Candlestick Maker, WI 5

Candlestick Maker, WI 5

Page Type: Route
Lat/Lon: 51.25246°N / 115.14565°W
Route Type: Ice Climbing
Season: Winter
Time Required: Half a day
Difficulty: WI 5
Number of Pitches: 3
Grade: IV

Overview/Approach

The Candlestick Maker is one of the better routes in the South Ghost. It's located high up at Orient Point, just above Hidden Dragon and to the right of The Joker/Hooker. It consists of a short technical pillar pouring over an impressively large cave, followed by a longer second pitch of steep ice.
Hidden Dragon and The JokerHidden Dragon


To get there, follow the Joker approach instructions.

It's hard to see whether the climb is in condition, as it's not visible on the approach until you are right underneath it. The best bet is to scope it out on the drive in, perhaps with some binoculars.

The best way to approach is to climb Hidden Dragon. There are a few mixed routes to the left of it that can be used too (one of them touches down occasionally). From the top of Hidden Dragon, scramble up low angle rock, snow and a short ice step, then chimney through a narrow slot usually chocked with snow. 50 feet further is the first pitch, with an enormous belay cave behind it.

Route Description

First pitch of Candlestick MakerFirst pitch
Pitch 0, 60m - Hidden Dragon or one of the mixed routes next to it, or optionally walk around left of it.

Pitch 1, 25m - The first pitch is a wild looking free standing pillar. It can be a funky/aerated skinny pillar, or it can fatten and fill out to be more moderate. Belay on the right from a bolt & old pin (2009).
The 2nd pitch of the Candlestick MakerThe second pitch


Pitch 2, 55m - Climb more steep and technical ice, the top section can be a sting in the tail with some overhanging rotten bulges. Best to belay from the ice, although it can be wet. The guidebook mentions pins on the right wall, but they can be covered in ice (I didn't find them). Alternatively, if you have 70 meter ropes, continue up the snow slope to the largest looking tree and belay from there (about 68 meters from the ground). There is a small bush on the right reachable with a 60 meter rope that had slings, which does not look the most confidence inspiring.

Descent

Rappel from ice, or the tree at the top, then off the bolt & pin (it would be nice to replace the pin with another solid bolt, if someone brings up a bolt kit).
Candlestick Maker overviewCandlestick Maker


After that, rappel Hidden Dragon and downclimb the ice steps, or it's possible to traverse skier's right to the Joker and hike down scree slopes.

If you have lots of time, it's possible to descent down the next valley over, traverse the ridge and go down the Big Drip, possibly climbing some of it in the process. If The Hoooker, the climb on the left is in, climb that too! (it's rarely in, however)

Gear & Video

Ropes, 10-12 screws.


External Links

CandlestickMaker trip report

Youtube video (and a longer Vimeo video)