Jason and I headed to the Ghost for a nice short day. We climbed the ice to the left of Hidden Dragon that is normally a mixed route, but the pillar was formed to the ground. Some delicate fun climbing on the short pillar, then the ice attaches to the rock and it gets easier.
Then we hiked up the rest of the way to the Candlestick Maker, which consists of a couple of pitches of free standing pillars. The shorter first pitch was pretty hollow in the back, but had some more solid ice in the front, Jason led it with great skill. Apparently the last time Jason was here it was in much fatter condition. The 2nd pitch had a similarly rotten section and a longer vertical section at the top which required some cleaning of bad ice with collapsing feet - full value work out! There was a water pool at the top so I went further up to a large tree from which we rapped (70 meters).
We thought about traversing the ridge from the top of the climb and rapping down the Big Drip to check it out (first ascent style, see the guidebook), but we wouldn't have time to climb any of its ice anyway so we elected to go back.
Video I created, highly recommend to check it out (preview is below, but it's not HD, go to this link for HD). Or a shorter 3-minute one on Youtube.
Playing with my android phone recording a track
Ice Climbing in the Ghost: Candlestick Maker from Peter Valchev on Vimeo.
|Lots of snow in the Ghost this year for December|
|Looking down the approach ice||Hidden Dragon and The Joker on the left||Hidden Dragon|
|Mixed line to the left of Hidden Dragon that had formed up as ice (we climbed it)||Candle Stick Maker||Candle Stick Maker|
|Approaching||Nice piece of pro :)||Candle Stick Maker|
|The spooky (but short) first pitch pillar||Jason in the cave behind the pillar||Jason starting up the first pitch|
|The longer 2nd pitch||The 2nd pitch of Candle Stick Maker, kinda rotten ice in the top area, full value|