I sat down with Dean at the Bozeman Ice Fest. For more than 3 hours he told a few stories.
"I was leading the pitch and the ice was just over a 1/4 of an inch thick for the whole 60 meters. I had very little pro in the whole pitch, it was a 'no fall' pitch for sure. 'No more rope!' my belayer yelled up to me. I looked everywhere for a place to build an anchor, but nothing. I wasn't about to down climb 15 feet to a small crack. "I need 20 more feet!" I yelled. We simo-climbed for 25 more feet to a spot where I was hanging by one hand on vari-glass. With my right hand I fished out a knife blade, and started pounding it into a seam. Once I clipped it I added a few more pieces to the anchor. The truth is we were in there in November. It's just way too early for there to be good ice on this route. I've never been more terrified in my life."
I was hanging on every word. I think I will hit this thing this May.
Now that I've climbed this route, I look back with a bit of nostalgia. For me it was the holy grail. True to my word I climbed it on May 30th and June 1st. The conditions were way easier than when Dean climbed it.
Go to www.idahosummits.com for the TR