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Polar Circus - Turning the Pencil

 
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Polar Circus - Turning the Pencil
Traversing back into the main gully of "Polar Circus" after turning the "Pencil". The upper 6 pitches of Polar Circus are visible on the left. A truly remarkable setting (photo: A. Jones, climber: G. Cutforth)

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Dow Williamswas...

Dow Williams

Voted 10/10

the pencil in guys? did you climb it?
Posted Mar 17, 2008 9:32 pm

AJonesRe: was...

AJones

Hasn't voted

I'm just in the middle of posting the trip report. The pencil was touching down but was only about a foot across at the bottom. We took your route description with us and it was very helpful - thanks.

The only issue we had was not being able to match up some of the descent information, but I'm sure that's because some of the stations were under avalanche debris, and I think we found a few rap anchors that you didn't (they're so friggin hard to see, you almost need to run into them). Have a look at my trip report - you may won't to make a few minor changes to the descent description (e.g. no need to build an ice station between the top of the first tier and the bottom of the first teir - there's chain anchors on climber's right).

Oh yea, we had to reverse (i.e. downclimb) the pencil traverse - pretty spicy!!
Posted Mar 17, 2008 11:35 pm

Dow WilliamsRe: was...

Dow Williams

Voted 10/10

You couldn't rap over the pencil? there is an anchor up there...hard to find and precariously close to the edge though...particulary in the dark. Would love to climb it some day, guess it has been in only once that anyone I know has ever seen. Cheers
Posted Mar 18, 2008 10:32 am

AJonesRe: was...

AJones

Hasn't voted

I guess that was our issue - we didn't go right down to the very edge (although I was about 10 metres away and could see anyting, including footprints). I'm sure if I had of gotten right down to it, I would have seen them. We just didn't believe that they would be so exposed, and therefore were looking for them slightly further up.
Posted Mar 18, 2008 11:51 am

AJonesRe: was...

AJones

Hasn't voted

I made a small change to the trip report indicating that the anchors are likely there, just further down then I went (can't imagine down-climbing that in the dark - yikes)
Posted Mar 18, 2008 8:10 pm

pvalchevRe: was...

pvalchev

Voted 10/10

When I did it, I did one small (10 meter) rap to get down the proper Pencil rap station.

It was two pitons on the climber's right at the top, but they were very hard to see and I had to dig them otu of the snow (only tip of the sling was visible). No downclimbing was necessary but it wasn't dark either :)
Posted Mar 24, 2008 7:56 pm

AJonesRe: was...

AJones

Hasn't voted

There was no downclimbing, but you did a short rappel to get to the anchors? Is that what you were saying; I'm not sure I understand. Or are you saying, it was a 10 metre rap from the Pencil station (that can't be it, because it's a lot longer than that to get to the bottom of the Pencil) or you did a 10 metre rap to get to the Pencil station? If so, what did you rap from?
Posted Mar 24, 2008 10:47 pm

pvalchevRe: was...

pvalchev

Voted 10/10

Sorry, two raps to be clear: One 10 meter rap to get over a small cliff band (to top of pencil) and then a full rap over the Pencil. The first rap is 2 pitons on climber's right that were hard to find (I saw the tip of a sling and had to dig). The next rap is a nest of 5 or so pitons that take you over the pencil.
Posted Mar 25, 2008 11:58 am

AJonesRe: was...

AJones

Hasn't voted

OK thanks - that makes sense to me now. I'm kind of thinking the anchors were buried as there was a ton of avalanche debris, and I think I would have at least seen the top anchors as I went down the gully quite a ways.
Posted Mar 26, 2008 1:05 am

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AJonesSubmitted by AJones
on Mar 17, 2008 7:21 pm

Image ID: 388975
Hits: 1373 
Lat/Lon: 52.13876°N / 116.98551°W
Object Title: Polar Circus - Turning the Pencil

Image Type(s): Ice Climbing