Hold The Mayo

Will Mayo and I did the Poko waterfall in thin conditions on saturday. Ice was falling everywhere due to the direct sun, so we hiked up to the Upper Tier and did the first ascent of "Hold the Mayo", WI5+ M6. The first pitch started with 30 feet of dry tooling up a right-leaning corner using pins, specters, and a few nuts, then an unprotected dry tool traverse 20 feet right to another corner (scary for the leader and the follower), then up to a free hanging ice dagger, which was climbed by a series of one arm lock offs and wrapping your legs around it -- "humping" as Will calls it. The second pitch, which I led, continued up a few free hanging daggers with no pro (WI5) using another series of one arm lock offs, then angled back to a nasty vertical bushwack through freshly fallen trees.

The Upper Tier is absolutely full of cool ice. Not only are there a number of 4+/5+ columns, but there's a bunch of 1-2 pitch mixed routes as well. It gets direct sun, so is always warm. There's even an upper Upper Tier which has a number of cool looking (and unclimbed) lines about 80 feet long. The plumb is a line called Dark Lord (a 5.8 rock climb in the summer); iced up, it's a really cool looking grade 5 up a series of rock corners. It's definitely worth a few trips back. There has been considerable rock development there too. I counted about 10 bolted lines up aretes and cracks (and I wasn't looking that hard)...there's chain anchors everywhere. The climbing looks clean and not too extreme. An added bonus is that the highway noise is greatly diminished and there's no other people.