While there were certainly much bigger things in the news yesterday, of note to the ice climbing community is a man who took a 100 foot fall while attempting to lead the Fang, likely for the first ascent of the season, when the whole formation collapsed on him. Below are before and after pictures, and you can clearly see where the fracture line is in the right hand photo.
Several commenters on MountainProject.com say they would not have considered the route in climbable shape, but that’s all part of the game in ice climbing, assessing the conditions and how they line up with your personal level of skill and acceptable risk. While on the surface this might seem foolish to some, we’ve all tried to push things in our own way, and we’re hoping for a speedy recovery for the climber, who was last said to be in the hospital in serious condition, which seems miraculous in itself given how far he fell.
Looking at the photos it’s also impressive that his belayer wasn’t injured by all that falling ice, it appears quite a lot came down.