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7/8/2020 3:01:36 PM
Posted: 1/24/2014 6:19:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2014 4:05:30 PM EDT by L_JE]
That's my plan for Saturday.

Ice conditions in VA tend to be a roll of the dice, and there's a good chance Crabtree Falls won't be in proper shape to climb the whole thing, but it's worth a shot.

The range isn't too far from there, so I'd like to combine trips and see if I can submit a ONE MOA ALL DAY target with my Mosin PU.

I'll post pics tomorrow, however disappointing they may be.

Also, if GD has any other suggestions for this event, or additional events, feel free to chime in.  Possible variations would be: travel by motorcycle; if there are any other ice climbers at the falls, see if they want to go to the range; go to local bar and try to use this exciting plan as a pick-up line; et cetera.
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 2:38:50 PM EDT
The temperatures were forecast to stay low for the next few days, so I moved the ice climbing to Sunday, to allow the ice to get in better condition.

Here are some photos from Saturday's short range trip.

This was my scope setting from a previous trips for 600 yard shooting.  The beauty of the Mosin PU sniper mount is that you can't zero the scope ... instead, you have to zero the mount.  I'm of the opinion that it's better to leave the mount alone, and just use dial offsets.

Consequently, my 100 yard zero used an indicated ~10m setting on the dial.   Shooting out at 600 yards, with a "400" meter setting, you have about the same angular distance on the dial from "400m" to "550m" as you do from "10m" to "90m", so this made sense, and I just dialed my scope back to "10m" for Saturday's 100 yard shooting.



40 rounds later ...



The first sight-in shot was at the 9'oclock position, and of the next 4 shots, 3 of them were a bit lower.

Moving on to my first target dot, all 5 shots were consistently low.  So, I moved the dial up progressively for shot groups #2 through #5.  During shot group #5, I had a misfire.  Afterwards, I had 9 rounds remaining, so I fired them at the sight-in dot using my scope settings from group #5 (about "65m" on the elevation dial).



So, that's odd.  I don't know why I have this discrepancy in my elevation settings.  I'm going to go back and see if I can replicate the elevation results, and tighten up the group sizes through some additional trigger work.  The groups are averaging around 3.5 MOA.  For comparison, at 600 yards, I was shooting about 3 MOA, and one of my guests shot a 2 MOA 5-shot group at 600.  Oh, yeah, and with the PU, you have an absolutely abysmal cheek weld; it's more like a chin weld.  

Ah yes ...

Is glorious misfire of revolution, comrade!

Link Posted: 1/26/2014 4:04:35 PM EDT
How cold is it?  Well, here in Virginia, it's nothing out of the ordinary.  Cold enough to let the falls form up, but we've had better ice conditions in the past.  By Wednesday, maybe things will be even better, but who knows.

Crabtree Falls is a stepped waterfall that has an elevation drop of about 1200 feet down the North side of a mountain called The Priest.  A couple of the steps are about 100 to 150+ feet, wit most of them being 60 feet or less, and the climbing ranges from Grade II to III ice.

This is Lance and Pete, aside from there names, that's all I know.  Normally, this section is a bit crowded, but this was the extent of the "crowd" today.





My route was about 3 feet to the right of Pete, and climbing by myself, I was able to move a bit faster than them.  This is Pete passing through the 70-80 ft mark.  He set up a belay a little bit beyond where he was in that photo, and I kept heading up the falls.

Link Posted: 1/26/2014 4:09:25 PM EDT
Cool thread dude. I wouldn't have thought that this was a thing in VA.

Was it you with the threads about the Taiwanese cadets over for Thanksgiving and the AT hikers spending the night?
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 4:14:55 PM EDT
The problem with Crabtree is that you'll have lots of running water in all but the coldest conditions.

This log is awesome, because it let's you cross the running water and get to the better climbing.  Don't fall of this log, by the way.



This is a 60ft section a little higher up, and my path was just to the left of the running water, trying to stay on the translucent part, as it's a bit steeper and more fun than the cloudy parts.  Unfortunately the translucent part was a bit on the thin side and I was striking rock near the top, a lot.  Climbing by myself, I have a habit of over swinging for "good measure", and as you might imagine, you can swing as hard as you want into rock, and it just ain't going to make things any better ... in fact, it sort of makes things worse by dulling your picks.



Link Posted: 1/26/2014 4:22:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2014 4:42:53 PM EDT by L_JE]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Cytic:
Cool thread dude. I wouldn't have thought that this was a thing in VA.

Was it you with the threads about the Taiwanese cadets over for Thanksgiving and the AT hikers spending the night?
View Quote


Yup.

Reminiscing about much warmer conditions, this is the beer I brought up to the hikers after they thought they might have left an iPod back at my place.  The shelter isn't too much further from the top of the falls.





ETA:

What could possibly go wrong with picking up total strangers and letting them stay at your place, and then giving them guns?  Well, if something does goes wrong, she's totally not guilty.  Totally.

Link Posted: 1/26/2014 4:23:56 PM EDT
Awesome stuff!!
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 4:26:16 PM EDT
Nice. Really enjoyed the climbing pics.
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 4:27:45 PM EDT
Ice climbing is neat stuff!    OP: Know of any good, simple top-rope sites in NC?  A friend and I are trying to get back into climbing.
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 4:28:01 PM EDT
Awesome!

Didn't know it got cold enough and for long enough for you guys to get some ice climbing in out there.

Just got the last of my cold weather gear purchased, and will be taking up ice climbing soon.
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 4:29:54 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 4:32:42 PM EDT
Awesome! I always wanted to climb ice but never got around to it.

When I was younger I rock climbed in Little and Big Cottonwood in the Wasatch which was pretty fun.

The fact that you went shooting and ice climbing on the same day makes for hero thread status in my mind.

You're to cool!! Nicely done, keep it up YOLO...
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 4:33:55 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By L_JE:


Yup.

Reminiscing about much warmer conditions, this is the beer I brought up to the hikers after they thought they might have left an iPod back at my place.  The shelter isn't too much further from the top of the falls.

http://i1186.photobucket.com/albums/z362/0471861731/20130611%20AT%20Hikers/_DSC0347Az_zps5a044790.jpg
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By L_JE:
Originally Posted By Cytic:
Cool thread dude. I wouldn't have thought that this was a thing in VA.

Was it you with the threads about the Taiwanese cadets over for Thanksgiving and the AT hikers spending the night?


Yup.

Reminiscing about much warmer conditions, this is the beer I brought up to the hikers after they thought they might have left an iPod back at my place.  The shelter isn't too much further from the top of the falls.

http://i1186.photobucket.com/albums/z362/0471861731/20130611%20AT%20Hikers/_DSC0347Az_zps5a044790.jpg


Cool! I always stumble into your threads and its always a good read.
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 4:34:20 PM EDT
cool shit!
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 4:36:19 PM EDT
Cool
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 4:36:25 PM EDT



having lived out west (oregon/Washington) I would have just skipped the ropes and ice bouldered that little icicle

Nice pics though,
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 4:38:29 PM EDT
Thank you for the gun porn.
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 4:40:04 PM EDT
The upper part of the falls doesn't form up every year.  It's been a couple of years since I've climbed it, and the last time it was in much better shape than this.



The ice looked better than last year, and I decided to take a chance on it.  There are two channels of running water, and I chose a line to the right of the right-most of the falling water because it looked more stable than the middle ice form.  

When you get fatigued while ice climbing, you'll find that your forearms lack the rigidity to make the pick go into the ice squarely, and you watch your axes futilely  glance off the ice at all manners of angles.  When this happens, panic isn't a wise course of action.  Slowing down the pace and taking in the view and a few breaths helps to settle things down while the lactic acid subsides.

Here's the view from the top of the ice.  I wasn't wearing a harness, so I couldn't clip into my axes midway up to get a really cool photo.  So, here's a lousy photo of my foot.



There's a wooden bridge and nice stone platform up at the top of the falls.  Unfortunately, in the summertime, people will step out beyond this platform to pose for a better photo, and they end up slipping on the moss (north facing waterfall).  It looks safe enough from the bridge, but it's so darn slick, and the hikers don't figure this out until it's too late.  From this platform, it's a sickening 200 foot fall.  Sadly, I think there are 28 recorded fatalities at Crabtree.



Unless you are covered with sharp, pointy, metal spikes, do not venture out beyond the railings.
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 4:41:51 PM EDT
Great thread!
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 4:49:47 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By MSC182:
Great thread!
View Quote


Always wanted to try that.
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 5:02:54 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PlaysWithAtoms:
Ice climbing is neat stuff!    OP: Know of any good, simple top-rope sites in NC?  A friend and I are trying to get back into climbing.
View Quote


A good site for NC ice ...
http://www.coolclimbing.com/ncice01.htm
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 5:07:46 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By L_JE:


A good site for NC ice ...
http://www.coolclimbing.com/ncice01.htm
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View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By L_JE:
Originally Posted By PlaysWithAtoms:
Ice climbing is neat stuff!    OP: Know of any good, simple top-rope sites in NC?  A friend and I are trying to get back into climbing.


A good site for NC ice ...
http://www.coolclimbing.com/ncice01.htm



Thanks!
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 5:08:02 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ILikeBlack:
Awesome! I always wanted to climb ice but never got around to it.

When I was younger I rock climbed in Little and Big Cottonwood in the Wasatch which was pretty fun.

The fact that you went shooting and ice climbing on the same day makes for hero thread status in my mind.

You're to cool!! Nicely done, keep it up YOLO...
View Quote


I ended up breaking it into two different days, since it looked like better ice conditions on Sunday.
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 5:18:24 PM EDT
From the top, it's about a 2 mile hike back down to the bottom.

On the way down, I passed by Lance and Pete again.  Looked like they were running laps on the same section, and Lance was showing good form.  This was his first time ice climbing, and he was looking pretty smooth and effortless.





From here, I had to high-tail it out, because I told my daughter I'd be back at noon to take her to Waffle House.
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 7:40:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2014 7:40:28 PM EDT by 2apatriot]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By L_JE:
The temperatures were forecast to stay low for the next few days, so I moved the ice climbing to Sunday, to allow the ice to get in better condition.

Here are some photos from Saturday's short range trip.

This was my scope setting from a previous trips for 600 yard shooting.  The beauty of the Mosin PU sniper mount is that you can't zero the scope ... instead, you have to zero the mount.  I'm of the opinion that it's better to leave the mount alone, and just use dial offsets.

Consequently, my 100 yard zero used an indicated ~10m setting on the dial.   Shooting out at 600 yards, with a "400" meter setting, you have about the same angular distance on the dial from "400m" to "550m" as you do from "10m" to "90m", so this made sense, and I just dialed my scope back to "10m" for Saturday's 100 yard shooting.


40 rounds later ...

View Quote


Your shoulder hurt like a sum' bitch?

Sweet pics. The ice climbing looks like fun.
Link Posted: 1/26/2014 8:04:13 PM EDT
Good post and nice photos. Thanks OP.

Please allow me to ask a real dumb-ass question: When you descend the ice fall and reach the bottom, how do you retrieve your rope which is apparently tied-off at some point on the top?

I never did any climbing when I was young and reckless. Now it's too late.
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 6:53:41 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Escape_from_NY:
Good post and nice photos. Thanks OP.

Please allow me to ask a real dumb-ass question: When you descend the ice fall and reach the bottom, how do you retrieve your rope which is apparently tied-off at some point on the top?

I never did any climbing when I was young and reckless. Now it's too late.
View Quote


I didn't use a rope on Sunday.  Climbing solo, I was able to move pretty fast and hit every section of the falls.


For Lance and Pete, Pete lead about 90 feet of the first route and established a two or three ice screw anchor in the middle (L/R) of the icefall.  I'm he then pulled the rope to the midpoint (a 60m/200ft rope), doubled it over, and rappelled back down to Lance.  Now you've got a top-roped pulley-like system from which to belay.  This would also let Pete come back down to Lance's level and coach him from the ground.  It also means that Pete's got $60-$90 worth of gear invested in the anchor he set up, and he needs to get that down.

On my way back down from the top, about 800 feet in elevation higher than where Lance and Pete were climbing, I saw Pete calling it a day and leading out the route from above his top-rope anchor, and to the treeline on the side.  From there, he tied into a tree and Lance seconded the climb, pulling out the ice screws on his way to Pete's position.  From there, they stumbled through the woods and through a thicket of rhododendron and mountain laurel, trying not to impale their calves with the frontpoints of their crampons as they made their way back to the hikers trail for the descent.

You can rappel off of trees, but this is hard on the trees and wears at the bark.  Since this is a tourist area, leaving nylon rappel sling wrapped around a tree is an aesthetic no-no.
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 7:32:05 AM EDT
Where is this range? I used to bear hunt all around the big Priest and little Priest. We used to go past the falls and take the road to Crabtree meadows then go up the Appalachian trail towards the top of the big Priest and release the dogs when we would cross a track. I've been all over those mountains back when I was younger.
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 7:54:08 AM EDT
Wow. Awesome of you to share such an interesting and obviously dangerous hobby. Thank you and be safe.
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 8:06:45 AM EDT
The range is about 5 minutes south of Vesuvius.  I think that puts it on the opposite side of the mountain from you, though.
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 12:59:08 PM EDT
Aah Vesuvius. I also used to do some bear hunting in Big Levels too, above Sherando lake. I've been through Vesuvius a few times going into Big Levels from the bottom when the Parkway gates were closed.. That's a pretty good little ride for me. I was just hoping there was another range closer that I was unaware of.
Link Posted: 1/27/2014 1:37:25 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Hurricane_Fury:
Awesome stuff!!
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Link Posted: 1/27/2014 2:18:28 PM EDT
Great pics.
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