Posted by: westcoastice | November 30, 2009

2017/2018 Ice Report

Ice Climbing Conditions Reports for the 2017/2018 season – focused on British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. Email me reports at westcoasticereports@gmail.com and I’ll get them posted. Send pics too!

We have a Facebook Group, if you want to stay as current as possible. Go to the West Coast Ice Group on Facebook and request membership there.

NEW ROUTES
West Coast Ice New Climbs Guide – For a list of all the new climbs since the 2005 edition of Don Serl’s West Coast Ice, please check out the latest (2017) edition of New Ice Climbs in BC

Google Earth file that includes locations of most climbs from both Don Serl’s West Coast Ice guidebook and the New Climbs Update. Here it is embedded in Google Maps. Please let us know if you notice and major errors or omissions.

Hedley/Keremeos Mini Guide from Drew Brayshaw – scroll down on the Dec 30, 2016 Report
Trout Creek Ice Climbs – A mini guide for ice climbs in Trout Creek (South Okanagan) from Stan Sabourin.
Malakwa Ice Routes – Here’s a Guide for the Malakwa Ice Routes from Allen James Rollin.
Revelstoke Ice Climbs – Here’s a Guide from Allen James Rollin for Revelstoke Ice Climbs.
Greeley Ice Climbs – Here’s another Guide from Allen James Rollin, for Greeley Ice Climbs, just East of Revelstoke.

Posted by: westcoastice | January 19, 2018

January 19, 2018 Ice Climbing Report

The last few days have brought a lot of precipitation, both rain and snow, in BC. The Duffey was closed for a time yesterday (Jan 18) due to heavy snow and avalanche conditions. So please consider avalanche conditions & risk if you are going out there. Combined with warmer temperatures, most areas are showing Considerable risk at all levels of the alpine. Choose your lines carefully and check http://www.avalanche.ca/map

Highway 95 – Kootenay Highway

(Adrian Burke) Not technically West Coast, but still in BC, I climbed Gibraltar Wall with Connor Brown last Friday (Jan 12). Connor chose the hardest line on the wall, ending up at about WI4+/5- in difficulty (over 3 pitches). The first pitch was WI3, wet and plastic. The second and third pitches chandeliered and steep, making protection challenging and the climbing pumpy (WI4+/5-). Gibraltar Wall is 27 kilometres down the Kootenay Forest Government Road / Settler’s Road, East of Canal Flats, BC. You can find it in the Canadian Rockies guidebooks.

Gibraltar_Wall_19Jan18

Connor leading a free-standing column of ice on the Gibraltar Wall (Adrian Burke)

Highway 40 – Bridge River Canyon

(Don Serl) It seems like this is turning into a fine ice season, with plenty of possibilities. As I’m no longer active and therefore have no need for ‘secrets’, I thought I’d toss this one into the mix. The Gift is one of the finest lines within the West Coast Ice area, but because the huge first pitch almost never forms ( or even touches down), I think it’s had only 2 ( or 3?) ascents in the two decades since Lyle and I snagged it. That’s a shame… but I suspect there’s a ‘work-around’. There is a huge ledge system that leads in from the left, thereby avoiding the first pitch. This ledge carries a few trees, which I reckon could be used for belays and/or pro, and while it’s hard to tell from a distance, I sorta thought that one could scrabble across it up near the wall above, probably even getting bits of pro there too. Four or five great pitches await above… Just a thought…

The_Gift_alternate_19Jan18

The area, circled, of the ledges alternative to climbing pitch 1 of The Gift (Don Serl)

(Carolyn Graham with Jennifer E. Carter) Conditions update from Sunday 01/14/2017 (Bridge River area): Good (but wet) climbing conditions on the central line on Cedarvale Falls (WI2). There is still open water on the right and left sides. Just down the road, we tried to find the climb located at the Falls Creek bridge. We hunted around on both sides and under the bridge, but did not see any terrain that looked like WI. Has anyone ever located or climbed Falls Creek (WI2)? A bit further down the road we located the route Bighorn Creek (WI2) – this route is mostly formed, but not quite in.

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon & Oregon Jack

CROWD WARNING: Jeremy noted that they are “gonna pack our umbrellas and take another BCMC course up this weekend. Oregon Jack Saturday (Jan 20). 2 top ropes all day, but we can make way for people to play through. Sunday TBD. Wish us luck.

 

Highway 1 – Spences Bridge

(Carolyn Graham with Jennifer E. Carter) Conditions update Tuesday 01/16/20018: Climbed Private Idaho near Spences Bridge. Car thermometer said 37ºF (3ºC) where we parked at the pullout for the trestle crossing. Departed the old railroad bed between 2 streams (as shown on Gaia) and before a cattle gate (and associated barbed wire). Followed tracks in the snow toward a narrow rocky outcrop above and to climbers right. Scrambled the first 15′ ice step. Keychain thermometer said it was ~32ºF  (0ºC) in this shady slot between the rock. Route is in decent condition (and was dry), WI3, with a full value top-off to a tree anchor. Uppermost step sounded hollow and had water flowing behind, requiring delicate climbing. Heavy rain started 20 min after we were back at the car and headed down the road. Rain continued all the way to Hope.

Posted by: westcoastice | January 15, 2018

January 15, 2018 Ice Climbing Report

Highway 40 – Bridge River Canyon & Lillooet

(Shannon Healy) Last Sunday (Jan 7), we tried Hell’s Creek first, but it was not in. Decided to go for Honeyman after and we only climbed the lower half due to time. It was wet, but the ice was still good. The first bit you can feel the spray from the left side, but after a few moves your out of that and the rest of the water was coming off the ice. It is thick, so it’s not going away anytime soon, especially with -12ºC temps. You, your gloves and ropes will get wet, but it is worth it.
(Bobby Wallace) We came, we climbed (Jan 14). Honeyman Falls.

Honeyman_15Jan18

Early morning jaunt up Honeyman Falls (Bobby Wallace)

(Danny O’Farrell) Climbed a another fun new route “Stoner Falls” with Steve Janes to the left of Shriek of the Sheep we think?. Its slog of an approach, but the top two pitches are worth every penny!
(Steve Janes) Conditions-wise, the ice was WI5/5+ condition; very steep, very brittle, and chandeliered. Substantially more physical than the first pitch of The Gift for example. The final ice was a sneaky bastard, with brittle unconsolidated ice interspersed with eggshell 1-2” thick, somewhat difficult pro, and deceivingly steep sections, even overhanging for the first two body lengths, no real rests either…

NEW ROUTE
Stoner Falls WI5/5+ 350m 3+ pitches FA Danny O’Farrell & Steve Janes January 13, 2018
Take the same drainage as Shriek of Sheep, but take the left drainage when you come to the “Y” in the drainages. Continue up the drainage to a 15-20m pitch of WI3+ or 4 depending on the line you choose, there was an old sling that someone used for a rap station a few years ago (potentially trying to find Shriek? ).
Continue up the drainage on easy WI2-3 rambles and snow for another 250m until you come to the main fall. The first upper pitch is in WI5 condition for 55m. Belay off screws or tree on climber’s right. Continue up on another 20-25m of WI4 ice to a tree belay on climber’s right.

(Steve Janes) Danny O’Farrell and I climbed a super rad ice/mixed route about 600-800 meters above Terzaghi Dam today (Jan14). Danny said he’s not sure its been climbed or even formed like this before, but being roadside I wouldn’t be surprised if it had been climbed numerous times. Either way, its in right now, felt about WI5, 22m and was awesome! Half ropes really helped limit rope drag on the traverse… Pretty fuckin cool road side mixed climbing for those into that sort of thing!

NEW ROUTE
Stoner Sends WI5 22m FA Steve Janes & Danny O’Farrell January 14, 2018
Roadside mixed route 600-800 meters above Terzaghi Dam (see above).

On another note, we watched a team make the second ascent of Bitcoin Billionaire this afternoon! Could turn into a real classic!

(Wayne Wallace) Climbed Capricorn on Saturday (Jan 13) and made the second ascent of Bitcoin Billionaire on Sunday (Jan 14). Pictures below.

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon & Oregon Jack

(Bobby Wallace) We were the only group at Marble Canyon on Sunday (Jan 14). +1ºC most of the day.
Most of Deeping Wall was wet, with a dry patch up the middle.
Icy BC was good though.

Marble_Canyon_15Jan18

Marble Canyon on Sunday. Deeping Wall on the left; Icy BC on the right (Bobby Wallace)

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

(Antony Wood) Super fun. Fucked up mixed route outside of Lillooet today. Primo. With Nathan Spowage.
Just as you come past the dam into Lillooet. Cross the river on the left and down the tracks a way. Starts with 2 blobs of ice. Wi3 thin. To M5 plus runout. Above Small Creep.
(Drew Brayshaw commented…) If it’s in the bowl above Small Creep, then it has been climbed before, but I’m not sure of the exact details. Used to be a couple fixed ropes up there, somebody’s spent time working on that.

Lillooet_Dam_mixed_15Jan18

Mixed climbing above Lillooet Dam (Antony Wood)

(Henrik Hinkkala) Good day (Jan 13) on Three Ring Circus with Graham Rowbotham and Perry. Road doesn’t need chains, follow yellow flagging. We finished at the last section on ice, 2 raps down on threads.

(Tim Nielsen) Climbed Carl’s Berg with Mike Hong on Saturday (Jan 13). Chandelier-y, mushroom-y, and fun. Lots of nice caves. Looked a bit early seasonish.
Tip: don’t use guidebook approach beta. Traverse climbers left along river ‘trail’ and then follow the leftmost gully up to the climb. Its not as steep, and less grown over. Happy climbing!

Carls_Berg_15Jan18

Mike Hong’s legendary selfie from Carl’s Berg Saturday.

(Mike Vanwerkhoven) Climbed The Tube with Clayton Matthews on Saturday (Jan 13). Was bone dry! Thin upper portion, so we led up the main event, set anchor up and did some laps.
(Henrik Hinkkala) We climbed The Tube today (Jan 14) to the top, muddy finish. The bolted anchor at the top was covered in snow-ice, when I topped out. The other guys uncovered it while coming up. I totally would have thought the anchor would have been at the ledge above; I looked everywhere. But it is placed lower down, where it shouldn’t completely freeze over.

(Mohammad Pahrbod) Rambles Centre upper tier in a fat condition; wet though.
(Jennifer E. Carter) Carolyn Graham and I wanted to report on Rambles Center today (Jan 15). Just a warning about the top tier anything left to center: watch for a big slabby surprise hole on the top out. You can’t see it from the base. Right now you can turf tool around it in the frozen dirt, but be careful if it warms up out there. Top tier, right hand side in excellent condition. 1st tier is in great condition; just a bit wet.
(Eric Bites) Climbed Rambles Centre with Marcus and Adam on Saturday (Jan 13). First flow is nice, Top Tier seems to have healed up a bit since the last report. Decently wet on a few lines, but plenty of dry options.
Snapped a photo of Shreddie from the car, looks huge.

Highway 1, 3 & 5 – Hope, Fraser Canyon, Coquihalla & Manning Park

(Drew Brayshaw) It’s super warm here. The stuff that was in on Saturday in the Fraser Canyon, including Hells Lake Falls, was falling apart on Sunday afternoon! Your best bet to find local ice would be high elevation stuff like the Falls Lake climbs (if not buried under snow) or Nepopekum Falls in Manning (if ditto).
(Marc-André Leclerc) Ice may have survived up box canyon. Felt like +20c in the sun at 1500m today (Jan 15) though.

(Drew Brayshaw) Water Music is fat.
Riddler and Mr Freeze have huge mushrooms.
Kryptonite is not touching down.
Where is Ultrawoman is looking the best it has in years.
Sailor Bar Gully has holes with running water on pitch 2.
Under the Big Top is skinny.
Unclimbed stuff on the East side of the Fraser River looks good (packraft access maybe??)

Highway 1 – Spence’s Bridge

(Adam – aka Boomer R. Tadd) Climbed with Drew Brayshaw on Private Idaho today (Jan 14)… dry!
(Drew Brayshaw) Climbed Private Idaho with Adam off Highway 8. I think this was relatively fat conditions for this climb, which doesn’t form every year. Stan Sasbourin gave it WI 2+ on the FA, but it felt like a WI 3 to me!
Note:  Easy to link these up with the Goldpan gullies via a 15 minute drive, make a worthwhile day out of it.
Approach Note: KMZ pin is in the right spot (Google Earth file), but the climb can be hard to see from where you park by the bridge. The parking/approach picture below should help. Walk along old rail line past the ranch until you reach a spot with boulders and old wrecked trucks. Angle up and left from here to the climb (climber’s left of drainage), because the direct approach up the drainage is full of prickle bushes

(Drew Brayshaw) Pictures below of Murray Creek Falls at Spences Bridge. The left hand column forms from the creek itself and rarely freezes solid. The right hand column forms out of a hole or tunnel in the rock that was drilled for an irrigation flume, and is usually more likely to be solid enough to climb. The flume is long gone. On the FA the descent was made by walking off along the flume* . Nowadays, I’m not sure what you would do as the ice is thinnest at the top. Build an anchor at the last thick ice? Rock gear? Crawl through the tunnel?
*See below for the actual story from Garry Brace.
(Garry Brace) On the 1st ascent (I think) we crawled through the tunnel.

Spences_Bridge_15Jan18

Murray Creek Falls at Spence’s Bridge (Drew Brayshaw)

Posted by: westcoastice | January 9, 2018

January 9, 2018 Ice Climbing Report

Highway 40 – Bridge River Canyon

(Danny O’Farrell) Today (Jan 6), Steve Janes, Hunter Lee and I climbed the first pitch of The Gift in WI5+ conditions, with a significant amount of water pouring down everywhere. Bailed due to large amounts of running water and time. If your heading up in the next few days bring an umbrella!!
I’d suggest full GTX, or better yet, a dry suit lol, I had water pooling in my sleeves, and pouring down my arm pits and torso and into my pants; full value pitch.
Upper pitches were pouring even more than the first…

The_Gift_lead_9Jan18

Steve Janes leading The Gift (Danny O’Farrell)

(Sean Draper) Mike Hong, Shahbaz Tabyanian and myself did a 1 day mission to Salmon Stakes (Jan 7), departing Vancouver at 0330 and getting home around 2230. Good conditions in the Bridge River, although it was starting to get above 0ºC in the afternoon. We avoided the scree cone, and found a good approach up through the trees on the right. Good first pitch, with some smaller, but fun steps above. At the corner it turned into a snowslog as far as we could see, so we headed down. Lots of rockfall from the walls above as it warmed, funnelling directly down the scree approach. Good day out.

 

(Danny O’Farrell) After working on the Bridge River for the last 3 years and spending over 100+ days working on fisheries conservation and monitoring with the Xwisten First Nations, I’ve spent a lot of time day dreaming of establishing new lines in the Bridge River Valley, as it’s a very special place for me. Over the last few months, I’ve been watching a few lines form high on the walls above the river. After showing Steve and Hunter these lines, we decided to give one of the lines a go!

On Sunday, January 7, 2018; Steve Janes, Hunter Lee and I, established a new and exciting mixed alpine style route up the Bridge River Valley called “Bitcoin Billionaire, M6, WI4, 325m”. The route was completed in 7 Pitches. The route is a approximately 550-600m elevation of gain, from the base of the river to the top of the climb, the route itself is approximately 325m. Steve Janes says one of the best lines he’s ever climbed.

NEW ROUTE
Bitcoin Billionaire M6 WI4 7 pitches 325m FA January 7, 2018 Danny O’Farrell, Hunter Lee & Steve Janes 
Approach
: The climb is approximately 43.5 km from the highway from Lillooet or 6.5 km below Terzaghi Dam. The route lies between the already established routes Salmon Stakes and A New Leash on Life along the highway on the East side of the river. From the road you can only see the final pitch of beautiful fat blue grade 4 ice. Cross the river and gain approximately 250 of elevation to the base of the climb.
Pitch 1 55m WI 4: Climb a small hanging pillar to thin ice for approxmently 25m at WI4, the pitch than eases up to grade 2-3 and snow to a large ledge with tree belay.
Pitch 2: 55m M6: Climb WI2/3 and snow 25m to gain the ledge. Traverse into an awkward and fun squeeze chimney with questionable pro, requiring making multiple crux moves involving lots of stemming, groveling, facing both directions, and knifeblades (M6, 25m). Traverse right 5m to and belay off large tree on climber’s right.
Pitch 3: 65m WI 2/ M3 / Snow Ramp: Climb the long snow ramp 45m, then climb awkward WI2/3 M3 for 10m, climb the remaining snowslope 10m to large tree on climber’s left. Belay from tree. 70m ropes are required or belayer may have to simul-climb up 10m or climb to a small tree on climber’s left to establish another belay station.
Pitch 4: 35m WI 2/Snow Ramp: Round corner from belay station on easy WI2 and snow. Make one awkward move over rock and ice bulge to base of squeeze chimney. Belay is located on climber’s right in small crack, gear to 0.5 or pins.
Pitch 5: 55m M6: Enter the chimney and get busy! Stem up on thin ice and rock to overhanging chockstone roof at M6 (Solid cam under roof, right side #2 Yellow BD Camalot). Then find stick in low quality snow and ice at the lip and grunt through the roof. Once through the roof and chockstone ,enjoy fun stemming and better ice at M5 to upper cirque and final tiers. Belay off good ice screws below upper cirque.
Pitch 6: 20m WI 2: Easy climbing on good ice to base of final 40m tier. Belay off good ice screws on climber’s right in small alcove.
Pitch 7: 40m WI 4: Fun climbing on WI4 on fat blue ice to top of climb. Belay off good ice.
Descent: Rappel route, using trees, v-treads and slinging ice pillars.

 

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon & Oregon Jack

(Jeremy Thom) Crowd warning: I’ll be taking a BCMC course out this weekend. We’ll have two ropes up and lots of top-roping. The plan is to hit Oregon Jack on Saturday (the 13th). We’ll play nice of course if anyone else shows, but you won’t have the climb to yourself. We’ll be there all day. Sunday is TBD depending on how everyone does and what’s in, but I’ll post something Saturday evening with the plan.

(Steve Roberts) Some shots of Marble Canyon from Sunday (Jan 7)

 

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

(Kevin Aitken) Seton ice, +7ºC at take out… Lots of ice falling and water flowing.

 

(Mikes Shives) Climbed Synchronicity on Saturday (Jan 6). Very wet, but still loads of good fat ice. There was a small point release that came down from the lower part of the Synchrotron gulley. Enough snow to cover some of our tracks. Felt a bit uneasy with the warm temps.
Rambles Center still fat on Sunday (Jan 7).

(Eric Hughes) Rambles right conditions (Jan 8). Raining across duffey. Its all sounding hollow and very wet.
Public Service (mixed start to curtain) was not in.

Rambles_Right_9Jan18

Rambles Right (Eric Hughes)

 

Highway 99 South – Pemberton, Whistler & Squamish

(Adrian Burke – WCI webmaster) Ryan Larkin and I climbed The Plum in Birken on Sunday (Jan 7), to the top. All pitches are in good shape with some open holes that were easily avoided. The first pitch was a bit of a shower so Goretex is suggested. The last pitch was spectacular with thought provoking ramps and mushrooms requiring some acrobatics. It made it worth all the effort. Fantastic pitch.

The snow slogs between the pitches were epic. Wet, deep West Coast snow, sometimes up to our thighs. But lucky you… we (mostly Ryan) have punched a trail all the way up that should make it significantly easier. Get on it!

 

Highway 5 – Coquihalla

(Russ Shepherd) Couple of photos from Box Canyon.
We climbed Yellow Flow today (Jan 7). It was thin in spots, hollow in spots, crumbly in spots… overall it was a great day out!

 

 

Posted by: westcoastice | January 6, 2018

January 6, 2018 Ice Climbing Report

Highway 40 – Bridge River Canyon & Lillooet

(Francis St-Pierre) Climbed at Honeyman Falls with Werner on Wednesday (Jan 3). Ice was good with a mixture of wet and some dry lines going at WI 3-4. Centre is fat with mostly good ice and pro. Left didn’t look attractive and far right basically hasn’t formed. I was surprised by the amount of avalanche debris at the base of Honeyman… it’s clearly a place to watch out for after a dump, which is fairly rare there so easy to forget or disregard.
Cherry Ice looked ok from the path, but still has a hole on the lefthand side.

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon & Oregon Jack

(Wes Dyck) Jan.1 – led Oregon Jack in one 50m pitch. -17ºC the whole day. Slinging strange mushrooms and one old screw hole under roof was a bonus. Thanks to Allan T. for long belay.
Jan.2 – crawled out of the tent at -20ºC. Top-roped Deeping Wall on 2 lines to get in shape for the year. -15ºC during the climb. Thanks to Allan T. for cold weather camping.
(Tim Nielsen added…) No Deductible (The Showdown??) has bolts frozen over near the top, and is therfore in X condition to lead, unless you get your metal detector out.
That beta is second-hand, and also as of 6 days ago, at which point upper ice was still to thin to take even stubbies, as it usually is.

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

(Peter Watson) Really stoked to have finally ticked Three Ring Circus. Route is in good shape with the first pitch being much fatter than past ascents but it still feature the same sort of shit cauliflowers. At the top of pitch 2 we rambled up one more grade 2 step before rapping. Slung a tree up and left of top of pitch two and set a thread just below bottom of pitch 2. Go get it, easy approach with Enterprise Creek being plowed; 4wd necessary but no chains required today.
(Fern Webb commented after climbing it the next day with Kris Wild) Someone from the logging company left a note on our windshield today indicating they didn’t like us parking there. Climbers could bring shovels to dig in further off the road. I don’t know what company, the note was not signed.

(Wes Dyck) Jan.3 – Attempted Mr. Freeze WI6, but looked easier and less sustained than Riddler WI5. Dan C. graciously led, but backed off due to his first day off the couch! Good ambition, Dan! -7ºC whole day. Cirque of the Superheroes was the best ice I saw all 3 days. Kryptonite looks great if you are up for leading it.

(Peter Watson) After needing to chip ice out of my rims this morning to get rid of a bad wobble, G AND I meet at highnoon for an afternoon (Jan 3) play on Carl’s Berg. No longer brittle, the ice, at -7ºC temps, was running with lots of water. Full Goretex was worn and utilized.

(Peter Watson) After getting beaten to Synchronicity this AM (Jan 5), we punched trail up Loose Lady all the way to the top. Classic conditions on the route, approach gulley is really crap condition with so much snow that the ice is rotten with lots of water running under it. First WI3 pitch was fine, with lots of snow clearing and rotten ice. Upper tier has a huge amount of ice. I snuck up the left side to the bolt belay behind the pillar at WI4+. Then punched through a hole from behind the pillar to take on the front side at WI4+ as well. Light drizzle rain on and off all day. Make sure to consider avalanche hazard & conditions given this warming trend. There is considerable terrain above.

(Eric Hughes) Tried Shreddies today (Jan 6). First pitch is in good condition. Second is a chandeliered water fall. I got up three mushrooms around the back before trying to exit onto the front face. It was too warm today +3ºC. The main column on the right will be good to go once the flow drops and the ice consolidates. Gulley slid while descending so expect a slippery approach.
Closet Secrets is leadable, but not protectable . First pitch is 1 inch thick in places.

Highway 99 South – Pemberton, Whistler & Squamish

(Alex Ratson) A little late to report although Tuesday morning Ryan Larkin and myself got on Nintendo 64 in Squamish. Great climbing although probably isn’t lasting with the incoming heat.

N64_06Jan18

Leading Nintendo 64 (Alex Ratson)

(Jason Ammerlaan) Sky Pilot North face is still sporting some really good ice. It stayed cold yesterday (Jan 3) and the ice was hard. The thin ice on the rock bands in the centre of the face will make for a much more sustained outing once they form up.

Highways 1 & 5 – Hope

NEW ROUTE
Navigator Wall M7+ R 9 pitches 700 meters FA January 3, 2018 Marc-André Leclerc & Tom Livingstone
(Marc-André Leclerc) Tom and I climbed a winter version of Navigator Wall (first winter ascent) on the South summit of Slesse two days ago (Jan 3). A superb mixed route and a great day out. The rock is perfect for mixed climbing. 700 meters, M7+R. Can’t wait for more. 
(Tom Livingstone) We made slight variations to the summer rock line, and Marc described the climbing as ‘rowdy!’ I agreed: after about three Scottish tech 8 or 9 pitches things were certainly getting a little crazy… Hopefully we’ll get some more good weather and conditions soon!

(Boomer R. Tadd) Conditions Report for Othello Tunnels:
Tunnel Time; Tunnel 1 – Not quite touching down, but some short screws and some bold moves should get you up and on the roof. Goes at a Railway Grade of 2-3, maybe 3,4,5 moving down tunnel, train driving side.
Pillar Time; Tunnel 3 – It’s fat and touching. Strange vegetable-looking formations and thin close to roof, tools blunted from concrete disguised as ice, but still a sick and burly climb. Solo up to roof, no big deal.
Thomas the Tank Engine; Tunnel 4 – It’s not in, not even close, looks like some tourists collected the main ice and used it as swords. But still a fun approach with crampons on in the dark.

South Okanagan

(Dave Mai) Some photos of Naramata Creek ice. More interior than West coast, but I figure this group would get a kick out of this photoshoot we did at Naramata Creek park a couple night ago. Ascending crystal pillars in the middle of the night. Achieved this look using a couple LED lamps and headlights. Wasn’t sure how well this shoot would go at first, but I figured if the photos didn’t turn out, at least we got to go ice climbing!
Thanks to Stan Sabourin and Colleen Aven for playing along.

Posted by: westcoastice | January 3, 2018

January 3, 2018 Ice Climbing Report

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon

(Mohammad Pahrbod) I climbed in Marble Canyon with Goodarz Nategh & Parisa Faghih on January 1. Deeping Wall Direct, Icy BC and Body Shop were all in, with good quality ice. It was freaking cold -16ºC.

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

(Drew Brayshaw) A couple rare formers on the Duffy are coming in (pics from the 29th Dec): Cutthroat and Gung Hai Fat Choi

(Mohammad Pahrbod) I climbed Carl’s Berg WI5 with Goodarz Nategh & Parisa Faghih on December 31. It was freezing cold -17ºC with brittle ice. We rapped down in the dark.

(Francis St-Pierre) Went to Rambles Centre with Werner for a first day (Jan 2) on ice doing laps on the first 2 steps. Ice is fat and in great condition. Mostly dry lines. Note: there is a fair bit of powder snow on approach, but the ice is clear of snow.
Looking at Shreddie from the road, it looks almost formed.
Rambles Right looked fat, as seen from road (sorry no pic)
(Mohammad Pahrbod) Synchronicity looked great on the way back from Lillooet. Noticed two climbers on the lower tier (pic below)

Highway 99 South – Pemberton, Whistler & Squamish

(Eric Carter) We went looking to climb Place Creek Falls today (Jan 2). Hiked in, but it was pouring with water on the left side, so we bailed. Instead we swam up Class in Session and then bumped over to Roadside Attraction.
Class in Session was pretty runny and easy to find. We parked at the sign for Cool Creek Canyon.
Roadside Attraction was great.
(Drew Brayshaw added these comments about Eric’s Place Creek Falls photo) That looks about the same as when we climbed it, except less open water and way more snowy! We climbed up (totally snow in Eric’s pic) and set the first belay in the cave on the right, then climbed just left of the cave where the snow blobs are visible to reach the upper low-angle stuff.

(Mike Vanwerkhoven) Clayton Matthews and I ended up randomly at Drive-by Shooting looking for Roadside Attraction. Climbed it and on our way down found Roadside Attraction and climbed it as well. Drive-by was thin. Roadside has a lot of ice! Pillar looks amazing. Any of the non-vertical ice had a layer of rotten ice to clear, but underneath it was solid. Cold day with the wind chill, screaming barfies full on on the first climb in the morning! (Cord and rap ring on tree above right side of Drive-by added)

(Jeff Van Driel) Climbed at Mystery Roach Hotel and Fat Giblets today (Jan 2) with Teresa and Tim Ross.
Mystery Roach Hotel is lean. We dry tooled through the bolts at the bottom to avoid breaking any of the fragile features. It was a bit thin for screws in general. As far as access, CME is the company developing the area and their site office is now right at the base of the climb. We chatted with them and they let us park right there. How long this will last, I don’t know. They definitely didn’t want us to head up the road any further as they are blasting up there.
Fat Giblets is in good shape, although the lower angle ice near the top was a bit rotten on the surface. Lacy Giblets looked like the lower smear was detached from the rock somewhat (sorry, no pic). We took a long circuitous route (deep, slow trailbreaking even with snowshoes) to get there and a more direct route down. Half way between Wedgemount turnoff and Wedge Woods (park either/or) head more or less straight up, then trend a bit left to the climb.
Here are the coordinate corrections for the kmz file:
Mystery Roach Hotel 50.17471, -122.87532
Giblets 50.17593, -122.88618

(Joseph Wong) Tried to climb A Scottish Tale today (Dec 31). Approached from Chief parking lot. It’s knee to chest deep snow on the approach. Took me 3 hours to the base. I couldn’t start climbing, as I kept sinking in the snow. Jean-Marc Savoie told me he rapped in and climbed it yesterday. I think that’s the way to go for now.
(Alex Watson added…) We rapped in and climbed A Scottish Tale from where the rock is ahead of you. The snow was really hard deal with, even when rapping in!
A couple of us put in a shiny new rap station where the old shitty pin station was halfway down the main flow of A Scottish Tale. Should make it much easier and safer for those approaching via the Gondola.
An observation; the tree at the top of the climb is getting shit kicked from people rapping. It might be worth looking at making a more sustainable anchors here with the added traffic on this route.

Highway 1 – Hope

(Drew Brayshaw) We climbed Mousetrap on December 31. There was lots of crud to clear to get to the ice. Lots of ice under the crud, but you need to be prepared to dig for pro. Need to climb the first 5 meters on steeper ice, but the sticks were good and the landing was a big fluffy pillow. Screws would have been short on that though. Better pro higher up. The climb itself is a trail, beaten in to top of second pitch. We did not go past there.
Spitting Cobra looks in from the road.
Tradewinds and Tailwind too.

Posted by: westcoastice | December 30, 2017

December 30, 2017 Ice Climbing Report

Thanks to Drew for updating the latest New Climbs Update.

Drew also created a beta version of a Google Earth file that includes locations of most climbs from both Don Serl’s West Coast Ice guidebook and the New Climbs Update.
Here it is embedded in Google Maps. Please let us know if you notice and major errors or omissions.

There’s been quite a bit of snow in the last few days. Avalanche conditions, particularly in Eastern BC, are as high as Considerable. Keep safe – check the latest local conditions at Avalanche Canada.

Overall, you should expect snowy and early-season, thin conditions on most routes. The upcoming sunny days and cold nights should start to fatten up the ice nicely, over the next few weeks.

Highway 40 – Bridge River Canyon & Lillooet

(DrewBrayshaw) Graham Rowbotham and I climbed at Hell Creek today (Dec 27). Main falls have a couple WI 2 to 3 lines to do. Oh Hell/What the Hell are also in with some wetness; Oh Hell finish is pretty much just icicles so move left from top of that pillar to What The Hell anchor tree. Hell Freezes Over is not in yet but has some icicles. Looked at hiking up the canyon to Lost in Hell/Bloody Hell, but there are lots of fresh downed logs from the fire in there. Looks like there might be more ice too, if anyone feels like prospecting for new climbs.

(Drew Brayshaw) Graham (Rowbotham) and I made a couple of false starts this morning and ended up salvaging the day (Dec 28) with a run up Honeyman Falls. The first pitch is in great shape. There is a huge geyser on the second pitch and, this is important, it moves around! It moved over to spray our belay 70 m up a couple minutes after we got there. We got doused pretty good while building a v-thread and retreating and ended up with a few mm of rime all over our clothes and gear. Recommend building an anchor lower down (40 m or so off the ground) if you climb this in the next few days.

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon & Oregon Jack

(Peter Watson) We climbed Icy BC today (Dec 29) at Marble Canyon. Drove up the Bridge River to have a go with The Gift, but lots of new snow and strong winds had us run away. Marble was a nice consolation to the day. The storm made for a memorable ride home.

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

(Peter Watson) Meet at 11am at Cinnamon Creek today (Dec 27). Mindset on climbing Last Call. It did not disappoint. First (mixed) pitch has some ice, but we used a 4th class ramp about 200 feet up from start of real first pitch and rappeled off a large tree 30m into gully  — to arrive below start of second pitch (first real ice pitch). Steep and chandeliers describes first 20m or so. Wi4+. All rappel stations replaced with new cord and rap rings. One v-thread for second rappel. 70m ropes used.

(Kris Wild) Driving back to the coast from Kamloops on Dec 30, and can give visual report on a few spots.

Marble Canyon routes look great, especially Icy BC.
Three Ring Circus was fat (not sure about access these days).
Synchronicity looked awesome (powdery snow on talus approach would be gruelling).

Highway 99 South – Pemberton, Whistler & Squamish

(Brian Martin) Climbed Cal-Chek today (Dec 28), it’s in, I led with 15cm screws on the bottom 1/3 and 13’s on the top 2/3 with my last screw being a 10cm. I suggest going around the rock on the right if you are at all nervous about rock climbing with ice gear as straight up on the big bulge doesn’t top out on ice. I am a conservative climber, but if you are comfortable with a little risk straight up works. As a note it was just Justin Bennett and myself there and the snow was pounding down. Enjoy it, the conditions were perfect today.

Some pictures of Cal-Chek from Jean-Marc Savoie:

(Alex Ratson) Got on A Scottish Tale today (Dec 28) via the Sea-to-Sky Gondola. Seemed like a slight inversion with much wetter snow falling up top then at the car. Regardless, the route was fun to climb. Lots of large sluffs on the peripheral of the gully… might be front country but definitely still presents some avy hazards with this large dump of snow.

Highway 1 – Hope

(Don Serl) I went to Kamloops and back for Christmas visiting, and from a quick but decent look while passing by west of Hope (Dec 27), I’d say Medusa is in. Not much snow, so the walk up will be a bit of a trial.

(Fern Webb) I got a glimpse of Nepopekum Falls from the blue chair today (Dec 27). Looks blue and solid, but not as big as I have seen in other years. Lots of fresh snow so the approach will be a chore. Was snowing too much to take a picture.

Posted by: westcoastice | December 26, 2017

December 26, 2017 Ice Climbing Report

The BC ice season is finally forming up nicely. The high temperatures in Lillooet are forecast to be in the -10ºC range to the end of the coming weekend and well below freezing through the first half of January. Good stuff for the ice!

Highway 40 – Bride River Canyon

The Gift looks in according to this nice drone video.
The Theft is still forming. Pitch 4 icicles have not touched down – see drone video.

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon & Oregon Jack

(Boomer R. Tadd – WCI Facebook group) Oregon Jack. December 22. Most of the Lower Pillars are free of snow, since I cleared it all off for everyone. Hooky lower pillar and can do a couple variations, thanks to some smears on rock lower down, so can mix it up for laps on rock if you want to play. A foot of snow on the way in didn’t stop the Jeep, but road is pure ice under snow so take caution driving up to big tree for parking… Crux is hopping over barbwire, goes at grade 3 or higher, just saying!😜 Upper middle bulge is horrible and running. I wouldn’t screw it, but I know some people have screwed worse. Solo action up to top pillar over hollow bulge is better if your not wearing Goretex. It’s actually not bad for early season, many different formations, so I like it.

Oregon_Jack_26Dec17

Oregon Jack on Dec 22 (Boomer R. Tadd)

(Clark Bostrom) Braved the cold in Marble Canyon today (Dec 24). There’s a foot of light fluffy snow, so dig out the gators. Deeping Wall was well formed and dry. The line to the right was in good nick but wet. First pitch of Icy BC is good to go, but wet and snowy. No other humans around.

Deeping_Wall_26Dec17

Deeping Wall (Clark Bostrom)

Photo of Deeping Wall (left) and Icy BC (right) from Emily Doyle:

Icy_BC_26Dec17

Photo of Deeping Wall (left) and Icy BC (right) from Emily Doyle

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

(Jean-Marc Savoie – WCI Facebook group) Rambles Left is still in (thin) condition, on Dec 23. Bring at least 3 red screws. We ventured all the way to the high tier, which I had never explored. We found a sweet steep flow. Go check it out.
Shreddie already has more ice than last year.
Closet Secrets is starting its forming with a curtain at the top.
Entropy looks in and ready to hike to.

Zoomed in photo of Shreddie.

Shreddie_26Dec17

Shreddie (Jean-Marc Savoie)

Highway 99 South – Squamish, Whistler & Pemberton

(Jean-Marc Savoie – WCI Facebook group) In case anyone was wondering, as of December 24, Line Drive, Nintendo 64, and Alice on Ice are all at roughly 25% formed. Need a few more nights or colder temps. Try later in the week or next week.

(Mohammad Pahrbod – WCI Facebook group) Checked Cal Chek today (Dec 23) – virgin ice with running water in spots. Much better than last Thursday when checked by Jean-Marc. Believe might be climbable by Wed (Dec 27) if temps stay around -5ºC for few more days.

(Drew Brayshaw – WCI Facebook group) Graham Rowbotham and I (Drew Brayshaw) stopped in Birken Valley on the way to Lillooet and climbed Place Creek Falls. Pretty good shape right now. Maybe a bit easier than Update describes it with about 10 m of WI4 and lots of easier rambling. One big hole at the bottom, but climbs dry. We climbed 4 pitches: 30 m WI 2+, 30 m WI4, 60 m mostly easy with a 15 m WI3 step, and 60 m partly easy with 25 m of WI3.

Approach Notes: Turn right off Pemberton Portage Road on to Anson Road. Drive to the end and park. Walk down to the train tracks and North 100 m to a crossing. Follow quad trail past private property signs and under the power line [You will see a bunch of no trespassing signs, but this is the Place Glacier Trail. I (Drew) think they may be there for liability reasons. You definitely do not pass any houses or through any cultivated fields or range-land with stock animals.). Take a right fork. When you reach the second power line, walk left (North) 100 m and look for pink flagging on old road. Follow this old road until it becomes the Place Glacier Trail. Hike up this trail 20 minutes to the ice. Descend frozen moss gully or rap in down canyon wall to the base of the climb.

Descent Notes: Near the top. Walk off to climbers left from top to regain trail. 15 minutes walk with crampons back to the packs!

Other Birken stuff:
Roadside Attraction is in.
Candlewax is not quite in.
The Plum and nearby climbs are in.
Whisper Falls is in.
White Blotter pitch 1 is about 10 m away from touching down.

Highway 1 – Hope & Fraser Valley

(Josh Zahl – Facebook WCI group) Mousetrap is thin and cauliflowered, but climbable. (Drew) added that it has filled in a lot since Saturday.

Mousetrap_26Dec17

Mousetrap (Josh Zahl)

South Okanagan

(Stan Sabourin – WCI Facebook group) South Okanagan Ice Update:
Blue Train – not in and scritchy
Naramata Creek – likely needs another good week…brittle, chandeliery ice, thinly veneered over running water
Okanagsn Spring – appears to be in, but may be thin (and it might even have a second pitch?)
Gong Show – appears to be in.

Posted by: westcoastice | December 19, 2017

December 19, 2017 Ice Climbing Report

The weather is finally cooperating, with freezing temperatures and good ice forming conditions in the near-term weather forecast. Some climbs have formed in the Bridge River, up on Blackcomb and in the alpine (e.g. North Ramp on Harvey and the North Face of Sky Pilot). Pictures and details can be found on the Facebook group page.

Highway 40 – Bridge River Canyon

Hunter Lee, Steve Janes and Danny O’Farrell were up in the Bridge River Canyon this past weekend. Hunter wrote:

On Saturday, we climbed roadside just past the (Terzaghi) dam with Danny O’Farrell, and on Sunday crossed Bridge River and climbed Night N’ Gale. The only other climb that’s in right now is Salmon Stakes– it actually looks better formed that Night N’ Gale, but the lure of grade 4 ice hypnotized us and we opted for it. At one point while leading the first pitch of Night N’ Gale I was one swing away from saying F!@# this and bailing, fortunately the next swing was solid as we were treated to stellar conditions on the upper pitch- it felt pretty spicy for grade 4, I’d give it a 4+ right now.

Some of Hunter’s pictures, pillaged from Facebook, including photos of The Gift, The Theft and Shriek of Sheep:

 

 

 

Posted by: westcoastice | March 10, 2017

March 10, 2017 Ice Climbing Report

 

Highway 40 – Bridge River Canyon

(Peter Watson) Another quality day in the Bridge River. Got ourselves up to the top of Shriek of Sheep. Quality day of climbing!

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon + Duffey Updates

(Chris Lawrence) Spent Monday to Friday based out of lillooet ice climbing with CWMS and Monte Johnston.  Climbed at Rambles, Marble Canyon, Loose Lady, Carl’s Berg, Closet Secrets and Belmore. Monday and Tuesday were cold -13ºC to -2ºC. The ice is as good as it gets on North-facing routes. Southern exposures are generally falling down or pumping water. We bailed today (Mar 3) as our planned Rambles outing was thwarted by rain. Snow line was top of Rambles first pitch. Approx 850 m. Elev. once the temps drop below 0 the n facing ice should improve dramatically! It’s far from over! Timing is key. Nb. Closet Secrets was wet and plastic. Carl’s Berg got quite wet with day time heating.

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

(Jean-Marc Savoie; Mar 9) Rambles Right is super fat. Climbed PS Dihedral and the Column. Also climbed “not the Ben wi3 m4” above column. Made for the most fun pitch of the day. Ice season is far from gone!

(Peter Watson) Climbed Closet Secrets today (Mar 8). Still in great shape! It is in solid WI4 shape. The right side ice today was really brittle and aerated! I have always climbed that pitch on the left, but the right looked great till on it. Made for a lot of hollow hooks.
(Tim Bonnell) Below are a few shots from Closet Secrets, taken on Sunday (Mar 5th). As indicated earlier, it is still in excellent shape.
(Brendan Neilsen) Climbed it (Closet Secrets) on Tuesday! Was so fun! I screwed up on the last steep pitch and climbed the line on the left. If you like chandeliers then it’s great! On the rappel I noticed all the pick holes on the other line farther right. Would have been a lot less smashing and crashing with that line choice.

(Nelson Pelson) Climbed The Tube today (Mar 8). The ice is good but doesn’t reach that far anymore. Made a new V-thread (without prussic, there’s an old V-thread with prusic, but it looks a bit melted out). Fun little climb.

(Artem Bylinskii) Got out to the Duffey this past weekend with Kalina Malowany. Climbed Carl’s Berg in fine shape. Synchronicity was as sun rotten as it looks. Major fracturing all over the place. Climbs well, but challenging to protect. First pitch is now super thin requiring some mixed moves and soloing.

 

Posted by: westcoastice | February 7, 2017

February 7, 2017 Ice Climbing Report

Highway 1 – Revelstoke/ Three Valley Gap

(Wes Dyck) Last week Dan Canton and I had a very efficient trip to Banff. On Monday Jan. 30 climbed Gap Falls on way to Banff. The first pitch was easy WI5 and second a WI4. For my lead, I chose the first pitch thinking it was easier and made it to the top on fumes. My hardest lead on leachless tools so far. It has been a hard transition to harder leads coming from the leashes. The route was in perfect conditions and a great climb to tick right beside the road.
On Tues, Jan.31 we bailed off Carlsberg due to running water and chandeliered ice. The approach pitch which we ususally don’t climb was in perfect conditions.
On the way back to the coast, we climbed Circus Circus WI4+ 3 pitches just east of Golden on Beaverfoot Rd. This is a seldom formed classic. Temps. were -20ºC for the first pitch and then when the sun hit the south facing climb it went up to -5ºC, however the joy of screaming barfies was again realized. This climb became plastic with the sun on it. It is highly recommended. Location is 1 or 2 drainages east of Green Gulley on Mt. Hunter.
We arrived back in Abbotsford at 9:30pm
Go to the land of the blue ice! You will not be disappointed!

Highway 1 – Chilliwack

(Marc-André Leclerc) Climbed today (Feb 2), what I believe to be the first integral ascent of the Southeast Couloir of Slesse, summited the south summit. Shaun Neufeld and Aaron Isbell had previously climbed to the col at the top of the couloir.

Great moderate alpine route in quite good shape. The first pitch is the crux with some scraping through thin crud, but easy (M4) After that, perfect snow and even some stoinker neve. The couloir is generally quite easy angled (50 degrees) but in a quite ambient setting. The upper crux, on the south face of the summit tower had some 5.8 rock where a few moves were made barehanded.

It’s worth mentioning that it’s not really a ‘new’ line. Just a newly complete winter line. This has been my standard downclimb off the peak now for the last couple years in summer, so I already knew the topography quite well.

I descended the route with a half dozen 30m raps and mucho down climbing. Anyways. Another one I can highly recommend.

Highway 40 -Bridge River Canyon

Henrik Hinkkala and Hunter Lee climbed in the Bridge over the weekend. Quite a few photos of the classics of the Bridge below. As well as shots of them climbing Young Pups, New Tricks in the Old Dogs, New Picks area.

(Nelson Pelson) Me and my buddy Denis Hoste climbed Capricorn on Sunday (Feb 5). Approached from Millar’s Pillar and then up the gully to Capricorn. The day before we thought the Pillar and Like a Rocket were Capricorn so we climbed both those too. More description in the pictures below.

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

(Monte Johnston with Ian Strachan) The top step of Loose Lady has some aerated ice and the cauliflower features are quite big, but overall it’s still in decent shape. The slot between the upper pillars was quite tight as well, but we managed to squeak through after a little chipping.

Henrik Hinkkala and Hunter Lee climbed Red Wall Wanderers on the weekend. Ice still looks good! Pictures and details below.

Highway 99 South – Squamish, Whistler & Pemberton

(Jean-Marc Savoie) Roadside Attraction in Birken is still in for a little longer. Get it while you can. Only 7 or 8 km past Mt Currie, pull over on right (400 m past the Yex’wloa sign), walk up power line road. The climb is visible from highway. Break it up into 2 pitches or one long rope stretcher. Descent is 1 rap with 60m ropes. Variable ice Monday (Feb 6). -6ºC at the truck. Photos below.
Cal Chek is still barely in (see photo).

(Tom Scsk) Climbed The Plum Sunday (Feb 5). Ice amazing, some thin ice and snow covered cauliflower on the top of the first pitch. On the second hop the ice is just perfect.
Also lost a big BD express ice screw somewhere on the route!!!

(Jean-Marc Savoie) Additional info for Pemberton/Whistler area. Sunday Driver (last route north in the canyon-furthest from cable) at Suicide still looks in and fat from the highway. Entropy looks good for another go as well.
Mystery Roach also still looks in!

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