I haven't climbed on rock for weeks, my memories of sun, sand and wine-red rocks are fading. My focus now is on a myriad of unlikely variables coming together to freeze water onto stone, moss and small shrubs. Forecasts are checked daily for any sign of a cold front, precipitation is both necessary and feared and the boots rarely have time to really dry out.
Yes, the Ice has arrived.
Looking up the Goatee. Jens and I failed to properly insulate our cameras, ended up with frozen batteries and therefore few pictures.
Pretty much all of these routes have been very moderate, our radically curved picks are over-qualified for ice that feels more like crawling than climbing. The few "hard" moves we've tackled, on the other hand, felt beyond my endurance and less than fun (ice climbing is fun, right?).
In other words, I'm more than happy to crawl up "easy" ice and gain a solid foundation (It's good to be a gumby again, right?).
My ice tools, which seemed so futuristic and advanced when I bought them, remind me of a 2-year old computer, outdated just enough to be disappointing.