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The Dutch Rudder was a First Ascent from last year that was one of my favorites. I had been climbing in the Schoolhouse drainage a month prior with Kevin Craig trying to get to the base of this monster and we were turned around by avy conditions just a few 100 yards short of the first pitch. We ended up climbing Dunces Corner which was in "SPICY" conditions.

Aaron Mulkey On Dunces Corner Photo:Kevin Craig

I had spotted the drip the week prior while hunting for some high hanging fruit in the valley and couldnt stop thinking about it. After Kevin and I were shut down I waited about two weeks for the warmer temperatures to settle conditions and melt snow.

The elusive "last climb before the war" was trying to come in

Tanner Callender coming up the first pitch of Dutch Rudder

Tanner and I returned to find great conditions and the ice was surprisingly good despite the way it looked.

Mulkey gettin in the business with "The Dutch Rudder" Photo by:Tanner Callender

The climbing was engaging and fun. The gear wasn't the best but careful balance and stemming provided some amazingly good climbing. I would highly recommend this route.

Tanner and I psyched on the First Ascent of the "The Dutch Rudder" and another great day in the South Fork valley.