Red Wall Wonderer & More

March 7-9, 2008

Micah, Michiel and I drove up to Lillooet to see what ice we could find after a couple weeks of warm temps. We drove up to the Rambles the first day. It was t-shirt warm in the sun back in town, but once into the shade below the climbs it felt almost freezing. The ice was dry and plastic. perfect conditions!

Micah leading the first pitch of the Rambles Center (WI3).

Michiel coming up the first pitch.

Michiel tackles the intimidating second tier!

Leading the third pitch of the Rambles Center (WI3+).

Micah following the third pitch.

Micah leading the upper left climb (WI4-).

We went back to town and checked into the motel, getting a split room for the three of us. The split room was nice because the snorer among us (Micah shall remain anonymous so as to protect his innocence) was contained. We showered up and headed out to the pizza joint just outside of town on Hwy 99. Because it's always 2 for 1, we ordred four pizzas. The waitress asked us "do you really want all four at once?" Once fueled up, we took our leftovers home and packed for the next day's big adventure.

Red Wall Wonderer is a long 7 pitch route that climbs all the way to the ridge crest of Copper Creek Canyon. To get there, you drive about 12 miles West from Lillooet along 99 to where you can turn right and cross a bridge over Cayoosh Creek. We hiked along the road for a ways, then started up the Copper Creek valley on the right side of the creek. After about 45 minutes the canyon narrows down and there are rock walls on the right. Here we crossed the creek and started up the hill on the opposite side. We wallowed for a while until we reached the avie slope below the big obvious red wall. We could not see the climb its self until we reached the wall and turned a corner.

Michiel approaching Red Wall Wonderers.

Micah leading the first pitch (WI3).

Leading the second pitch (WI3+). Photo: Michiel

The first two pitches looked short, but were actually long fun pitches with many steps and rambles. These lead up to a comfortable belay beside the crux 25m pillar on the route. After some boot tightening and plenty of neck craning I was stoked and ready to go.

Anyone ever ask why you go ice climbing?

Dave leading the beautiful 3rd pitch of Red Wall Wonderers (WI5). Photo: Micah

The pillar was in excellent shape: dry, solid and steep. What a blast! Above the climb becomes less continuous, ascending several shorter steps seperated by snow.

Michiel leading the short fourth pitch. This was the first of many shorter steps. (WI3)

Micah climbing the deceptively steep 5th pitch (WI4-).

Michiel, finally freed from using his leashes, styles the 6th pitch (WI3+).

The last pitch is a little sting in the tail and gives a full 50m of ice to a tree near the ridge crest (WI4).

We rapped the route using trees and v-threads, staying essentially along the ascent path. We touched down at the packs as darkness fell, then stumbled down the gully totally stoked about such a quality climb we'd had. Soon it was back to the pizza place for ribs and "ginger ales".

Sunday we woke up a little worked. After breakfast we decided to give Michiel the scenic tour of the area and drive out to Marble Canyon for a short day. It was positively warm in the parking lot. So far we'd found great conditions in the shade, but the climbs are Marble get sun and were deteriorating fast. The Deeping Wall still remained so we pulled down as much as we could before calling it a day.

Michiel on the Deeping Wall (WI5).

It was a super trip, and a lot more than we expected from a warm weekend in March. Thanks guys, I can't wait for next year!

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