The Pickle

It’s been years since I climbed the Icicle in the daylight. This thing is open 24/7 and today was no different, but I wanted to get out and do something. Luckily, the people that Scott and I found half way up were bailing, and the only other people we saw were below us. I still can’t place ice screws, so Scott ropegunned the belayed pitches despite not having led anything for several years. Good on ya Scott. The Pickle didn’t have the best ice ever, but there was plenty of it, and the sunset was pretty bad ass as well.

Jackson Hockey

Jen was invited to join a team for the Jackson Hole tournament. One full line was from the Predators and one full line was from the Diamonds. They played amazingly well and after two wins, tied the Boise Wild Fire 2-2 in a hard-fought game on Saturday morning to make the final game, where they would play Boise again only an hour later. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to hold up quite as well in the final, but they still ended up second out of 10 teams that played. Every game was great to watch. Good on ya ladies! The rest of the photos are HERE.

Vipers vs Junior’s

Tonight’s game was great to watch. The Vipers tied the crew from Junior’s Tavern 7-7 in a very fast, high-scoring game. This was the first non-win of the season for Junior’s. Like the Diamonds a couple nights ago, the Vipers managed to not get too out of control when things got scrappy. There was plenty of time in the box, but the same was true for both sides, so it wasn’t too big of a deal. Plus, the guys (and Jen) got to laugh their asses of when I jumped out of the way after watching a puck coming at me through the 200mm telephoto lens. It caught the top inch of the boards so I just got to look like an idiot instead of breaking a $1500 piece of glass. The rest of the photos are HERE.

It’s About Damn Time!

Now all we need is a serious avalanche cycle and a couple more feet and we’ll be all set…

Staying Calm

The Diamonds, as a whole, seem to have one major problem. If a game ever reaches the point that things get a little scrappy, many of the team goes a little overboard on retaliation and they end up taking turns in the box until the end of the third period. Today, however, everyone kept their calm (well, mostly), and they simply scored goal after goal while the Blades racked up the penalty minutes. Nice work ladies. The rest of the photos are HERE.

Ouray

Each year I try to get down to Ouray for a long weekend of ice climbing, and luckily my thumb is just healed enough to allow the trip this winter. I still can’t lead anything because I don’t possess the dexterity to place ice screws, but I did get to toprope a whole bunch of really steep stuff and got in a ton of pitches (except Sunday when I was really hungover from Saturday night’s margs). The climbing was great, but there’s something I always notice when I’m in Ouray and would like to address. It goes like this…

Belayer lowers Climber to the river 35 meters below.

Belayer: “On belay!”

Climber: “Am I on belay?

Belayer:”Dude, you’re one belay, climb!”

Climber: “Dude, can you hear me?”

Belayer: “ON BELAY, CLIMB WHEN READY!!!”

Climber: “AM I ON BELAY OR WHAT???”

Guy On The Bridge: “Dude, your friend has you on belay”

and so on until the climber just assumes everything is probably OK and starts climbing.

Try this instead: Lower your partner to the river. When the rope goes slack you know he’s standing on the ground. Take in the slack and give the rope three long, hard pulls. This is the signal to the climber that he’s on and can start moving. No yelling needed. Then again, listening to a half dozen climber standing next to running water in the bottom of a canyon yell back and fourth with a half dozen belayers standing ten feet back from the rim of the canyon was pretty entertaining. Thanks for keeping my smiling when I’m so hung over that I can barely function. Keep up the good work.

Other Ice

Another game for Jen, another hack photo job for me. This time the Diamonds played the Ice Vixens, and when they weren’t fighting, managed to score three goals for a 3-2 win. Nice work ladies. Photos are HERE.

More Ice

Damn it! Where the hell is all the snow??!! Oh sorry, lost my train of thought. I mean, yay, I got to go ice climbing today. Jen and I took three friends out for their first time on the ice, and everyone had a blast. Conditions were surprisingly good given the warm weather. It’s good to know that winter lives… even if it is on life support.

Holy Crap, Rock Climbing!

If you ignore the fact that rock climbing on the 2nd of January means that this winter is seriously lame, I was pretty psyched to go climbing today. The doc told me that it would be at least next spring before I was able to climb even a little, so I was pleasantly surprised to be able to lead a 5.8 (with two hangs). My fingers, arms, and shoulders are all pissed at me, but my thumb feels surprisingly good. I was just barely able to clip with my right hand, I could place a cam if I got pretty creative, and I avoided any pinching but I’m guessing it would not have gone well. Now that that’s out of the way, how about some damn snow!

Back From Canada

Well, since there’s nearly no snow in Utah, I didn’t feel that let down that there was no outdoor ice in the Soo. I went up to Canada to hang out with Jen’s family during Christmas and was really stoked to play some pond hockey, but temps were too warm and it was not to be. We did get to swing tools on a really short piece of ice, go to a Greyhounds game, check out the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre (with an “re), and watch Canada dominate the World Juniors. Big thanks to Jen, Donna, Jill, Jeff, and Greg for a kickass week. But really, do I have to come back to SLC and find out that it’s 50 damn degrees outside.

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