eventually gonna run out of ice
DB: I don't wantto do that ... I know when to stop ... I know. But I don't want to have to put in two screws. I'm ok rick to be able to go up a little bit, I'm not gonna pitch off on you on grade 2 ice, I promise.
1:12:45 DB (APPROX 1:56:38 ON C-2 DAT) OK .. .it's just damn hard to put in.. :oops I didn't' hit it, went right through the middle, thankfully ... shit!. .. I still .. .it's so hard to put in ice screws at this angle, it's like ... whoops ... but I love putting this one in. Man! I'll never use another ice screw.
1: 13 :21 DB: I'm gonna bring all mystuff up for you to sell. Little bit of ice, sorry ... not mine. Somebody else.
1 :1340 DB: Look at this. This is so amazing .. .it's a good one too ... ooh I love it like that. I don't know what'd goin on when those ice screws go thru and hit air like that
1: 14:06 DB: this is a great ... that one's great. that one I had to bang in, I couldn't twist it in, so you're gonna, I regret to inform you, you're gonna have fun getting it out ...God" somehow, Rick, I just can't bear to go up over there
1:14:22 RW: (1:59:00onC-2DAT) Go to the right then.
1: 14:27 DB: It's just steep enough so I can climb. This is terrible awkward. This, whatever I'm on, with a pack.
1:14:54 DB: Sorry. I got something jammed up there that really is unpleasant.
1:15:18 FX: ICE TINKLING VG
1:15:19 DB: you know what, Rick? Since you're not in a great place, I'm just gonna go straight up. I don't want a knock any .. .if you were protected, that's one thing. But I don't wanta blast something down onto you.
1:15:42 DB: Wow. Huh. Those guys had 3 ice screws in here. Whoa!
1:16:00 DB: What?
RW: (talking about wind slab) (2:00:35 on C-2 DAT)
DB: I bet.
1:16:20 DB FX: WHISTLING
1:16:26 DB: sure is nice up here.
1:16:52 DB: Yeah ... oh that's all over right there, that's no point in going up that.
1 :17:12 DB: How much rope? .. what?... left?.... they went right up the gully ... you want me to go out there? .... OK, what do I belay to? .. I'll get a good stance ...
1:18:01 DB: You want me to go there, Rick? .. OK ...
1:18:28 DB: what? . . . OK. . .
CLIMBING AMBI TIL END OF SECTION AT 1:19:24. REST OF DAT IS UNUSABLE.