Town was a glue, a terrible glue. It sucked at our feet like muskeg and threatened to prevent our leaving. Nome had turned into Sodom and Gomorrah due to Iditarod. So we tore ourselves away and headed back up the Kougarak Road late on a Wednesday night, back into the white mountains.
Maniilaq Falls (WI 2) in Thompson Creek was about a pitch long. It felt odd to be whacking into actual BLUE ice in the Kigs in winter; usually these cold mountains are able to produce only alpine ice. Our waterfall must be fed by a little tarn above it.
There was a disturbing hole at the top of the falls in which we belayed, the obvious source of the frightening detritus we had seen at the bottom. You can see the hanging crown face of whatever bizarre thing it was that released in the picture, below.
Thompson Creek is a cool little cwm walled off by the north face of "False Tigaraha," an area where the pluton comes into contact with the schist; Maniilaq was our mysterious name bestowed upon the blob we climbed on the east wall of Thompson Creek. Many new ice blobs have been sighted this winter due to low snowfall.
out of the cone of Hells Angel roaring
into the silence of the whackety whack and wind
how temporary your hair in this temple of nothing
so precious your mud flows for only now
i don't want anything to move
nothing in this place must change
i tip-toe around the frowns on all your faces
we are all become the prophet on the stick
he said to make hot water bottles before you go
don't go back to town, you are not wanted there
and this is how every snow-machine mountaineering trip must end