Drama Queen 170m M7 WI6
FA: Chris Brazeau, Jon Simms, Jon Walsh Jan 5, 2006
Late in March 2004, Jon Simms and I went "freestyling" up this part of the headwall after failing on another route. We had soon climbed to bellow the upper daggers in four pitches of entertaining climbing. We decided to go back the following season with the drill and push the route to the top of the wall. After a day of equipping in early december, we invited Chris Brazeau to join us for the final send. The name of the route comes from the conversations and jokes that were making us laugh one day working on the route. Everybody has a drama queen in their life...
Drama Queen is located on the Stanley Headwall about halfway between French Toast and Extreme Comfort. There is a traverse bolt marking the start and the first belay. The climbing follows thinly iced ramps and corner systems to wild mushroom formations that grow below the twin daggers that the route finishes upon. The climbing itself has a bit of an "alpine" feel and is a bit scrappy at times (wide cracks, squeeze chimneys, etc.). Each pitch gets progressively harder until the final ice crux at the very top! A rack consisting of Camelots - one each from .3 to #3, a few stoppers, and 6 or 7 screws including stubbies does the trick. The cruxes are generally well protected but there are some run-out sections in between. The route finding is very straight forward and the first three belays are fixed. The top belay is in ice.
P1 - Snowed up rock climbing in winter, but in spring there was "snice" for marginal tool placements. Follow the left trending ramp system to a cave belay with a bolt and a fixed Hex. 45 m M5
P2 - Chimney up, clip a fixed pin and exit left out the cave. Follow mixed ramp system up and left past a rappel station to a stance with a fixed pin. Climb the thinly iced left facing corner above to a ledge with a bolted belay on the right. 45 m M6 (rappel note: 65m to the ground from here or 20m to the intermediate station)
P3 - Clip a fixed pin and climb iced up grooves towards an easy ice gully followed by wild mushrooms above. Last year, one of the shrooms sported two body lengths of 110 degree ice! This year they were a bit easier although still bouldery and wild. Belay at a two bolt station above the highest mushroom. 50m M5 WI 6
P4 - The sport pitch. Eight bolts protect dry-tooling to reach the daggers, then about ten meters of hard balancy ice to the ledge above. V-thread rappel. 25m M7 WI 6