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For many years, local climbers such as Todd Cozzens and Stan Price eyed this chunk of ice, hoping it would touch down someday. They even put a “stick in the mud” to collect ice to facilitate the pillar’s touching. Some years, the route would never form at all while in others, the pillar would get very close, but not quite close enough. The wall behind the pillar has no options for traditional gear and the rock is mud-like, so hopes to get on the awesome chunk of ice were continuously dashed.

Aaron Mulkey on Stick In The Mud

Aaron Mulkey on Stick In The Mud.

This chunk of ice was the proverbial low-hanging fruit, though ironically, nobody could reach it. I decided it was time to place some bolts so we could all stop hoping and start climbing.

Aaron Mulkey on one of his favorite moves of the route

Aaron Mulkey on one of his favorite moves of the route.

The mixed terrain involves some big moves but the ice is a fun, steep column. Taken together, it is soon to be a classic Cody mixed route.

Mulkey working through the moves. Figuring out whats holds are good and bad

Mulkey working through the moves. Figuring out which holds are good and bad.

Five bolts take you to the ice and although I removed most of the loose rock, it will always be a bit dirty.

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These pictures were taken on different days. I bolted the route with Stephen Berwanger and Chris Guyer and then took my first run. Many of the holds I thought were good broke on that first attempt. I then had to hit the road to the Ouray Ice Fest and this route was on my mind the whole time. Once back in Cody, I returned with Kevin Craig, Shawn Gregory and my wife, Kelly. Although the ice had sublimated, I was able to send it after a little more cleaning.

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I’m not sure how long the ice will last, but if you’re in town, get on it!  “Stick in The Mud” is to the left of Sendero Luminoso and you can see it on the hike up.

Many more FAs to report, so stay tuned!

Great view to finish the day

Great view to finish the day.

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