To celebrate the shortest day of the year, Mike Schneiter, Bob Cornez and I decided to drive out to Coal Creek to try to grab an ascent of the elusive Cold Heaven. This is one of the finer pitches in Redstone when it’s in condition, but it’s difficult to catch in good shape. It’s a snow melt climb, but faces south east, so you need good snowfall, with sunny days, and cold nights, usually right around the solstice while the sun is still too low to do much damage.
Bob gets nasty on the wide start.
We headed out on Friday afternoon with high hopes, as I’d seen the climb on Monday and figured by now it should be thick enough for a reasonable ascent. Driving up we saw some folks on the mixed lines at the Pencil, pretty sure it was the Rock and Ice crew. Slackers!! Who is putting that magazine together?!?
Man, this ice is kinda thin!
When we got to Coal Creek, it was quickly apparent the climb wasn’t much bigger, if any, than on Monday. Bob decided he was game to try it anyway, and off we went. He put a proud effort in, grunting up the mungy Fisher Towers-esque offwidth at the start, then dicing it out up some steep thin ice. Once past the hard stuff at the beginning, it looked like he had one more short, cruxy section left and then it would be easier to the top.
Looking for love in all the wrong places.
Unfortunately, he found poorly bonded, chandeliered ice, which would require hard, committing moves above crap gear. Wisely, Bob decided to bail, and hopefully we’ll be able to catch it in better shape later this season. Even though Mike and I didn’t get on it, we all had fun of course, a day out in Coal Creek was certainly better than sitting here in front of the computer.