The high crags of the Icicle are soooo untapped. The potential for long, hard free climbs is limitless. I truly believe that the Upper Icicle is one of the best adventure climbing areas in the states, right up there with the obscure desert towers of the South West, the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, and other similar zones. Like always, we carried no bolts or pins and still managed to find an unlikely 5.10, five pitch climb, that shot up the center of the formation.
The photo above shows the Bridge Creek Wall. It blows my mind that this 1500 foot wall sees as little traffic as it does. It is one of my favorite walls in the state. So sick. To reach the wall one must face a grueling (fun) hike through blowdowns, loose sand, and talus. To reach the Hidden Wall, you go even further, but it's worth it...
Our route took a line starting directly above the big tree on the right, and followed two distinct half moon dihedrals across the face. Pitch one was painfully dirty, but we persevered and scored on pitch two. This awesome stretch of climbing traversed left and up and contained pumpy climbing through several unlikely features. Awesome!
A few shots of pitch 2
Pitch 3 was also super classy. It is an incredible feeling to be able to climb protectable, traditional rock that has never been traveled before. No tat, no bolts. Just you, the rock, and mountains behind...another day in paradise.
Dan on pitch 3
One of the best reasons for visiting these high crags is for the panaoramic veiws of the major peaks of the Stuart Range.
A shot from the top:
Our long day finished with a few thousand feet of vertical sand surfing and a thorough tick check (we each pulled about ten off our bodies). If you desire dirt, suffering, run outs, and the sheer beauty of untravelled terrain, the upper reaches of the Icicle are for you. Get out there!