|Loch Vale & uphill
The ominous, deep cleft high and left on Thatchtop, above the Loch. Usually best approached from the right after climbing Necrophelia (though other ways, including a sometimes formed direct chimney, can be had), making for a great day of hard ice and mixed. From the shelf atop Necro, the climbing is easy and rambling to reach the crux final pillar, which is most often climbed as a steep ice pitch. However, when the pillar isn't touching, there can be brilliant mixed climbing - fairly hard, and all free-hangers are serious (and pumpy!), of course. These conditions are normally found early season, so be ready! A great route.
If it's all ice, it can protect with all ice screws. However, excellent cracks border the bottom half of the left-hand side of the crux final pillar - assorted nuts, and finger to hand-sized cams to form a medium rock rack are good. There's a fixed anchor at the top and in the gully all the way down (unless you walk-off left), but be prepared to leave your own if you can't find them or they're gone.
Topping out the direct start.
Ben Hoyt on the beginning of the pitch.
Conditions, no rope or climber erased.
BETA PHOTO: Billy pointing out our route for the North Gully s...
John Chobobian climbing Deeep Freeze, 11/2005.
Ben Hoyt leaning on the lower icicle.
A nice ice pitch ahead, below the crux pitch.
Here's yer sign.
Billy leading up the Deep Freeze pillar.
|By Kelly Cordes|
Oct 25, 2001
Last Wed, Oct 17, Scott DeCapio and I climbed this route after Necrophelia - sorry I slacked in reporting sooner. Was far better than Necro, offering superb mixed climbing. The final pillar wasn't anywhere close to touching, but great rock climbing (felt 5.9-ish - good pick locks & hand jams) with good pro led to it. Unfortunately, the cracks ended, so the awkward and strenuous climbing onto the upper dagger were run-out (unless you want to place screws in it to experiment with natural selection). Water was running off the pillar, it was chilly, and it's colder now - it may be getting fatter.
|By Ben Hoyt|
Oct 28, 2001
Climbed it today. From the previous description, it sounds like the upper pillar is in the same, possibly a little worse condition.
Still dripping, it was quite warm today, but otherwise a fantastic, sort of scary, climb.
|By Edward Corder II|
Nov 23, 2004
Deep Freeze in good shape, climbed it a few weeks ago. The first pitch is WI3 with good rock gear. The 2nd pitch is 30 feet of dry tooling (M5) to a exciting yet awkward chimney. Mostly good gear the whole way. On the way down my ice tool managed to work loose out of my harness and [disappear]. It is a Cork hammer with a new pick, reward if found.
|By Greg Sievers|
From: Estes Park, CO
Dec 10, 2007
When the (start) chimney pitch of Deep Freeze is being a nasty bugger, and the tunnel is choked with endless sugar; the first WI3 pitch of North Gully on Thatchtop makes a great way to access Deep Freeze. The broad terrace safely traverses to the right and is an easy walk when dry. Even with snow, it was easy to simlu. climb. It will deliver you in the gully below the WI4 pitch of Deep Freeze. Enjoy.
|By Ben Collett|
Nov 12, 2009
The direct gully start on this is very much worth doing. When dry, it offers fun dry tooling winding around a couple of chockstones and turns the route into more of a full day.
|By erik rieger|
From: Gold Hill, CO
Nov 3, 2013
As Ben says, the direct start really adds to the route.
I led up the arching thin cracks with the fixed angle—this is on the right side of the wall directly below the first chockstone—which consists of pretty in your face, yet decently protected, dry-tooling. You could also burrow deep into the back of the chimney, but it doesn't look as good. That start makes the route close to 1,000' long, though there's plenty of easy rambling.