Beowulf - North Ghost
Climbed Beowulf yesterday and found the route to be in pretty usual conditions for this time of year. The bathtubs between steeper pitches are well frozen over, and where they're a little suspect, some careful walking avoided wet boots/feet.
Easy enough to stay dry on the way up with some mindful line selection and good belay positioning, but pretty damp once we'd worked though a few rappels on the way down. Goretex pants and a few extra sets of gloves were nice to have.
The first pitch or two had decent protection, but you might have to look around for it as there's a pretty healthy chunk of the pitch that is chandeliered and a little unconsolidated. Bit of wandering and you'll find the good stuff, and where it's good it's good.
The first of the upper steep pitches leading to the top out was brittle and took cleaning on the bulges to get through comfortably. Good protection throughout.
We decided we'd take 2 trucks all the way in to the North Ghost as we weren't sure how the ice maze was going to go. Happy we did. Almost no snow to speak of, so no issues with drifting but would suggest bringing a wood axe with you so you can cut down the steep lips of creek ice on the banks, and you'll have a few more options to cross. We wouldn't have made it yesterday without at least that much. We were happy to have a tow strap and few other tools to manicure the crossings. Guessing unless you've got good clearance already, or a lift, and then proper tires, it's pretty unlikely you'd make it in and through the ice maze currently without some vehicle damage - but always fun to try! All in a good day's adventure in the hills.
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