Sunday, January 20, 2008

Paulina Falls

Well, this weekend was absolutely amazing for me. I debated it for a while but decided to go ahead and hit up the Mountain Club weekend at Sunriver. They had secured a massive vacation rental house with hot tub, plasma tv, and plenty of room. I couldn't afford a $60 lift ticket to Bachelor so instead I rented cross country skis from the Rec Center at OSU and we all skied into Paulina Falls on Saturday after a very drunk Friday night.
I have never been rock climbing before so I was super stoked to get up to the falls to check it out. It took us a little while to ski the several miles up to the falls because some of us were not as comfortable on skis as others. Eventually, Logan and I just took off ahead of the pack and met up with Levi and several others already climbing on the furthest falls. Just before I got up to the view point of the falls I heard a massive crash and Levi mentioned that some ice had fallen while Rob was climbing... Later, upon looking at before and after photos, we realized that it was a massive section of ice, clearly two thirds of what Rob had been climbing had just given out as he tapped his ice tool against it. Check out the top photo in this post. I photoshopped the two images (before & after) together and colored one to show how much Ice had fallen away from Rob.. It was amazing! Thank God nobody was below him when the ice released or they could have been crushed. Luckily most of the collapsing ice just fell into the waterfall itself. The orange in the photo is what collapsed.
We tried the ice again to see if the thin curtain that was left could be climbed but it fractured at the bottom (eventually collapsing there too) so we decided to move to another location on the other falls. We then all got two rounds of some serious climbing on the 50' frozen waterfall. It was really amazing hearing the water rushing down all around you as your perched on the frozen ice with just an inch or two of metal penetrating the ice from the axes and the teeth of the crampons on your feet. I definitely enjoyed ice climbing more than I've ever enjoyed summer rock climbing. I even took a spill and dropped 5 feet before levi caught me on belway. It wasn't scary at all, I just had to be careful of the very sharp tools strapped to both my wrists. We had a great afternoon, staying there until dark and then skiing out a little past sunset as the winds started to really pick up. That night I was tired and exhausted from the long night before and the big day of exciting climbing so I took it easy.
Today people took off to Mt. Bachelor and other skiing adventures but I stayed in and watched the Patriots advance to the Superbowl along with Giants who barely won their game with an amazing 40+ foot field goal in overtime. Later in the evening I got a ride back with Ian and Colleen in his company truck over a very snowy and windy pass where we saw several accidents. I'm truly happy that I went on the trip and I had a lot of fun with the mountain club guys. I really enjoy learning rope skills from those guys (mostly rock climbers) and I can't wait to do more with the club as I have time this spring and summer. For a very long slideshow of nearly 600 photos click the title link.

No comments: