Uintas - Reids Peak, Northeast Face, New Ice Routes 2. October 2014

Jake and I headed up to the Uintas to get in another ice route. The plan was to repeat a line that Scott and Angela had done a few weeks earlier, Golden Spike WI4 M5 (440’). Scott and Angela had put this line up right after we established The One Who Knocks on the 4th. I needed to get home so left while they stayed and blitzed the route in the dark. We were going on the opening day of the Deer hunt, so not wanting to get shot, we took a late start and hiked in around 11:00

It was summer conditions for most of the hike until we hit 11,000'.

It was summer conditions for most of the hike until we hit 11,000'.

Reaching the base I realized that the 1st pitch I had climbed a few weeks earlier was no longer climbable, so put up a new mixed start. 

Nathan Smith starting the first ascent of Richochet Rabbit.

Nathan Smith starting the first ascent of Richochet Rabbit.

Looking down on the first ascent of Richochet Rabbit.

Looking down on the first ascent of Richochet Rabbit.

20’ of ice lead to a pillar that was completely detached from the wall and ready to fall. I pounded a pin and started up the rock face to the right instead. At least one of my 4 points of contact at any give time was a loose block and there were not many gear placements, so ended up pounding 4 more well space pins as I continued on. The climbing was not too difficult but a fall would not have been pleasant. Finally I regained the ice and made a few moves to the left before reaching a good shelf I could traverse over to the belay at the top of the original pitch 1. 

I belayed Jake up and he trundled rock after rock which ricocheted in the narrow chimney and inspired the name Richochet Rabbit for the new pitch. 

Jake Hirschi starting on the first ascent of Richochet Rabbit.

Jake Hirschi starting on the first ascent of Richochet Rabbit.

Jake Hirschi following the first ascent of Richochet Rabbit.

Jake Hirschi following the first ascent of Richochet Rabbit.

After Jake reached the belay I decided to check out pitch two and found it in decent shape. Starting to detach a bit but still holding enough to be ok.  The ice was anywhere from 12” to 24” wide and 1/2” to a few inches thick. 

Nathan Smith on Pitch 2 of Golden Spike.

Nathan Smith on Pitch 2 of Golden Spike.

100’ of fun ice and mixed climbing brought me to a single piton Scott and Angela had used to rappel from and built an anchor.

Jake Hirschi following Pitch 2 of Golden Spike.

Jake Hirschi following Pitch 2 of Golden Spike.

Pitch 3 was more of the same, thin ice and rock in a chimney. I found pretty good gear on this pitch though. A #3 Camelot protected the 1st crux.

Nathan Smith on Pitch 3 of Golden Spike.

Nathan Smith on Pitch 3 of Golden Spike.

Nathan Smith on Pitch 3 of Golden Spike.

Nathan Smith on Pitch 3 of Golden Spike.

The ice ended after 50’ and then turned to mixed climbing up a vertical face. Good cracks provided bomber gear placements and pick cams from the Machine Tech.

The mixed face just before the top out on P3.

The mixed face just before the top out on P3.

Jake Hirschi topping out on Pitch 3 of Golden Spike.

Jake Hirschi topping out on Pitch 3 of Golden Spike.

This was Scott and Angela’s highpoint but we were still 100’ below the copout on the ridge line. Jake wanted the lead, and ran it out to the top on snow and rock.

Jake Hirschi on Pitch 4 of Golden Spike.

Jake Hirschi on Pitch 4 of Golden Spike.

Looking down pitch 4 of Golden Spike.

Looking down pitch 4 of Golden Spike.

After topping out, we continued on to the summit. Not bad for a sunny day in October. Our summit is the left of the two shadows.