Tag Archives: missoula ice climbing

November 2013 Finley Creek Missoula Ice Conditions

This is a summary of current ice climbing conditions in the Finley Creek drainage. I didn’t expect to climb anything, but wanted to get a look around. Photos were taken with my iPhone around 1030am in the morning. I’ve uploaded them at max resolution so you can click and zoom.

Cheers!

The first good look. Graineater should be center right. Not much there yet.

The first good look. Graineater should be center right. Not much there yet.

Looking from the main overlook towards Weedeater.

Looking from the main overlook towards Weedeater. Also not much there.

Upon closer inspection…

Weedeater, from the belay.  Good drips and starts, but no climbing.

Weedeater, from the belay. Good drips and starts, but no climbing.

Looking up Foxes Corner. Suppose it is a mixed climb, so... drytooling? Pretty slimy though.

Looking up Foxes Corner. Suppose it is a mixed climb, so… drytooling? Pretty slimy though.

Looking up the main flow of Graineater.  Starts, but nothing to climb on (and please don't knock it down).

Looking up the main flow of Graineater. Starts, but nothing to climb on (and please don’t knock it down).

 

From the belay at The Thing In Between/MuleSkinner. Forming, but not there yet.

From the belay at The Thing In Between/MuleSkinner. Forming, but not there yet.

Up the gully at the Fang. I'd do well to get on this if it forms this year.

Up the gully at the Fang. I’d do well to get on this if it forms this year.

 

 

 

 

 

Passion

My friend Chris likes to remind himself (and me) that climbing is not his passion, but the relationships we form through climbing often are.  I had a few great days of climbing this past weekend- working hard in the vertical seems to strip away the unimportant like nothing else can, and energize me for whatever comes next.  “Climbing gives us so much, but when it takes, it takes big.” (Mark Westman)

A number of my friends are hurting today, and while I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Jack Roberts, his first ascents dance in my head and his partners have shown me the ropes.  I was sad to read of his death this morning.

Polar Circus, one of the greatest routes in the Canadian Rockies. FFA Jack Roberts and Dale Bard. RIP Jack.

Climbing has given me some of my best friends and strongest experiences.  It continually teaches me new things about myself and others, and enables me to give the best of myself to the world like few other things can.  Speaking of those who have not come back from the mountains, they would always say “go”- may their final lesson to us all be not to settle for less than our very best.

This past Saturday night I was playing my bass with some people and feeling antsy.  Talk to Hannah to learn she had almost recovered from her cold, so at the last minute we made plans to climb Sunday morning.  Happily, I finally got to tick the Graineater (70m, WI4, 2p)- the local classic is exactly that, classic.  A few photos:

View from the trail.

For being so close to home, the line is pleasantly NOT small.

Just off the belay on p2, and into the business...

Stoked to tick this one off.

“Don’t worry about what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive and do that.  Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.”  (Howard Thurman)