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 ADVANCED
Central Gorge
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Copeman Falls 
Gouge Away 
Lower Dangler 
Ponderosa Falls 
Right Dangler, The 
Survey Creek Falls 
Unnamed 
Wildfire Slabs 
Workin' on Leavin' the Livin' T 

Workin' on Leavin' the Livin' 

WI4+ M5 R

   
Type:  Trad, Mixed, Ice, 2 pitches, 200', Grade III
Consensus: WI4+ M5 [details]
FA: Trevor Bowman and Bridger Konkel 2/21/10
New Route: Yes
Season: After some cold nights and sunny cold days
Page Views: 488
Submitted By: Trevor Bowman on Feb 22, 2010

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BETA PHOTO: The route with belays marked, as seen from Highway...

Description 

Easily the canyon's most spectacular line, but also it's most rarely formed in my experience....I've climbed in the canyon off an on for six seasons and never seen a hint of ice on this thing other than in the 09/10 season; it seems that the necessary combination of high groundwater from a wet fall and the extended cold and snow throughout the winter combined to give it life. Although this is just my hypothesis, as there is no major drainage above the climb, and it managed to withstand months of sun and above freezing temps to hang in there. It is crucial to hit this is cold conditions, as it's south-facing and once it warms up it starts de-laminating and shedding ice quickly! A true anomaly, it's unfortunate it's so fickle but I guess that adds to the allure.
Found between the Danglers and Ponderosa Falls, this line drips down the tallest section of granite wall in the Central Gorge; when in, it is very obvious from Highway 14 across the gorge.
Named after an early Modest Mouse track.

P1-The cherry pitch! A 10' step with a shell of thin ice puts you on the ledge below the long pillar. By hugging the left side of the pillar, you can get several good stance rests and the occasional good rock gear. The ice should be juicy and plastic, but can quickly lose it's bonding with the rock and become sun-leached in warmer conditions. After the final steep step, roll over onto a nice belay ledge with a sheltered overhang. Good screw belay. WI 4+ 100'

P2-The spice pitch! There may be several options for this pitch depending on conditions. Traverse right on the narrow ledge 40' or so, getting some marginal rock gear in. Yard up a poorly protected 20' rock step on big edges (best barehanded) to a shelf. Find a couple more dubious rock placements and launch up the 20' thin ice smear (poorly bonded and unprotected in the conditions of the FA) to the final big ledge system, breath a sigh of relief (or dry heave like I did) and finish up the last 20' step of good ice to the top boulder belay. Unreliable pro, questionably bonded ice, and real-deal fall potential make this a mentally taxing lead. You could avoid this pitch entirely by continuing another 40' right on the low ledge and into a low-angle rock gully. WI 4, M5 R 80'

Location 

Found about 1/2 between the Danglers and Ponderosa Falls. See the approach descriptions for the Danglers. As with all climbs in this stretch of the Central Gorge, the approach is somewhat convoluted but not too bad--about 45 min from the car. Continue about 100m or so down-canyon from the top of the Danglers. Rap in (two ropes) from a good slung dolomite boulder perched on the rim right above the final ice step on P2.

Protection 

Screws 10cm-19cm, small assortment of short blades/arrows, single set stoppers and cams to BD #3, extended slings, double ropes highly recommended for P2.


Photos of Workin' on Leavin' the Livin' Slideshow Add Photo
Finishing up P1.
Finishing up P1.
Another view of the line from Highway 14.
BETA PHOTO: Another view of the line from Highway 14.
Trevor leading P1.
Trevor leading P1.
Bridger rapping in before the climb.
Bridger rapping in before the climb.
Bridger contemplating his second day on ice after ...
Bridger contemplating his second day on ice after ...

Comments on Workin' on Leavin' the Livin' Add Comment
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By Trevor Bowman
From: Sheridan, WY
Feb 22, 2010

A big props to Bridger, who gamely followed me up this thing on only his second day of ice climbing ever! Thanks man, it was a great adventure that wouldn't have happened without you!
By Bickle
Feb 22, 2010

Hell yes Bowman....I knew you would find a good climb for that name. looks like a cherry of a route. Super jealous that i am stuck in a state with little ice and no FA's. Keep it real.
By Trevor Bowman
From: Sheridan, WY
Feb 23, 2010

Thanks man...gotta love Wyoming!