Posted by: westcoastice | November 30, 2009

2016/2017 Ice Report

Ice Climbing Conditions Reports for the 2016/2017 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 now, 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 (2016) edition of New Ice Climbs in BC

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 | 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!

Posted by: westcoastice | January 31, 2017

January 31, 2017 Ice Climbing Report

Highway 1 – Chilliwack & Hope

(Marc-André Leclerc) January 27 – Found Scottish-ish conditions climbing in the Slesse group. Quite the place to be. We did a ‘link-up’ of the 3rd and 4th peaks. Accessed via the couloir between them, then I skied the couloir but not exactly in movie star style.

Observation of the North Couloir (Slesse) – probably quite snowy, but climbable. Steep couloirs had reasonable conditions for climbing, but also for skiing down. Not hard snow at all but supportive enough.

Kelowna

(Adam Tutte) The Phenom is in fatter then I’ve ever seen. The right side is climbing at around WI4+. Gave the pillar a run on Wednesday; John with the lead. Quinton followed it up with nerves of steel by soloing the left side. Impressive.
The WI4 seep is in nice and fat as well.

(Tim Emmett) We did a couple of FA’s at Christie Falls this weekend thanks to Adam Tutte and Jonathan Dean Urness. Both of these guys were instrumental in making this possible and Adam bolted both of the routes.

NEW ROUTE
Rumble in the Bronx M10 35m 7 Bolts FA Tim Emmett & Adam Tutte January 28, 2017
(Adam Tutte) Tim Emmit grabbed the first ascent of my M10 Rumble in the Bronx. Waited 6 years to see this day and worth the wait. Fixed draws on the bolts.
(Tim Emmett) Rumble in the Bronx is an old project from 6 years ago and goes up the left side of the initial smear. The climb blasts out through the roof with some long moves and one incredibly delicately pull on a 2-3mm pocket up to the left side of the icicle. Then up it to lower off
.
NEW ROUTE
Fireball 101 M10 35m 4 Bolts FA Tim Emmett & Adam Tutte January 29, 2017
(Adam Tutte) While Tim captured the RINB, I kept busy and set another M10 left of that. Then let Tim loose on it and he left it all on the wall and just squeaked out the first ascent on his third attempt as the sun was setting.  Climbing is compact and bouldery. Fixed draws on the bolts.
(Tim Emmett) Fireball 101 is steeper and more powerful than RINB,. The climb goes up the right side of the the same initial smear then horizontal, technical and powerful moves out to the right side of the ice. After a breather, fragile chandelier ice and a game-on runout to the top!
(Tim Emmett) RITB has one drilled pocket from 6 years ago and FB101 is totally natural. Both are superb. Thanks Adam and Dean for inviting me to their local crag and being legends setting up transport, kit, lodging, routes and generally being first class amigos. Dave Mai has some superb shots and is making a video too.
.

Highway 1 – Revelstoke

(John Forestell) Climbed Pillar of Doom, and Don’t Fear the Pillar this past week. Both great routes just 5 minutes south of RevelstokeDoom was funky climbing over ice mushrooms that are mostly cleared on the line I took (right side). Fear was pretty chandeliery ice that I had to dig through to get some good pieces, but climbed well! Both quite wet. Not sure how much life will be in them if the weather continues to hover around 0°C.

Highway 1 – Sicamous/Malakwa Ice Routes

(Josh Smith) Went back into Malakwa today (Jan 29). Started up C People, but hollow sun-baked ice (no burrowing produced blue, kicked a hole through it fairly easily). There was plenty of running water behind the climb. Temperatures of ~4ºC made for an easy decision to try again another day. Plenty of ice, just not for us today. Will be bomber when cold again.

ACCESS NOTE: We spoke with dairy farmers named John and Joni that own the land, (own the entire cliff face apparently) – they are easy going, friendly and not averse to letting climbers enjoy their backyard crag. Just pop in and ask permission so they know you’re up there. However, the farmer/landowner closest to community hall (Ice Palace area approach I believe) has recently become quite upset with climbers crossing his land. He has new private property signage and, while we weren’t able to speak with him. His neighbors said he’s all but closed to any access for the climbs behind his land.

Not much climbing today, but did meet some really nice folks in the area. (I realize I’m not ordinarily a ‘regular’ in the area and welcome any clarifications. I am very familiar however with sensitive climbing access issues and gotta say the dairy farmer’s take/attitude was a welcome treat from most of the private landowners I’ve dealt with in other provinces).

Highway 99 North – Marble Creek

HORDE WARNING!!
(Caitlin Schneider) Just a heads up, there will be a group of 6 new climbers and 2 ‘instructors’ up at Marble Canyon this weekend (Feb 4-5th). We will try our best to stay out of peoples way or make room as needed.

(James Pierson) Spent the Saturday (Jan 28) at Marble Canyon, then hit Oregon Jack on the way home; as we drove around looking at conditions. Only two other groups at Marble on Sat. One pair started up Icy BC, but I guess they bailed part way up the third pitch.
We started up Deeping Wall, then had a little TR session on it and the Direct. There were a couple of wet spots on it, but pretty nice all-in-all.

First pitch of Icy BC had some thin, delicate spots near the top. Second pitch was solid. The third pitch was beautifully cauliflowered in the lower center then transitioned to very thin up top. I moved around to the right and found more solid ice there and made it to the top.

Oregon Jack was solid going up to the cave, then a fun traverse out to the right to a bit of an overhanging step. The climb finished with a very thin, delicate top out. We talked to the old couple who owns the ranch below the falls, and they said they watched a pair climb it by headlamp the night before.

Hopefully we get another cold snap and things start thickening up again!

 

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

(Francis St-Pierre) Robert Nugent and I (Francis St-Pierre) climbed Loose Lady today (Jan 26). Surprisingly good conditions and mostly dry ice. Climbed last curtain in 2 pitches with some airy mushrooms to get to the cave and bolt station. Up the back of the pilar and out through the hole to finish the pitch. 70m ropes took us down in one rap. What a day!!!

(Nelson Pelson) Climbed Rambles Center (and the did the top left pitch too) today.
Quite warm out, but remarkably the ice was all dry. Good conditions on all pitches (3 of them + 4th extra). Approach was fast tho a bit icy in places.

(Jean-Marc Savoie) Eric Hughes and I managed to find Red Wall Wanderers in prime condition and Eric had what it took to send. Felt harder than Pilsner Pillar! (Jan 28). Video of Eric on Facebook.

(Eric Hughes) Red Wall Wanderers is an outstanding line with 6 or 7 pitches. Temps were -2ºC to +4ºC today (Jan 28). Pitch 1 is in either stout WI4 condition or a running water chandelier WI3. Leader’s choice. There is a new alternative start on the right. Pitch 2 is mellow. Pitch 3 is in WI5+ condition… but pro and hooks were good. The left side is a soggy mess. Pitches 4 & 5 are in good condition with steep sections. Pitch 6 is one of the best pitches I’ve climbed on the coast, a 45m pitch with a curtain with a folded section in the middle, WI4++. Trees & threads are all in.
Not So Burly, seen on approach, has rotted out.
Dunkin Donuts and the entire left wall has no ice.

Highway 99 South – Whistler, Squamish & Vancouver

(Matt Kennedy) WI4 and upper pitches of The Plum quite good. First WI3 looked not awesome, but probably climbable. Route left looked decent as well. Whisper Falls first pitch looked surprisingly alright, second pitch is open and running.

(Bryan Kent) Entropy and those climbs still looked in today as we drove past on the highway

(Matt Kennedy) Dakotah Fozzard and I summited Crown Mountain via the Crater Couloir (ed. sometimes called Crown Couloir) yesterday (Jan 28). What a fun day out! A large slide from a few days ago had left styrofoam snow and short bits of alpine ice most of the way up. As a novice, wannabe winter alpinist, I was glad to have a rope and axe/tool combo at points. The guy who solo’d past us seemed glad to have a single axe and no rope. Pretty awesome that a route like this is easily transit and hiking accessible.

Cautionary notes: the large avalanche left an icefall-like crown line with looming 3 meter high serac-like chunks waiting to tumble down the route. Also, beware the dive-bombing raven who doesn’t like anyone touching his summit block.

Posted by: westcoastice | January 26, 2017

January 25, 2017 Ice Climbing Report

Vancouver Island

NEW ROUTE
Silver Stag WI3+ 80m FA January 14, 2017 Danny O’Farrell & Chris Jensen
That cold snap created some nice ice on the Island. Last weekend, Danny O’Farrell and I (Chris Jensen) climbed Silver Stag WI3+ 80m in the Beaufort Range. I don’t think this basin has seen any previous ice action. There are (were?) several other lines to be climbed here between WI3 and WI5. Most of the routes are located at the NW base of Mt Clifton. Long ski approach though. To find Silver Stag, ski into the NW base of Mt Clifton, Beaufort Range, Vancouver Island. It faces north and is easily seen when you’re coming up the valley.

(Steve Janes) Not sure if they’re worth sharing, but managed to find and climb three rare forming lines just outside Victoria BC during the cold snap earlier this month. Reports and pics follow…

NEW ROUTE
Icy Jugs M6WI4+ 12m FRA Jan 12th 2017 Steve Janes
The first and best of the three was at the Firewall area at Mt.Wells. It was about 6ft right of the summer rock line Jugs Jugs Jugs. A few strenuous mixed moves through the rock overhang to gain the ice. Then steep and chandeliered to the top. Calling it “Icy Jugs” M6, WI4+ (12m) FRA Jan 12th 2017

NEW ROUTE
Leigh Right WI3 12m FRA Jan 10th 2017 Steve Janes
This 12m WI3 line is right off the highway. Close to Leigh Rd in Langford. When coming back into town from the Malahat, take the Leigh Rd exit. The ice is on the right side of the off ramp. We drove ahead and parked near the ambulance station on Leigh Rd and walked back. Top rope anchors off trees. Bring long runners to extend.

NEW ROUTE
Leigh Left WI3+ 12m FRA Jan 10th 2017 Steve Janes
This line is about 20m left of the previous line and is about 12m WI3+.

Highway 40 – Bridge River Canyon

(Jean-Marc Savoie) On January with Nelson Pelson (?) and Tim Nielsen. Had a blast despite insane warm temps in Bridge River. Anything South-facing is out! Duffey was also warm (+2ºC). We found Nite n’ Gale in mostly good condition. First real pitch had a giant hole. We stayed right. Replaced all rap stations. All slopes had already slid. River crossing was amusing with a half inflated boat. No one drowned.
The water is deep right now for hip waders. Travel is fast, as there is hardened old avalanche debris which is Styrofoam neve at the moment from a size 3+ avalanche, making the approach fast (Note this was prior to more recent snowfall). The 2 main pitches are 60m for the first and 70m for the upper pitch, so be prepared to simul up to the tree, where we left the anchor if you have 60’s like us.

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon

(Peter Watson, with Garry Brace, Kevin Carriere, Mary Gillespie & Eric Fagarvik)
Great group of friends at Marble Canyon on Friday (Jan 20). Bottom tier is continuing to grow ice although very wet.
First time in years that I have seen Dihedral Direct climbable (6m to first ice thick enough for a screw) climbed like a 5 in today’s conditions.
The Dihedral Direct – in
Waite for Spring – that name has a ring
Comfortably Numb – always in, but with lots of ice on route and a fat steep ice top out.
Deeping Wall – 3 or 4 leadable variations.
No Deductible – growing and looks good to go.
Icy BC – 1st tier- left hand side worked yesterday still looked like the way to the top today. Some thin looking tubes at the top, center of this pitch.
2nd tier- fat, fat. Lots of ice to climb hollow and thin in areas.
3rd tier – climbed right side groove of center both times. Non strenuous WI4. Right side against the rock looks good and fun and in its regular WI5 shape.

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

Robert Nugget and I (Francis St-Pierre) climbed The Tube today Jan 25. Fat & plastic center line, drippy on left, thin to no ice on top. Good fun!
Carl’s Berg looked fairly white with holes opening. Not sure how much longer it will be climbable.
Rambles looked fat from the road.

Highway 99 South – Squamish, Whistler & Pemberton

(Kyle Skidmore) Finally got around to uploading some shots from our expedition up White Blotter a few weeks ago with Alex Watson and Ryan Larkin. See pic below.
(Mike Gudaitis) The 
Office on Blackcomb was a little lean. Thin ice / some snice with a fair bit of heavy snow pillows to excavate…Crux gear was a shovel and a super stoked French woman!!! (with Julie Cossette)

Husume looked very snowy.

(Eric Dumeric) We went to Cal Chek January 22. It is out for now.
(Klemen Mali) Sad conditions at Cal-Cheak (pics below)

Highway 1 – Sicamous/Malakwa Ice Routes

(Josh Smith) Should have posted this earlier – all the Malakwa climbs are in good shape, was there last Sunday (January 15). Climbed Roadside (wet) and had a look at C People Play (in, my 72year old father in law partner just didn’t feel up for the sustained climbing after Roadside).

Highway 1 & Highway 7 – Hope & Fraser Canyon

NEW ROUTE
Waxed Gash WI3+ 55m FA January 15, 2017 Shaun Neufeld & Maxim de Jong
(Drew Brayshaw) While Fern and I were adventuring out left of the photo, Shaun Neufeld and Maxim de Jong hit up this chimney full of ice directly upslope of the first parking lot on Hunter Creek FSR. The right line (possible WI5) was too wet to climb. Shaun led the FA of the left hand line, 55 m at WI3+ with a roof half way up and a 15 m finish on a 4 foot wide vein of thin ice. As per a suggestion from the late Dean Potter to Max this line will henceforth be known as Waxed Gash.

NEW ROUTE
Spitting Cobra WI4 265 m FA January 7, 2017 Shaun Neufeld, Gary Rowbotham, Drew Brayshaw & Marc-André LeClerc
(Drew Brayshaw) This is the big line in the corner at the Ruby Creek Bluffs on Highway 7 that is between Tailwind and Tradewinds. First really noticed it while climbing Tradewinds in 2008 with Shaun and it has been a goal ever since, although complicated by the fact that the lower corner does not always form up, in which case it would require two pitches of mixed slabs to get on the ice.
The upper ice does form regularly and always forms up the rad “cobra hood” feature which gives the climb its name due to the typically strong winds experienced in this area. There is a part of the climb below this where all the ice is located in a chimney and can’t be seen from most parts of the road, leading to it looking like it’s not in yet when scoping from the highway – this took me a couple years to figure out.
I gave this a first try with Sam Waddington in December 2016, but when we got to the crux pillar the cobra was spitting out a steady spray of water and we decided to bail. Went back today (Jan 7) with Shaun and Graham and we climbed it, some spray, but minimal overall. While Graham and I were getting ready to second the crux, Marc André caught up to us solo, climbed the crux solo right behind us, and soloed to the top next to Graham, who led the last pitch. So ultimately a four person FA.
This is a beautiful route with aesthetic position and two of the five pitches are also five star single pitches! The others are WI2 ramps, but that is the nature of the granite in the area.
Marc-André walked off the top, southwest, down to Skawahlook Business Park. Graham, Shaun and I rapped slabs to climbers left of the climb off trees (one somewhat sketchy tree rappel) for 40 m and 70 m to regain the lower ice, then made one 70 m rap down the ice, and then downclimbed about 30 m to our packs and walked out via the approach.
The pitches are:
100 m WI2 – Sam and I found thin ice and soft snow on these pitches and belayed on the first attempt. Today they had fat ice and solid neve and were easily soloed.
50 m WI3 – ramp leads to ice bulges. Belay in chimney
65 m WI4 – climb remaining chimney and pillar in narrow gully up to cobra hood feature. Sneak around this on the left (delicate) and up to belay ledge
50 m WI2 – climb ramps to reach belay trees on top of the climb
A dozen screws (include a couple short ones) and some rock pro in the wired nuts to finger size range can be useful as well.

 

Highway 97 – Enderby Cliffs & Kalamalka Lake

(Lyle Knight) Climbed Mythologic in 3-pitches on Friday (Jan 20) with Quentin Roberts and Brendan Mahler – great condition (consolidated, good pics and screws) and really cool features to play with!

NEW ROUTE
Kal Pillar WI3+ 18m FA January 7, 2017 Lyle Knight & Gary Wolcoff
(Lyle Knight) I found this weep during the summer while exploring the new Okanagan Rail Trail and have watched it grow over the last month – Gary’s been climbing ice in the area for 30+ years and hadn’t seen it before so maybe a first ascent, unless told otherwise.
Super narrow window due to location and aspect. We’re climbing on left side because the middle is a snow cone with a semi-detached top out. About a 15 minute walk south of Kekuli Bay PP, easy to set up as TR.

Posted by: westcoastice | January 18, 2017

January 18, 2017 Ice Climbing Report

Highway 40 – Lillooet & Bridge River Canyon

(Shannon Healy) Honeyman Falls is in reasonable shape, climbed on Sunday (Jan 15). We did it in three pitches. The right section of the first pitch has great ice (set up three top ropes) WI3-/4. Far left, was top roped (WI4+), but it is scary close to thin ice over running water. Middle section is gross, rotten ice. Middle rambley pitch is snice. Last pitch can be done by the fearless: sounds like a bass drum, but there are enough sections of mushroom, hard to protect ice to ooze your way up. Nobody broke through. Awesome scenery too.
(Maw Mawperson) I led the 3rd pitch (Honeyman Falls) on Saturday (Jan 14). I climbed near the water spout, stemming the interesting features in the groove. Protection was minimal with the rime, but i found the climbing to be secure.

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon

Ilia Slobodov and Priti Wright climbed Icy BC on Saturday (Jan 14). I was walking into it with a bit of trepidation, with the guidebook saying the last pitch is a WI5 and having only led one WI5 pitch before, and that with a lot of struggle. But the ice on pitch 3 was huge and in WI3 shape. Pictures below, including the Deeping Wall.

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

Ilia Slobodov and Priti Wright climbed Synchronicity on Sunday, Jan 15. It was in great shape in the sun. What a fun route, one of my all time favorites! We were able to rock and ice hop across the creek, no need for the cable crossing. That said, the cable and ropes were still there and looked in good shape and anchors seemed fine.
A party ahead of Ilia and Priti, Lee Purvis and Francis St-Pierre climbed Synchronicity as well. It was in good shape. Loads of ice, but variable… some plastic, some brittle. Anyway super fun. There was an ice dam so easy river crossing (no cable needed). We had a soloist ahead of us today, and two parties behind. Glorious in the sunshine this afternoon on the top pitch.

Highway 99 South – Squamish

NEW ROUTE
Ultimate Ultime Everything WI4R 9 pitches FA January 11, 2017 Jia Condon, Paul McSorley, Jason Kruk &  Tony Richardson 
UUE climbs roughly the line of the rock climb Ultimate Everything, with some variations. Additional report on Gripped. We approached on the trail right of the Apron, up to Broadway. We climbed a pitch of thin ice off Broadway, climbers left of Diedre. This is a 5.9 scramble pitch sometimes used as a Boomstick alternate in the summer. Two pitches got us onto the trail that leads to Ultimate Everything. See pics below for path taken. Started just right of the UE start and merging mid pitch with the UE corners. Two pitches went up the UE corners, some meandering, then pitch 5 was a long ice pitch. Pitch 6 was climbed with no rope. Pitch 7 was WI4R. Pitch 8 took us to one short final step which we 4th classed. Overall, not really much mixed climbing to speak of. Some turf but mostly ice.

Jason Kruk’s Facebook post about The Dream, from last Saturday (Jan 14):

Shannon Falls – (Jonah Edelman) I was there yesterday (Sunday, Jan 15). We got maybe 20 meters above the base and came down after a lack of good screw placements. Deciding upon what to do, a slab of ice fell above us raining down football size chunks of ice for a minute with some momentum. We were able to hide under the rock to the left of the falls. It was too warm to climb.
Consensus – still flowing and still dropping climber-killer-sized chunks down the open section mid-height.

Highway 1 – Hope & Fraser Canyon

Allan Trick and I ( Wes Dyck) climbed the Spitting Cobra on Friday Jan.13, 2017. Dropped the kids off at school and got a late start, but were very happy to find very fat conditions and did not use any of the rock gear that was brought. It must have fattened up since the FA the previous Saturday. The first pitch was soloed and then good screws were had all the way up.We climbed it in 4 pitches and opted out for the final 20m of WI2, since it was getting dark. We rapped from V-threads and a large tree from the last thick ice above the cobra formation. So three raps; one full 70m, a 40m and a 65m to the packs. One of the most interesting and adventurous routes i have done and probably the best route I have done in the Fraser Valley by far. Climbing under the alcove of the arched Cobra Hood and then on to the back, from steep aerated ice to plastic was exilerating and easier than it looked. Great exposure on the narrow hood of the Cobra formation. Fantastic. Unfortuantely our ropes froze to the first bulge of our first rappell when the screws were pulled and much water poured out of the holes and froze them solid at -10 and wind gusts. Reluctantly, i climbed back up in the dark, with some fear until i divenely understood what a priviledge it was to climb this seldomly formed perfect ice with a bright moon, good headlamp and warm clothes. Slay the viper! Thanks for the beta, Drew!

spitting_cobra_18jan17

Spitting Cobra (Wes Dyck)

Highway 97 – Enderby Cliffs

We (Adam Tutte & Jonathan Dean Urness) climbed Mythologic Saturday (Jan 14). It was a great day out, but the climb’s character was much different than the year of the first ascent. It felt hard; lots of cleaning and very solid ice. The temperature was -20ºC in the morning at 7am when we left the truck and -13ºC at 5pm when we got back.

mythologic_18jan17

Jonathan Dean Urness & Adam Tutte climbing the 3rd pitch of Mythologic. They are but a spec on the ice. Way to send it boys! (Dave Mal)

Washington State

NEW ROUTE (to be confirmed)
This route to the right of Ryans Wall. Newhalem, WA. Super Dave Moroles with the send!

NEW ROUTE
Eclipse WI5 2 pitches FA January 15, 2017 Dave Moroles & Scott Welch
Newhalem once again delivered. The conditions were perfect for first ascent of this 2 pitch gem. FA Dave Moroles Scott Welch. “Eclipse” WI5

NEW ROUTE
The Runway WI3 70m FA January 16, 2017 Drew Charness & Dave Moroles
Rope stretching 70 m. Maybe 72meters. Hwy 20 just past newhalem. Next to it is the Eclipse (WI5). Same approach.

Posted by: westcoastice | January 14, 2017

January 14, 2017 Ice Climbing Report

Highway 1 – Harrison Hot Springs, Hope & Fraser Canyon

(Adam Palmer) Fun night on Trojan Horse tonight (Jan 13)… got caught doing the white line, multiple times. The climb is on Rockwell drive, going towards Sasquatch Provincial Park in Harrison Hot Springs. Pictures below.

(Drew Brayshaw) Around 2001, I was flying in a heli over the Fraser Canyon during a cold snap and got a glimpse of icefalls in the canyon of Puckat Creek, just north of American Creek. Checked it out solo in 2013-14 winter, but the first falls hadn’t frozen up then. Went back today (Jan 14) with Adam Palmer, Richard Garside and Todd Arsenau. Everything was more or less frozen. The first cirque main falls goes at 20-25 m WI 2 to 3 depending on line (many hollow sections). Wandered up the creek bed above for another 15 to 20 minutes and take a left fork to find additional 20 m and 8 m steps of WI3. There are other waterfalls quite a ways further up the creek which we couldn’t get to due to open water above the forks which might be profitably reached by skiing along the power line roads from Stulkawhits Creek to the north. The icicles on the left side of the main cirque were detaching spontaneously in the warm temperatures as we came down but might give challenging climbing to bolted anchors in the rock band above in future.

Last Sunday (Jan 8) your trusty WCI webmaster (Adrian Burke), Francis St-Pierre and Lee Purvis climbed Mousetrap outside Hope, ascending 8 pitches in all. The first pitch was a straight-forward WI2+. Francis led the second pitch, a super fun, very long (55m) stepped/blobbed WI3. It had some running water underneath, open in spots. On rap, later in the day, there were additional spouts open on pitch 2. Pitches 3, 4 and 5 included easier climbing, but with some open spots, some questionable pro and icicled sections. Lee led the crux sixth pitch, which was the money pitch. It included steep sections and good protection, going at WI4. We climbed another 1.5-2 pitches that didn’t really add aesthetically to the climb. Topping out on pitch 6 would have been as good or better. Be careful of open holes below pitch 5 and pitch 6 (I dropped into one up to mid-shins in the stream).
A Better Mousetrap was also in, and got climbed by James and Sten

Highway 40 – Bridge River Canyon

(Peter Watson) End of a good three day trip to Lillooet. Climbed within 20km all three days. Today (Jan 13) had us check out Xwisten Steps! Fun route for sure with a quality 1000m elevation gain. Lots of open running water in the drainage between steps 1 and 2. Avalanche of note had run out of drainage heading towards Suncatcher. Route is in good shape now that I cleaned all the crap ice off the surface. It was a day heavy in excavation. Trail from Gravel pit works really well for access till the snow flies. 3 new tree rappel slings and 2 v-threads got us down the gulley quite quickly.

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

(Lee Purvis) Francis St-Pierre and I climbed Closet Secrets today (Jan 14). We thought it was in hard condition. Brittle ice. Layer of snice and/or rotten ice. Loads of cleaning; it’s in better shape now. 🙂 There were tracks up to the climb and a bail abalakov half way up the first pitch. Don’t think too many other people have been to the top.
Shreddie‘s top is forming, but is not descended far enough to climb.

(Tim Bonnell) Climbed Carl’s Berg today (Jan 14) with Brent Moore. Fatter than in recent years. We climbed the right side while another group was on the left. Great day out.

(Jean-Marc Savoie) For anyone wondering I remarked Belmore cable entrance with the only thing I had. A McDonald’s cup beside the green tape.
Also clearly Tres Burly has not touched down and Red Wall Wanderer is touched down but not very fat.

Highway 99 South – Squamish, Whistler & Pemberton

NEW ROUTE
Eagle Eye WI5 100m 2 pitches FA Jia Condon, Tony Richardson & Paul McSorley
Eagle Eye ascends ice right and behind the Papoose. Approach by hiking in left of the Papoose, then trending right and up, along the power lines. Look up and left to see the climb. See GoogleMap pic below for beta. Pitch 1 climbs 35 meters of WI4 ice. Traverse snow slopes left to the base of pitch 2, the crux 30m WI5.

(Joseph Wong) Attempted Shannon Falls today (Jan 13) 1pm at the base. I climbed as fast as possible on the left until the red dot (see pic below) where I needed to traverse left to gain the easy terrain above (right is not passable with big water flow). But the ice is v watery, chandelier and it’s pouring water. I tried a few times but couldn’t pass it and downclimbed and went home.
(Eric Hughes) Tried a night ascent of Shannon Falls… the section that was mushy for Joseph was missing entirely! It’s not link able without a snorkel and dodging falling fridges!
Consensus is Shannon is not climbable at this point. Photos below.

(Jia Condon) The Dream in Squamish is in good nic! We rapped route via Sea to Sky Gondola. Would be wise to bring skis and stash near gondola for ski down access road. Brings you to your vehicle that you shuttled earlier while waiting for Gondola to open at 09:30. Only necessary if your going for the “integral” via Gondola. Tony Richardson on the sharp end with Jason Kruk. 5 star route.

(Jean-Marc Savoie) Today (Jan 14), I managed to rap in and flag my way out of A Scottish Tale. Combo of yellow tape, green tape and the orange tape on the flat road section. The climb is looking prime today although possibly it will melt away this week. Should be good next couple days maybe. T-shirt ice climbing. Picture below.

(Jeremy Thom) Our BCMC course went up to Cal Cheak on Saturday (Jan 7) last week, where we ran into a few other parties. Despite our collective best efforts, there is still plenty of ice to smash away at. I would suggest bringing your beater picks though, or if using your new ones, don’t swing.

Access notes:  In case of bad weather preventing visibility of the climb from the road (which is getting harder and harder as the trees grow), I (Jeremy) stuck some yellow flagging on a few trees at the trailhead. It’s, by my odometer, about .7 km past the bridge. There is currently a huge donkey trail to follow, but if there weren’t, you follow the flags for 25m, turn right at the short bluff you then hit, pass the end of that, turn leftish, and generally head uphill following the line of least resistance and bush. You’ll see the climb quickly.

(Jeremy Thom) On Sunday (Jan 8) we went to Nocturnal Emission. It had a little bit of everything: thin, hollow, detached, rotted and snowy veneers over low angle rock slabs, steep sun rotted ice, moderate angle sun rotted, hollow, detached, delaminating ice, chandelier ice, wet ice, fat plastic ice, etc. etc. There were great lines and not so great lines. The route is basically a braided creek/fall, and there are easily 4 separate and distinct lines, with a huge variety of terrain to choose from – mixed chimney stuff on the far right, low angle grooves and corners on the left, multiple series of short steep pillars in the centre. It’s amazing! You could lap it all weekend (it seemed to be about 2 pitches long to me, but we only went up 60m and couldn’t actually see the top from where we were) and never climb the same terrain twice. Highly recommended. The lines get quite steep, but never for more than 5-8m, so there didn’t seem to be anything over WI4. You could TR WI2 lines. It seems pretty sun affected, but lots of ice is in narrow gullies and chimneys, which are shaded and offer good ice. May stick around for a while yet. Picture below.

Approach notes:  You get a great view of it from the bridge (as described in the guide). We took the power line road, starting not quite 1 km past the bridge, again as described. Drive or walk the powerline road along the lines for about ¾ km, until you hit a fork, where a smaller road branches left, downhill under the power lines. Right there, look to your right, where I framed the entrance into the forest with 2 yellow flags on either side of the “trailhead”. There seems to be a flagged and evenly cleared trail that winds through the bush for maybe 10-20 min. It weaves left and right like a drunken sailor, but it follows a pretty obvious line that looks maintained and is bush free. It occasionally joins up with something that looks like a forestry or utility path. There is pink flagging everywhere in the forest there, none of it, no doubt, having anything to do with the climb. Overall, you trend left (and right and left and right and left, but mostly left) and up a gentle incline through the forest until the hillside steepens and starts to open up and you get views of the climb. From there, we followed what I assume were Bob Rogoz’s and Fern Webb’s tracks, which traced a very efficient and brush free line up to the base. I didn’t measure, but I’m guessing you gain maybe 150m of elevation from the powerline road, and it took maybe 30-45 min from the “trailhead”. Pretty painless overall.

(Jeremy Thom) Climbing near Whistler today (Jan 14). Entropy is in nice shape. Fig Plucker looked peachy too. Donkey trail to the base. We wished we had snowshoes, but if you follow our postholes you shouldn’t need them.

Posted by: westcoastice | January 7, 2017

January 7, 2017 Ice Climbing Report

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon

Peter Watson reports that Marble Canyon looked awesome. Forming up nicely.

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

Access Report: Simon Warhurst (Interwest Timber) posted the following, for consideration on approaches to Snowspider Mountain and the Van Horlick FSR.
I work for a forest company, Interwest Timber Ltd, in Lillooet. Over the last summer and fall we’ve opened up the road into the Van Horlick drainage and are actively logging and hauling on the roads now.
Industrial activity is generally occurring between 2:00 a.m. (logging trucks in and out) and continues until 6:00 p.m., usually with the last logging truck out by 3:00 p.m. There are approximately 20 loads/day being hauled, during the week. There is intermittent activity on weekends, which could include harvesting, road maintenance (plowing) and possibly hauling.
Logging trucks are turning in both directions onto Hwy 99, so do not block the Hwy junction.
The Van Horlick road is radio-assisted, so wherever possible, follow industrial traffic and pull over when they do to clear other traffic (generally loaded vehicles have the right-of-way). The road is not being maintained for 2 wheel-drive access. If you think you will need to put chains on, do so in a pull-out, not in the centre of the road at the bottom of the steep section of road near the 2km (as somebody did early this week and was almost run into).
Park only in signed, designated areas, specifically at the 6km (access turn-off to Sanctuary area) and the 9km (access turn-off to Temple area). The Snowspider area is very congested at this time, with most of the harvesting activity concentrated here, so we are asking people to stay out of this area. This work should go on until early February.
The Off-Road Vehicle Act and Regulations apply to snowmobiles, the gist being, don’t ride a snowmobile on a road that has been plowed and/or is fit for travel with other vehicles.

Thanks,
Simon Warhurst, RFT
Interwest Timber Ltd
250 256-7782

Peter Watson reported that Mother is looking to be in left of Synchronicity.
Carl’s Berg looked amazing as well.
Peter Watson climbed Loose Lady with Grant L yesterday (Jan 6). Quality day out. Most ice in that drainage in forever. Upper tier is in its quality state of melting artichoke petals. Followed right line to 35m and a thread. Belayed above the thread and let second make anchor off thread and screw for more protection. Climbed left over bulge/step ups then trended right on ramp that took me to the back of the cave (15m). Broke through between the two pillars and up the front side on quality dry ice to a two bolt anchor at the top. A single 70m rappel (2x70m ropes) gets you back to the ground. Two bolt anchor behind pillar is too high to use, but I clipped one of the bolts at I started up the backside to my tunnel.

Highway 99 South – Squamish, Whistler & Pemberton

HORDE WARNING!!!!!!
Another reminder that Jeremy Thom is hosting a BCMC lead course today (Sat, Jan 7) at Cal Chek and tomorrow (Sun, Jan 8) on the first pitch of The Plum.

Brent Moore climbed the first few pitches of The Plum yesterday (Friday, Jan 6) with Tim Bonnell. Pictures below. The approach trail is in good shape, but it should be noted that it takes the hiker’s left (north) side of the drainage.  We didn’t pick it up and spent half the approach bushwhacking unnecessarily.
(Marco Buccheri) On January 1, the ice, especially in the lower WI3 pitches, had a lot of snow on it and plating quite a bit. You can rappel easily with a 70m rope from the top of the last pitches (maybe with a 60 m rope considering the rope stretch).
(Alexander Weber) I found that first WI3 pitches to be really crusty too. What looks like good ice on the surface sometimes turned out to be shit ice underneath. A couple placements ended up being hollow inside (so I placed them in better ice).

Kyle Skidmore and Alex Riom climbed A Scottish Tale on Thursday (Jan 5), reporting it it still in great shape. Also added that it would be prudant to at least mention the top was falling apart a fair bit as it warmed! Belayer is recommended to be better at dodging big blocks than I (Alex) was.

Shannon Falls is not really in.
(Kris Wild) I walked to the base today (Jan 5) too. Still too sketchy and wet at the bottom for me. From atop the big offwidth on the right it looks “reasonable” the upper tiers look great.
(Drew Brayshaw) RE: Shannon FallsWorth noting a) it was climbed in similar conditions in 2014, AND b) that it released several large chunks right around the time it was climbed in 2014 that would have killed any climbers that they hit. I’m not going to criticize the 2014 climbers – they had the same ability as anyone else to assess conditions, they made their decision, they went for it, and they survived. I know that my own risk tolerance decision was not to climb it in 2014, under similar conditions to what you see above. Personal tolerances for risk will vary. Sometimes survival from risky situations has as much or more to do with luck as it does with skill though.
(Jean-Marc Savoie) Nintendo 64 is still kinda in (see pics below).
(Kris Wild) Lorelai looked fat, and the approach pitch looked much thicker than when we did it a few weeks ago, although it still had about 3 metres of mixed at the top. There’s another pitch forming to the left that looks doable, but not very protectable.
(Drew Brayshaw) That pitch left of Lorelei came in and was climbed in similar shape in Feb 2014, although it was fatter on top and thinner on the bottom then. Not sure who did the FA. There was at least one bolt to clip on the lower part then, it looks to be covered with ice now.

Highway 1 – Hope & Fraser Canyon

(Drew Brayshaw) Pretty much the only things that aren’t in yet are Bridal Falls (has running water and might vaguely be doable for those not overly concerned with safety) and Seabird Falls. Everything else is climbable and indeed, mostly fat. Good hunting!

(Sean Draper) Don Montrichard and I climbed After The Gold Rush and Energizer at Gold Pan today (Wednesday, Jan 4). Gold Rush was in good shape, Energizer was a pleasant 200m romp on plastic ice. Fun day out. On the way up, stopped to look at The Crucible; pretty filled out, but still a large high-volume hole at the bottom.

Washington State – Icicle Creek

Cale Hoopes reports that Rainbow Falls in in… across from Snow Creek trailhead is in. Also a bunch of stuff at Careno Crag. Pic from today. Lots of ice.

rainbow_falls_7jan17

Rainbow Falls, Icicle Creek (Cale Hoopes)

Posted by: westcoastice | January 4, 2017

January 4, 2017 Ice Climbing Report

Highway 97 – Enderby Cliffs

Scott Wilson and  Jedrzej Jablonski climbed Mythologic (WI6 – 140m) yesterday (Jan 3) and found: “Pretty wild thing you got there in your backyard! Had a great day. It’s all there. Crux pitch was unpicked, pretty much unprotect able and brittle. Crux was sustained 15m maybe a bit more. I did place one screw during the crux but was not confident in it. It did feel better to look at it when I was above it even if it was only mental gear. Generally pro was good on the rest of the climb.”

(Lyle Knight) Rockies climbers are getting on it, although tough choice when the Coast is pretty much going off right now. That said, The Gift and The Theft aren’t in … Google Earth puts Enderby a half hour closer to Vancouver than the Terzaghi Dam and the approach is flagged and brushed at a moderate 1:40 approach.

Another guide who got on it in December notes, “It’s one of the best ice routes I’ve climbed in 22 years of ice climbing.” Think about it, it’s only getting better!

Highway 40 – Bridge River Canyon

Old Dogs, New Picks is in (see pic below)
Steristrip is forming/in. Only bolt visible is in the dark stain midway between the two sets of icicles (see pic).
Capricorn and Plan B have formed.
Millar’s Pillar is in great shape, two separate columns have touched down. Climbed both, WI5 and WI5++. Also Like a Rocket and A Four Dressed up as Six is very fat, see picture.

(Drew Brayshaw) I took a bunch of pictures of Bridge River climbs last year, but Taikonaut was hidden in cloud all day. Managed to get good photos this time around. Approach and details included in the pictures below.

 

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

(Eric Bites) Riley Thrillington and I climbed Synchronicity today (Jan 2). Approach was fun with the cable crossing, but a bit of a pain hiking up the gully: about a foot or more of snow but all light powder just covering the loose talus. Made for a rough hike in.

Lower pitch was rotten and thin, short P2 was beautiful but a tad wet, main WI3 flow was soaking and almost slushy, final tier was fat and only a bit wet. Lots of snow on route made for some onion skin. All in all a fun day.

(Alex Ratson) Got on Loose Lady with Ryan Larkin Sunday (Jan 1). Things were pretty dynamic through the day as temps were dropping. Ended up cutting things short on chandeliered ice but none the less was worth the short approach. In hindsight after rapping, we think we spotted a line of less resistance that would have gone.

Highway 99 South – Squamish, Whistler & Pemberton

(Bruce Kay) Heads up for Squamish: Rainy Day Woman on the Bulletheads is in. 3 pitches, usually runout on thin ice, finishing with a very narrow goulette in a corner. Sometimes the first pitch (Blackbook) is well protected by numerous finger size cams / nuts but not always.

HORDE WARNING!!!!!
(Jeremy Thom) Next Saturday, January 7, I will have 3 ropes up at Cal Cheak for a BCMC intro to ice course. There will be some coaching (loud yelling) going on. There will be ice falling. Be warned. And don’t worry, I was up there a few days ago and there is plenty of ice to withstand beginners practicing their swings. It’s already a pegboard anyways.

(Kat Voyer) On January 2, Kat and Tom broke trail into Entropy. Knee to waist deep travel made for hard going, but only took about 1hr to 1.5hr. The trail is beaten pretty good now until next snow fall. The climb is in great shape, good sunny exposure and did it in two pitches, 35m and 70m respectively. Usual thin top out with lots of snow. The descent was quick and fast with good snow cover and one quick rap off a small tree (no sling) at the bottom of the gully. Pic below.

Other Approach Notes for Entropy: (Fern Webb) Walk along the tracks until over the bridge. walk into forest towards the climb. Stay in the forest to the right to avoid the yucky talus field under the climb. Carry your packs up and over if you want the mostly walk-off descent down the gully on lookers left side of the wall.
(Riley Thrillington)Bites and I drove past the intended parking a few days ago. If you plan to park at the tracks, you’ll probably need shovels to dig out a parking space.

Other updates from Jeremy Thom (Jan 2):

Roadside Attraction looked fine, but we only had a quick glimpse.
There is lots of ice at Suicide Bluffs, but we didn’t get a good look at it all.
There is basically no ice at all on Blue Moon on Rye.
Fig Plucker looked good (left of Entropy).
Politically Correct Valentine looked lean but probably in. No promises. The low angle stuff higher up looked mostly snow covered.
The Falls (??) directly West, across the valley from The Plum looks great.

Frank Whittaker and I (Jeremy Thom) climbed White Blotter Monday (Jan 2). It’s harder than it looks, standing below it; despite the obvious inviting groove and the illusion that it eases off as you get higher. It deserves the “sandbag” moniker from the guidebook; I hung on several screws to rest. The ice was mostly OK. Quite aerated and chandeliered in places, sun-rotted in others (it seems to be rotting pretty fast – get on it soon!), very brittle/fracturing/hollow in others (especially the top pitch), but adequate protection.  The top out involves a very thin hollow tube with water running underneath, with solid enough ice on the right. We climbed it on the right.  Everything to the left is basically huge hanging daggers.

We couldn’t find any rap anchors at the top so we placed a single red sling with no hardware around a small tree, about 5 m into the forest over the lip. I’d (Jeremy) recommend taking more tat along than we had, picking a bigger tree (the rap line from our tree was about perfect), doubling up the webbing, and leaving some rap rings. Or is there a walk-off?  We couldn’t figure out how people had been getting down from the top.

HORDER WARNING!!!!!
(Jeremy Thom) On Sunday, January 8, the BCMC group will most likely descend on the first pitch of The Plum for our ice climbing clinic (6-7 climbers). We’ll just be TR’ing, so it would be no problem for anyone who wanted to “play through” to the upper tiers.

Hilary Matheson, Carl Reilly and I (Jeremy Them) climbed the first two tiers of The Plum last Friday (Dec 30). It’s huge and fat. Quite drippy and wet in many places, and snow covered. In combination, it made for a layer of surface crud that had to be cleaned. The second tier is in the easiest condition I’ve ever seen it. WI3+ at most. (Though we only made it to the top of the steep stuff, we set up a TR, and then descended after). Photo of second tier below.

On Monday (Jan 2), Dan Canton and I (Wes Dyck) were beat by a very efficient group of 3 to the base of The Plum. We followed them up to the base of the last ice and then bailed due to time. Snow was deep and temps. Were -15ºC the whole day. All ice was in and the WI4 pitch was worth the trip out there in itself. The last pitch looked easier than normal, but was still quite challenging according to Mike Burke, who led it. Thanks to Mike and company for finding an ice tool that was dropped at the beginning of the trail down. I hope all west coast climbers are as sore and happy as we are with these cold conditions we have been blessed with. More pics of The Plum below.

Highway 1 – Hope & Fraser Canyon

Fairley/Redekop 1981 route – Silvertip Mountain Area, South of Hope – (Matt Kidd) This one is from a couple of years ago in the November cold snap of 2014. Headed up there with Nickolas Grabovac. Approach as for Zero Gulley but stop at gravel bar beside what I think is the north side of Silvertip Mountain. This basin had a LOT of ice in it at the time we climbed. It is very much a low snow area as most of the routes drain big avy slopes above. But early season there are lots of lines to do including what I think would be a better variation of what we did if conditions were similar. 

Approach via obvious creek bed until in avy debris, and then bash up through scrub until at the base .
P1-2 Steppy Grade 2 ish, (120m I think, but best soloed by capable parties)
P3 45m Grade 3/3+
P4 Grade 2 ramble to base of pillar
P5 30m Grade 3 pillar
P6 60m Steppy Grade 3- (First potential to turn right here, was not touching. If down looked like would be a short, steep grade 4)
P7 60m Grade 2
P8 60m Grade 2 with maybe some easy grade 3

We resorted to hip belays by the end… our ropes were so frozen we couldn’t get them through the belay devices. Much of the route would be best soloed, but was not appropriate for our party. We climbed left at each of two options until it petered out on grade 2 terrain. Reviewing the photos it looks as if it would have been better to climb right at the second possibility, which would have made for likely 3 more interesting pitches. Our raps were frozen in at each pitch and at the end were stuck beyond retrieval. Both of us have jobs and families and abandoned half a rope for the first time in my life.

Highway 5 – Coquihalla

(Wes Dyck) On Jan 1, Alan Trick and I got started on our New Year’s Resolutions and punched a trail into Box Canyon about ¾ of the way to the end of the Canyon. Deep powder snow prevented us from going further after about 3 hrs. Climbs were not as appetizing as hoped so we did not do any climbing, but I  am still optimistic that Scotch on the Rocks and Engage would be good. Brent Nixon and party, who we met on the way out was hoping to go in and climb the next day. Pics below.

(Brent Nixon) We climbed awesome ice on Emerald Wall (pic below). No idea what it’s called. The track is laid all the way in there. Use snowshoes. Takes 45-60mins to reach Grim Reaper – easy peasy. Parking is plowed with a break in the meridian to access it when heading north.

Posted by: westcoastice | December 30, 2016

December 30, 2016 Ice Climbing Report

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon

Alan Trick and Wes Dyck climbed first pitch of Icy BC on Tuesday the 28th after backing off due to very brittle conditions after transition to very cold from warm, melting period the prior Thursday. We cleared all the large blocks on TR and Gary Brace swam up the left side without any concern.
Second pitch of Icy BC was streaming water on both sides and the newly frozen tube was very thin. It has formed into an elongated ramp due to the force of water flow. Strange!
No Deductible and Showdown had cool little blobs that were cemented on solidly for awesome hooking!
Deeping Wall is also streaming but fattening up.
Temps were -5ºC to -7ºC all day.
Forecasts seem to indicate healing of ice from warm periods and an awesome January to come!

Alan hosted some pictures of the day here on Flickr.

Highway 99 South – Pemberton, Whistler & Squamish

Eric Hughes reports that White Blotter is in fantastic shape… just remember to bring more than 6 screws (Jean-Marc Savoie brain fart!). Made for a few “Marc-Andre” moments. Maybe the best looking piece of ice on the West Coast? Access issue: at gate with digger take immediate left, don’t go straight up the private road. Pics below:

Alexander Weber and company got on the first three pitches of The Plum on Boxing Day (Dec 26). Incredible conditions. Looks much fatter than the pics posted a couple weeks ago. Book gives the approach at 40mins. We found the same thing. It is flagged (thanks Jeremy Thom!). More flagging tape would be appreciated. This was an afterthought of ours, as we didn’t bring flagging tape (something we will do in the future). The snow isn’t much on the ground there, but there are booktracks. Just faint.
You can also see the huge WI4 pitch of The Plum from where you park. Pretty spectacular.

Jeremy Thom’s Approach Notes: I (Jeremy) put the flagging in last year. Pinkish. From the parking area go through the gate, turn hard right, pick up the flagging as it enters the bush. The best route varies depending on snow cover, brush, and new downed trees, but you should be able to see each flag from the last. They just give a general idea but will keep in the right drainage. As long as you stay in the right one, you’re fine.

Alexander’s pics of The Plum below:

Eric Carter and company climbed Roadside Attraction yesterday (Thurs, Dec 29). Lots of snow. Good shape otherwise though. Looked for Candlewax, but didn’t see it and was quite wet, so opted to ski in the afternoon.

Alex Ratson and company spent the day Wednesday (Dec 28) up near Cal Chek and the Whistler Bungee Zone. Lots of others up there with plastic-like ice. Still really worth getting into this zone while it’s still good! Alex’s pics:

Squamonix strikes again as the Ryan Larkin/Alex Ratson contingent headed up the Sea to Sky Gondola for amazing, yet easy access ice. We (Alex and Ryan) headed up to Ultra Violet at the Gondola top station today (Dec 29). Found one fun line that we took to the top and then rapped in on some awesome daggery pillars that are forming up well. Of course we topped the afternoon off with beer and fries at the top station. Fingers crossed for more cold as this area could be amazing for some harder lines. Alex’s pics below:

Highway 3 Keremeos & Hedley

Drew Brayshaw compiled a mini photo guide (on our Facebook page) to ice lines, climbed and unclimbed,near Hedley. In addition to these there is also a potential 2-3 pitch WI2 looking flow at the East end of the granite Hedley Bluffs, 4 km east of Hedley, but it’s on reserve land and also pretty much right in a house’s back yard, so good luck getting permission to climb it.

Photo Guide from Drew:

Highway 1 – Revelstoke

Amidst a conversation about climbing partners and condition enquiries in Revelstoke, Katie Bowen posted the following picture of Dam Falls from Dec 27.

dam_falls_30dec16

Dam Falls today, Dec 27 (Katie Bowen)

Posted by: westcoastice | December 23, 2016

December 23, 2016 Ice Climbing Report

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon

(Bram Whillock with Monte Johnson & Ian Strachan) Went to Marble Canyon Thursday (Dec 22). Climbed pitch 1 and 2 of Icy BC and Deeping Wall (was more like a Weeping Wall, crying on us all day). Hard to qualify it as really “frozen” at this time. Pitch 3 of Icy BC has a giant hole in it now, and both pitch 1 and 2 have sprung a serious leak. Deeping Wall still pretty nice, but all the other formations don’t exist anymore! Was +1ºC when we stepped out of our car around 8am. Still a fun day out though!

Pics below. Bram posted a short video (scroll down) on Facebook, showing the open, flowing water on the right side of pitch 2 (Icy BC)

Highway 99 South – Soo Bluffs/Whistler

(Clayton Matthews & Mike Vanwerkhoven) climbed Entropy on Thursday (Dec 22). The climb was overall pretty good. It took us 2 hours to snowshoe in (lots of snow and we had never been there). We could barely make out the climb from the train bridge – visibility was bad. Snow was waist deep in some sections nearing the base of the climb, even in snowshoes! Climbed it in 2 pitches, 50m and a 60m to the big tree. Took the gulley climbers left to descend and made one short rappel off a tree. Took 1hr 20 mins back out to the car (parked at pullout just north of tracks off Highway 99). Conditions are a little deceiving from the picture. There was a lot of plowing snow and plowing rotten surface ice. In behind that layer was good soft ice, good for sticks, but not the best for screws. The exit was tricky at the top due to thin ice delaminating over rock. Spicy!

entropy_23dec16

Entropy (Clayton Matthews)

Highway 1 – Hope

NEW ROUTE
Four Mile Falls 135 m WI2 FA Graham Rowbotham, Drew Brayshaw Dec 17, 2016

This is the high-volume falls that drains the hanging valley of Four Mile Creek, southeast of Hope, just south of the Highway 3-Highway 5 junction. They rarely freeze. I (Drew Brayshaw) believe Don Serl and Greg Foweraker hiked in once only to find them open and gushing. You get a short good look at the upper pitch when driving westbound on Hwy 3 just after the quarry and before you join Hwy 5.

We parked at the end of plowed road on the Mount Hope FSR and hiked an old road (overgrown with alder) into the cutblock below the falls then followed the edge of timber up to the climb (red line). One hour in knee- to thigh-deep powder and surface hoar. Snowshoes or skis would not have helped.

The first pitch was 60 m WI2, low-angle, but all cauliflowers and aerated. I placed one screw and Graham was able to pull it out by hand without unscrewing it.

There was some rambling with a short step to the base of the second major tier, which was another 75 m WI2. Of note on this one, a 2 to 3 inch crack opened up almost all the way across the hollow lower shield of ice right underneath Graham’s feet while he was leading it. It was pretty loud.

We rapped the route to climbers’ right from trees, 2×55 m raps. The top anchor was reached by a 15 m downclimb from the top of the falls.

We hiked down along the edge of the drainage (blue line). This wasn’t any better. Again, one hour back to cars.

I had been interested in checking this one out for a long time mostly because it was unclimbed. It was more interesting climbing than the grades suggest, but definitely not a new classic.

Highway 97 – Enderby Cliffs

Mythologic is getting lots of traffic, considering the level of difficulty involved. Two ascents at least over the last three days.

On Tuesday (Dec 20), Mythologic was climbed by Mike Verwey and Steve Holeczi. Mike reports: Steve H and I went up there today. That thing is a mega classic and in good shape! Was pouring but was able to dodge it mostly. Still got a little wet. Gore Tex recommended! It’s climbing well. Pretty good screws and a couple steep bits. Such a cool climb!

As well, Mike Stuart and Alex Geary climbed Mythologic on Thursday (Dec 22) in 5 pitches. Pics from both ascents below.

Highway 3A – Okanagan-Similkameen

NEW ROUTE

Gong Show 18m WI3 FA Dave Mai & Stan Sabourin Dec 21, 2016
(Stan Sabourin) New South Okanagan ice line Gong Show WI 3. Climbed with Dave Mai yesterday (Dec 21) on remarkably good ice. Steep, but short. The climb is found up White Lake Road, west of Yellow Lake (Highway 3A).

 

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