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By Quino Gonzalez
Jan 9, 2010
On Jan. 6 and Jan. 8 I climbed 2 classic routes in Santaquin that seem to attract the greatest attention and one of the best "dry" routes. "Candlestick" is in excellent shape and on Jan 6. the ice was plastic. There was no need to break much ice since hooking was the norm. As usual, the top was melted and delicate to negotiate.
"Automatic Control Theory" was a different story. The first moves were tricky and technical. To get on top of the main curtain it was necessary to negotiate a system of hanging pillars on the right side of the main flow (second pitch) and throw a blind placement to the left. The rest of the climb was brittle and I had to clean a good deal of rotten ice on the upper part.
We also tried "Angel of Fear" but I couldnt reach the ice using the bolts under the curtain. So we climbed "Holy Ghost" (M 8+). The "coffin-sized block" that Heinrich and Smith describe in their book (Wasatch Mixed) is now hanging from the cable they used to secure it to the wall. From the bottom, it looks as if it was floating in the air because you can't see the cable. Unfortunaly, you need to go under that thing when you climb the route. Undoubtely, it will fall down sometime.