Cool Climbs on Cannon Cliff
Matt McCormick and Bayard Russell seized an opportunity to create a long new variation to Icarus when they just happened to see “an incredible smear seemingly pouring out of nowhere,” according to McCormick’s blog. McCormick and Russell had set out the morning of February 2, despite less-than-ideal weather—35 degrees with rain. “I have to admit I was not optimistic,” said McCormick in his blog. They met at Cannon at 7:30 a.m. and walked the base of the cliff, trying to find the perfect route, when they saw smear on Icarus.
The warm weather proved to be a challenge for the climbers, but they persevered despite melting ice and rain soaking the climbers as they negotiated the route. “Water pretty much poured from everywhere, soaking my down belay jacket and keeping Bayard on his toes as the choosy rock and turf began to come unglued,” wrote McCormick. They swapped leads into the evening hours, and by the last pitch it was “consistently switching between pouring rain, hail, and snow.”
“We left the car around 5:30 a.m. and topped out on the Black Dike at about 5:30 p.m.,” McCormick said. “We started by soloing up right of Lakeview to just below the Old Man [of the Mountains'] remnants, and then basically headed left over a series of traverses, rappels/lower-outs, and some really quality upward pitches too. One of the highlights of the route is “walking the plank” for 60 feet across the top of the Great Flake that forms the Ghost Roof. Definitely sharp on both ends, without any gear between the start and finish!”
Video from last year’s attempt on the Cannon girdle below.
Dates of ascents: February 2012
Sources: Bayard Russell, Matt McCormick, mattmccormickclimbing.blogspot.com
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