When I saw that a late winter storm was to push through the high country this week, I decided to go up and check on Total Abandon before it hit. I hiked in from the Crags since the highway was closed due to high winds and snow drifts.
I found the Hero Traverse to be navigable, but with extreme caution due to deep windloaded snow. The area is starting to get more sun this time of year, and the warming has helped the layers bond fairly well. I didn’t find the unstable layers that I’ve witnessed recently throughout the Glen Cove area for instance. Still, great caution is advised…
I was pleased to find thick ice on Total Abandon, which is usually dry in the Spring. Although it is thinner than it was last fall, it has not fully sublimated. The first pitch was definitely thinner, but a selection of small cams would protect it well. The second pitch would protect with ice screws and a number one camalot for the crux move. The fixed stopper was gone.
-Phil Wortmann, PPAS.