Dancing Lessons, Cooke Conditions

Submitted by kephoto on Mon, 01/03/2005 - 09:01
:D To ring in the New Year a group of us were down enjoying the mountains around the Cooke City area and ended up climbing on Barronette mountain. Half our group went climbing on the lower Barronette falls while my partner and I wandering over for some dancing lessons on the quickly becoming classic, Dancing with the Hippo. Barronette Falls is in good shape with some bad ice in places due to recent cold and snowy conditions. The hippo has been eating well this year and has a larger waistline than the first ascent last year. It was good to see that others have been enjoying some dancing this season. Even though the hippo has put on some weight, her skin was dry and brittle with a few more technical roofs requiring the occasional salsa move and/or a tango dip thrown into the mix. Good Fun but spicy! I took a 70 meter rope and by rapping off the tree on the top of the route the rope would barely make the ice mushroom at the base. In the Winter Dance guidebook Dancing W/T Hippo is listed as a 30-meter route. The only way a 60m rope will work is by placing a v-thread at the top of the steep climbing. Some other observations in the area: I was down before Thanksgiving for an ascent of the Hydromonster and it was thin and fun then but appears to have grown considerably. Marlboro Madness, Shower Curtain, South of the Summit(first pitch looked like it was touching), Jim & Jeff?s excellent adventure, Fossil Cave, and all the Silver Gate climbs were in. Having said all the above I would be extremely cautious with avalanche conditions in this area. Many of these climbs are in large avi paths. Almost all approaches are quickly requiring skis in this winter haven as the snow is piling up making the work required to posthole a daunting task. If you've never been down to this mecca of ice climbing it's well worth the drive. :wink: Kristoffer Erickson