Omega had been climbed a week ago by numerous teams. Andrew and I made the approach and attempt but backed of due to brittle ice and cold conditions.
It was one week later and I wanted it bad, my mind was focused on Omega and this was the perfect time. Tomorrow was lining up, Jerry was coming over, todays weather prediction was for an inch of rain, and the arctic blast was arriving by mid day tomorrow. I thought we could possibly climb Omega before the news was out.
We met at 8am in the Cannon Lot. Our first crux done, the lot was empty, no climbers, no rush. Omega looked great from the road with a yellow line of ice from bottom to top. We approached the route.
My mind was buzzing with wonderment and excitement. Would the first pitch be ok, would the thin runnel be bonded to the rock, would the ice be fresh, would it be thick enough for protection, could I launch up on this pitch?
We arrived at the base of Omega, a wind whipped environment. I took a look at the route and decided it was the time, the feeling came from the gut, this was the day.
Pitch one is a long pitch that links together a variety of runnels of ice. The ice was in excellent condition, it was well bonded and sticky. Thickness was as expected verglas on rock to an 1 or 2 for much of the pitch. A couple of old pins, stubbies and one sawed off was the gear. Just enough to keep my mind in a forward direction.
The ice above looked good, the thin pitch completed, we were good to go. Jerry arrived at the belay, he was cold, his hands and feet were numb. It was time to fuel him up, a couple of gu gel,s, Terrys homemade energy balls, topped of with a hot drink. We took enough time to bring the feeling back. Jerry was now ready as I climbed upward onto the steep ice.
Water ran down the ice dripping over the roof. I was showered as I moved through this section, ropes, clothing, screws, slings, gear all encased in ice. Omega was fighting back. A mid pitch belay station was necessary, my gear was gone, ropes were heavy, a visual to Jerry was needed.
Anchored to the wall with three screws I called off belay. It was Jerrys time, he fired the pitch, climbing through the overhanging section with ease. He was now in force, fully recovered and climbing strong. I looked up, one short pitch to the top and Omega would be completed!!!
Just a sampling of the icing on gear.
Emotions ran through me as I topped out. It had been over twenty years since I climbed this route. Today was a fantastic day of climbing, pushing myself to the edge. Being able to share this day, this route with Jerry was something I had only imagined. We were both psyched to reach the top of Omega together.
Jerry and I at the top of a spectacular climb, on a brilliant day, Omega came together in fine style for us.