Despite the abnormally warm and dry fall of 2010, the last few weeks of snow and cold weather have finally brought home the fact that winter is indeed upon us and good outdoor climbing days are fewer and farther between. Many of us were still getting out three times a week as late as mid December and began to believe and hope secretly that winter would never come as we scrambled to finish projects in anticipation. The recent weather however has at last put an end to those hopes as our favorite areas are now socked in with snow, the temps have been in the single digits and the days have grown shorter. Good days are still upon us however. Though they may be harder to come by and sparingly granted, good winter climbing days do exist and are all the more precious not only because of their rarity, but also for the excellent, cool, crisp conditions and quiet destinations they can offer.
Thursday Luke Bohanon, Austin and I managed to take advantage of one of these days and make it up to a spot near 11 Mile to work on an area classic V10 called Scalius, which was first climbed by David Marquess years ago. It was a beautiful day with temps in the low to mid 40’s; maybe slightly warm for the problem but gorgeous to be out in. The problem is perched up on a hillside in an amazing setting, overlooking the frozen lake and snow covered grassy valley, surround by views of white capped peaks in all directions. It was an easy going yet productive day for all of us as we climbed and enjoyed the sun. Austin quickly put together all the moves and sent, while Luke and I both made progress, linking many of the moves. Austin was also able to pick out and clean a direct line up the boulder which contains some cool, dynamic moves as well. The direct line is still a project but it seems very promising that it will go. Below are some pictures of the day.