January 30, 2014

Adam Haydock Climbing Tonti Falls Starved Rock State Park
I was able to get a couple days off of work due to the "extreme" conditions, so I took Brandon out to Starved Rock State Park to learn how to ice climb. We got to Starved Rock and signed in to go to Lasalle Falls which is a 20ft beginner route. Both days we were outside for 6-7 hrs in -10 degree weather but it wasn't too bad if you layer up clothing and maintain good circulation.  We hiked over to the location and after about an hour, we were able to get to the frozen waterfall. 
Getting ready for LaSalle Falls Starved Rock State Park
I took the lead which was good practice for me and so I can set up a tope rope for Brandon. I was able to get up and over the falls, rig a tope rope, and rap down while cleaning off the falls as I made my descent.
Adam Haydock and Brandon Karl about to Climb LaSalle Falls Starved Rock State Park
 Brandon gave it a try and made it with some small challenges to overcome. Nice work. Afterwards we checked out with the staff, grabbed some dinner, picked up his daughter, and he dropped me off at home. Phil Goldman got a hold of me saying that he wants to join the trip for tomorrow so the following day we got up extra early to get a head start. While I was getting ready, Brandon got a hold of me to tell me that he was not going to be able to make it due to his daughter being sick so Phil and I take off to Starved Rock and follow the motions to check in, park, and hike Tonti Falls.
Tonti Frozen waterfall Starved Rock State Park
We get to the falls and we rig the top of this 60ft frozen waterfall. . This place reminded me of a massive flowstone in a cave so it had similar properties but not really, it's made of water and not gypsum or calcite. Phil started his ascent and after Phil made his run up and down the falls, it was my turn to tool up the falls.
Phil Goldman Climbing Tonti Falls Starved Rock State Park
I get ready and slowly make my way up this frozen waterfall. I was able to  learn and work through some opportunities that I was hoping to learn going up this route. Ice climbing is not like rock climbing. It is prudent to take more breaks and not pump your way through the route, among other differences.
Adam Haydock About to Climb Tonti Falls Starved Rock State Park
After making it to the top and descending down, Phil and I decide to de rig and check out Ottawa falls which turned out to be interesting but not as interesting as Tonti Falls. Regardless it was nice to relax and enjoy a snowy hike through a vacant Starved Rock.
Adam Haydock Climbing Tonti Falls Starved Rock State Park

Phil and I grabbed dinner afterwards and I dropped him off at home. It was a fantastic day and I am glad I got to spend it with some good friends while staying active. 

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