Widow’s Tears in Yosemite doesn’t always form, but when it does, it’s the longest continuous ice climb in the lower 48 and it hasn’t seen many ascents. First climbed in 1975 by Mark Chapman and Kevin Worral, it’s a seven-pitch classic near the Inspiration Point trail.
So far in 2019, at least a few teams have climbed it, including Mark Melvin and his partner. Melvin wrote a great trip report about their ascent on supertopo.com, which you can read here. In it, he wrote, “We started the first pitch about 7:45, and topped out at 4:45, hoping we had daylight to find a trail. Basically we got lost for an hour or so and eventually came upon some snowshoe tracks. Figuring that anyone out there was going to the road eventually, we followed it as it wandered all around, up and down, having fun in the woods (fun for them, nightmare for us). Four hours later it finally joined a beaten snow path, where we turned right and slogged another two hours east.”
A few years ago, Vitaliy Musiyenko soloed Widow’s Tears, watch below. There’s no telling how long the big classic ice route will be formed, but if you’ve always wanted to climb one of the coolest ice routes in North America, you better head to Yosemite while it’s in.
Widow’s Tears formed this week. After many years of considering it we got our window yesterday. The climb was much thinner than we had hoped for. Ice could be heard crashing down from the adjacent walls (Including a nice block that came close to hitting me). Despite lengthy verticals, some over vert and every type and condition of ice on the way up, my dad and I topped out. Thank you dad @xmarkmelvinx for the leads. It would not have been possible without you. #iceclimbing #widowstears