Posted by: westcoastice | November 30, 2009

2015/2016 Ice Report

Ice Climbing Conditions Reports for the 2015/2016 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 last year’s 2014-2015 edition of New_Ice_Climbs_In_SW_BC_Version_10

Malakwa Ice RoutesHere’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 | February 11, 2016

February 11, 2016 Ice Climbing Report (Thanks Wes)

A compilation of Wes Dyck’s report on The Plum and Marble and some Facebook posts.

Highway 40 – Bridge River Canyon

(Marc-André Leclerc) Wishful thinking led me to the Bridge River Canyon this morning (Feb 9), only to find shitfuck conditions and +5ºC temps. Salvaged the day by climbing a few routes on the Duffey.

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon

Dan Canton and I (Wes Dyck) went to Marble on Wednesday, Feb 3, and found glorious conditions. We climbed all 3 pitches of Icy BC. Ice was completely dry other than the third pitch which was spraying a bit. We also troproped Deeping Wall Direct which was beaten out but a lot of fun. (a 70m rope is perfect for TR ing from all the new chains).

(Matt Kennedy) The annual VOC Daughter of Ice trip happened at Marble Canyon this past weekend (Feb 8-9). There was still plenty of ice when we left on Monday, but it was getting wet, and I’m sure it won’t stay for long. A person-sized chunk of the second pitch of Icy BC fell off sometime Sunday night, but it still goes. Temps were slightly chilly at night and pretty warm during the day.

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

(Scott Brown, Feb 8) Rambles were fat. We climbed Rambles Right, and it didn’t seem particularly wet. Definitely not flowing. Temps sat were about 40ºF, and Sunday I think just below freezing, maybe 28ºF. (Some pics below, including The Tube)

(Marc-André Leclerc, Feb 9) Climbed Loose Lady, Carl’s Berg and Closet Secrets. It does not feel like winter at all up there sadly, and the ice is very much on its way out.

Loose Lady went on the left, super wet on the right. Not hard climbing, but mushroom edges were less than ideal consistency for hooking, kind of soft. It’s just warm.

Carl’s Berg was in the best nick of the three, a bit hooked out though and covered in v-threads. Felt to me like easy, fun, straightforward conditions.

Closet Secrets had pretty unhealthy feeling ice, and Shreddie is definitely going to fall down soon. Nice route, but probably best avoided at this point.

(from Peter Watson; an older report I [Adrian Burke] missed my last West Coast Ice blog post, but great pictures of Closet Secrets) Another quality day (Feb 1) on the ice around Lillooet. Climbed Closet Secrets today. Route was in quality shape. Small rock rack and about 3 stubbies should suffice. No pins needed, nuts and a couple of smaller cams worked well. 2 bolt anchor at start, two bolt anchor at second ledge, new sling and biner around top tree. 70m rap back to first station, which we also replaced cord and quicklink.

Temp was -3ºC for a low today. No water really on the route.

Highway 99 South – Whistler/Pemberton

Dan Canton and I (Wes Dyck) hiked into The Plum on Jan.30. Dan and partner had done The Plum Lite 6 days earlier in fat conditions.

The picture tells the tale. Six days of double digit temps (Celsius) killed the first pitch.  I was emphatically told that my membership in the coastal ice climbers group was under review due to my pessimism and unwillingness to scramble around the mess of the first pitch.

However; with diligent research into the new cold snap we went out to on Wednesday Feb.3 and found glorious conditions and climbed all 3 pitches of Icy BC (Marble Canyon).

The membership review was dropped and I became a member of good standing. Wew!

On a side note (not to diminish the beauty and challenge of coastal ice), Dan and I climbed Borgeau Right (Canadian Rockies) which was an awesome WI4 that should not be missed. Shiny rap anchors all the way up and a couple of great pillers on the first pitch. Another beauty was Parting Gift WI3 in Peter Lougheed that is at the end of an amazing slot canyon and also Super Bok (see pic of the tunnel pitch!) was climbed with Safety Specialist Conrad Janzen on the January 5th.

Highway 5 – Coquihalla Highway

(Cyrus Eduljee, Feb 9) The Grim Reaper in Box Canyon is pretty much non-existent. Not sure about the other routes further back, but it was ~3ºC and we could hear ice crashing down all over the place, so instead we went to play on the dry tool routes put up by Peter Watson. Should have gone to Lillooet instead… On the plus side, it was a great day for rock climbing in Squamish today.

 

Posted by: westcoastice | February 6, 2016

February 6, 2016 Ice Climbing Report (FB)

Posts from the last week on our Facebook Group.
The Bridge River, Marble and Duffey reports are from Mauro Pizzarelli, with Don Montrichard and Jack, as well as Matt Kennedy. Nite n’ Gale report and picture of The Theft from Peter Watson. Photo of The Gift from Elena Hanajenko. Lyle Knight photo of Mythologic.

Highway 40 – Bridge River Canyon

Honeyman Falls – Left hand side open and flowing, right hand side had ice, but might be out – Viewed from the highway to Marble. – Feb 1

Salmon Stakes – the sections between the WI2/3 steps was kind of rotten, but got good the higher you went. This is a must do, such an adventurous route! – Jan 31
Hell’s Creek – flowing strong at the road, not sure how this correlates to the routes higher up. – Jan 31
Bridge River, in general – a lot of surviving ice, a lot of stuff still in. – Jan 31

Nite n’ Gale – (Peter Watson) Fun day up on the Bridge River today (Feb 2). Bailed on plans to check out The Gift as we were climbing as a group of three and I just felt we wouldn’t make it to the top. So instead we settled for Nite n’ Gale.

Nite n’ Gale had avalanched in the last cycle which made for easy travel on the approach and the slope between the first and second pitches. First pitch has lots of holes and open water but was easily avoidable. Second pitch just left of the hole, major crack in pillar overhanging the rock so took right line to the top of this pitch.

Approach note: Follow our tracks, but right after leaving the river follow our tracks left and towards the correct gulley, much more direct approach, then our switch backs up through the forest to the right, but this way also worked easily enough. Temps were -11ºC this am (Feb 2) and -8ºC at 4pm back at the car.

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon

Crowd warning: a group of up to 15 VOCers will be at Marble Canyon on the February long weekend (Feb. 6-8). Of course, we’ll share the wall and the fun with anyone else who’s there!

Icy BC is picked out, more of a stair master on the right-hand-most side. The lower walls were dripping wet but still climbed well. We TR’ed Deeping Wall which was awesome. 2nd tier of Icy BC looked like it wouldn’t go, 3rd pitch looks good though (from a distance). – Feb 1

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

Back from a fun 4 day trip based out of Lillooet. First day climbed Rambles Left and Center, day 2 we climbed Salmon Stakes (although as a group of 3, we didnt finish it, see above), day 3 was Marble Canyon, and day 4 we tried for Belmore but it didn’t look great up close, so we went back to the Rambles

Rambles Center is fat, including top sections. We climbed through the 2 pitches on Center, and got to the Top Tier. Some chandeliered ice on the steeper stuff, the WI3 on the very right was plastic. We were quite tired at this point and called it a day, but it looked really good up here. – Jan 30, Feb 2

Rambles_Centre_6Feb16

Leading Rambles Centre (Mauro Pizzarelli)

Rambles Left is still good to go for a while more – Jan 30
Belmore Gully – not looking great, but access is much improved. Some folks installed a tyrolean across the river, looks like a lot of time and effort was spent on this – Thank you!! Look for lime green tape at the apex of the turn on which you can see Belmore Gully. Feb 2

Steve Miller Band is repetitive after a couple hours – bring more than 1 cd for trips this long – Jan 30-Feb 2

Rambles Right (Matt Kennedy with Jake Taylor Jones and David Hurley, Jan 30-31) was in good shape, too. The bottom tier was fine. The top tier left pitch looked hard and somewhat chandeliered. I climbed the right pitch, and descended on a V-thread.

Highway 5 – Coquihalla – Box Canyon

Reposting a comment from Wes Dyck from the Jan 29 Post: On Jan. 16 2016, Mitch S-C and Wes Dyck climbed Truth to the top of the canyon in a rope stretcher of 60m. Ice ran out and was steep snow and intermittent ice to the rim. Agree with Dan’s WI4 rating.

We traversed left to the top Scotch on the Rocks on steep snow about a pitch and set up a toprope in the running water. We beefed up the anchor with another 7mm cord and added a locking biner to the existing single biner anchor. 55m. When Scotch is in it is a hard and sweet WI4+

Probably thinned out by now with the warm temps!

Highway 97 – Enderby Cliffs

Mythologic (see pic from January 30, 2016) – Lyle Knight reported: good to see it still standing despite the recent conditions. Expect it may need a couple of weeks below zero to recoup.

Mythologic_6Feb16

Mythologic on Jan 30 (Lyle Knight)

 

 

Posted by: westcoastice | January 29, 2016

January 29, 2016 Ice Climbing Report (FB)

Highway 40 – Bridge River Canyon

Salmon Stakes – looks in from the road

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon

No new ice reports, but assumed to be still in condition. Marble stays a few degrees colder than most of the areas surrounding Lillooet, which is remaining below freezing all weekend.

NEW ROUTE
Double Agent D7 (≈M7, no ice, dry-tool only) 20m 6 bolts FA Scott Payne & Garry Brace January 23, 2016
New dry-tooling route at Marble Canyon. Route is located about 8m right of the 2nd pitch of Icy BC. 6 bolts – 1st bolt is above the lower roof and should probably be stickclipped. Photo is of Scott Payne on the first ascent.

Double_Agent_D7_29Jan16

Scott Payne on the first ascent of Double Agent (Garry Brace)

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

(Jeremy Thom) On Sunday, Jan. 24, our BCMC group was at Carl’s Berg.  It was fat and blue.  There were multiple plausible lines.

Right of centre was a line of blobby mushrooms that looked super fun but bold.  Pro looked questionable at best.

On the left was a very featured pillar with some delicate looking stemming, but hideously chandeliered, dripping, and dubious looking pro.

I (Jeremy) went up the obvious middle pillar.  It did its namesake (web-editor note – Carlsberg Column in Field, BC, Canadian Rockies) proud.  It’s in very steep, stiff condition – much tougher than when (Eric) Bites and I were there earlier this year.  At 10 am, the ice was reasonable.  Hard and brittle in some places, plastic in others, a bit of chandelier, a bit aerated, but overall good steep climbing and decent but not perfect gear, with a fair amount of cleaning.  I did spend five minutes hanging off a screw about 3m up the steep stuff, having a conversation with myself about choices, decisions, consequences, and such.  And maybe swearing.  The ice got worse higher on the pillar and at maybe 1/2 height I found a v-thread in a cave (thanks Jean-Marc Savoie, I think), clipped, and trended left to some decent ice near the top of the left pillar.  I built a TR anchor in decent ice about 27m up, and then traversed easily right, back to the top of the middle pillar, where lots of cleaning permitted another nice TR anchor.  If I had continued on, the ice trending up and right to the tree anchor eases off a lot after this anchor, and looked just fine.

Instead, Chris Bueley, Suzanne Landry, Bala Kumar, and Oudi Cherfina smashed the living daylights out of the TR lines, mock leading all day.  Let’s just say you could hook your way up the central line now and you wouldn’t need to clean anything to get gear. When I went up to clean it at 5pm, it had warmed up, was all hero ice, and felt like 4+ºC.  Funny how much a line can change in a few hours.

I never did the left line, but just watched the gang lap it.  It provided super cool, gymnastic climbing with lots of opportunities for stemming and scumming and great rests.  It did not provide any reasonable gear.  Probably around 40 screws were sunk into it throughout the day, and apparently only a few found more ice than air, even after knocking several tonnes of choss off it.  Gear was better towards the top, but you’d have to be very bold to get there.

Note that the wide, 12m tall curtain of grade 3ish ice below the main business would make a pretty good place for a grade 3 leader to bring a bunch of beginners.  You could probably string up 6+ ropes side by side and climb a wide variety of ice from lower angle 2 to some short steep steps to some crazy mushroom cauliflower stuff.  Just be aware of a bit of hangfire danger, mostly on the extreme left and right side.

On the drive, we didn’t get great views of much of anything, but most of the stuff around Wader Land looked pretty good, except for that one wide one that is always flowing.  Shreddie looked pretty similar to a month ago, when Bites and I were last there (see pic below).

I (Marco Buccheri) lead The Tube Sunday, January 24 with Tom Appleby, Julio and Loren. The first 10-15 m definitely felt harder than the WI3+ WI4- graded in the book ( I thought that I was just rusty). I placed the same number of screws; the ice was very aerated and did not take very good screws.

(Jean-Marc Savoie) See below for…  pics of The Tube taken on January 22nd. It was in great condition! With Nic Vissers and Mike Gudaitis.

Note that The Tube has a handy new 2 bolt rap anchor installed on the left at the top.

Highway 99 South – Pemberton/Whistler

We (Jeremy Thom and company) had another BCMC course running laps up at The Plum Saturday, January 23. The first pitch was soft, wet, and detached, thin on the edges with a big hole in the middle, but still easily accommodated 2 ropes on fat blue ice. It was good to go at least to the tree belay at the top left of the first pitch. Didn’t scope above that.

Highway 5 – Coquihalla – Box Canyon (New Climbs)

At the very back end of Box Canyon (on what I [Dan Canton] think may be called the Emerald Wall) in January/February 2009 myself and Steve Vanhulsentop climbed the obvious left most of the two climbs (the right one virtually never forms completely or stays safe past the first rays of direct sunlight). The first we called Lawyers, Guns and Money. The second Innocent Bystander, third Truth and a fourth called Single Malt.

NEW ROUTE
Lawyers, Guns and Money WI4 3 pitches (long) FA Dan Canton & Steve Vanhulsentop Jan/Feb 2009

It starts with a WI4 pillar of about 60′ and the rest I’d have to look at the photos to get a good idea of the terrain. If memory serves the first two pitches are solid WI4 and the third is moderate WI4. All three pitches are quite full 60m pitches and consequently full 60m rappels. The climb is steep steps with snowy slopes/ledges in between. As I remember we set three tree rappels back to the base.

NEW ROUTE
Innocent Bystander WI4 2 pitches FA Dan Canton & Steve Vanhulsentop Jan/Feb 2009

The second new route is best described as all the way to the end of Box Canyon and then way up high on the right-hand side. This one we called Innocent Bystander.

This one is a fair hump to get to. Getting to the very back of Box Canyon itself (to do Scotch On The Rocks, Engage, etc.) is quite an exhausting effort in all, but perfect conditions and this one is that much more so. If one does go to the effort they’ll be rewarded with a decent experience. Pitch one is WI4 – but almost always thin/delicate and often doesn’t touch down. If I recall correctly I think that any meaningful screws where unavailable until at the base of pitch two.

Pitch two is fat with a short WI4 pillar that has a WI3 alternative on the right (I think). There’s a tree anchor/rappel point at the top. Care should be taken when rappelling to not go past the ice that is thick enough to install an Abalakov. On one ascent we found only enough ice for one attempt at a V-thread. If we screwed it up we would have had to climb up to thicker ice for another try. This climb, unlike everything else in Box Canyon, actually gets you high enough to get a peek out of the canyon and has a bit of an alpine feel.

NEW ROUTE
Truth WI4 15m FA Dan Canton & Brad Winter Jan/Feb 2009

The third first is immediately to the right of Scotch On The Rocks. It’s a quarter of a pitch (if that) pillar that ends in a bushy thrash. This one we called Truth WI4 (only due to it’s steepness. It could be argued as WI3 due to it’s lack of length), 1/4 of a pitch. This is not a destination climb. It’s only worth mentioning as an extra to do while in the Scotch vicinity.

NEW ROUTE
Single Malt WI5 60m FA Dan Canton, Steve Vanhulsentop & Michael Down Jan/Feb 2009

The fourth is a steep alternative on Scotch On The Rocks. It only forms in really fat ice years. It’s best described as the steep/direct pillar starting at the base (slightly left of center) of Scotch. Everything else about this climb is identical to Scotch – one 55/60m pitch with a station/rappel on the climber’s right.

Another practical note about Scotch On The Rocks is that I installed a rappel route in the trees above it that will take one to the top of the climb. If one isn’t feeling they’re sufficiently beefy to lead it they can, with great effort, hike around on the far right and then descend the ever steepening slope above to find two rappel anchors on trees which will lead to the upper Scotch area where an anchor can be placed.

 

Posted by: westcoastice | January 23, 2016

January 23, 2016 Ice Climbing Report (FB)

A pair of avalanches closed Highway 40 on Friday (Vancouver Sun Article).

Avalanche Canada has issued a special public warning that begins today and remains in effect until Monday. The warning applies to the northwest coast and southcoast inland, as well as to the Cariboo, Columbia and Kootenay-Boundary regions, the Purcell range and the Lizard-Flathead area in southeastern B.C. Avalanche experts say a weak layer of snow has been buried under recent heavier snowfalls and the risk is especially pronounced at lower elevations, although hazards also exist at and above the treeline.

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

Crowd Warning: There is going to be a large group tomorrow Sunday Jan 24 at the Rambles Centre.

We (Maw Mawperson with Lj Sov and Eli Dusenbury) climbed Rambles Left today (Friday, Jan 22). We followed the features on climbers right for the first two pitches. We hiked the snow gully and then climbed the WI2 flow on climbers left of the Upper Tier.

The Duffey has seen a lot of rain in the last couple of days. The climb was wet, lots of tree bombs, but no rockfall or wet snow slides on route. But, lots of wet snow slides can be seen from the highway.

Highway 99 South – Whistler/Pemberton

Drew reports that today (Jan 23) there is still ice at Sumallo Bluffs, but it is also +2ºC and raining. At least one pillar collapsed between 10 am and 2 pm

 

 

Posted by: westcoastice | January 22, 2016

January 22, 2016 Ice Climbing Report (Thanks Peter)

Avalanche Hazard: Conditions are ripe for an impressive avalanche cycle on the South Coast of BC today (Jan 21), according to Avalanche Canada (CBC REPORT).

Rockfall Issues: Reminder that warm weather around Lillooet, particularly in the canyons, leads to serious rockfall as well as snow avalanches. Drive BC @DriveBC 3h3 hours ago –> #‎BCHWY40‬ CLOSED 90km west of junction with ‪#‎BCHWY99‬ in ‪#‎Lillooet‬ at Mintos bluff because of avalanche. No detour in place.

Below are a set of reports from Peter Watson and compiled from our Facebook Group.

Highway 40 – Bridge River Canyon

Honeyman Falls is in an thick (see pics below)

19-1-16 (Dave Brown):
Hell Creek was flowing heavily again.
Plan B had decent ice low but the top part, on the right-hand, lower-angled, side, was completely rotted out. The last couple of body lengths involved hooking mud and I swatted a mosquito. The left-side had some steeper ice which looked to be maybe WI4- and might have been ok, but I didn’t climb it.

20-1-16 (Dave Brown):
El Nino was not climbable.
The Groke was in great shape but, with very little snow, the approach is quite difficult. The river seemed higher on the way out than it was on the way in – it was just over hip-wader depth on the return crossing.
Wishful Thinking looked in from the road but I didn’t go up to it.

Reported last week by Peter… lots of ice.

Old Dogs, New Picks – thick with tonnes of ice above the climb
Steri Strip – thick and looked fun
Salmon Stakes – thick looking
Shriek of Sheep – (see pics below) quality fun, great climbing and tons of ice. Be prepared for the river crossing; hip-waders are recommended
Black Bird – looks fatter than ever in my history looking at it. Two pillars with the right one looking like the choice and the slab looked thick.
Night n Gale – looked great
Capricorn – looked great
4 dressed up as a 6 – completely formed and looked big, and the pillar to the left, is also formed
The Theft – lots of ice in there and looked complete other then what you can’t see in the chimney
The Gift – looks amazing, but can’t really view the bottom pillar or scope the first pitch that well.

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon

NEW ROUTE
Klingon M8 20m FA Garry Brace January 20, 2016
New Marble Canyon mixed route – Klingon M8 (?) – see pic below.
Route is immediately left of the 2nd pitch of IcyBC and has 7 bolts. The first bolt is high and should be stick-clipped.

Klingon_21Jan16

Garry Brace leading Klingon (new mixed route next to P2 of Icy BC)

Again, from last week’s report from Peter…

Top Tier (parallel to the 3rd pitch of Icy BC:
Air Care – looked great
No Deductible – forming well
Icy BC, pitch 3 – wet and lots of unconsolidated columns.
Body Shop – not in

CROWD WARNING #1 (Marcus Tomlinson): 10 people from the Vancouver Rock Climbing Group will be at Marble Canyon on Saturday Jan 22nd and Sunday Jan 23rd. We will certainly allow others to work in and share routes.

CROWD WARNING #2 (Matt Kennedy): There will be a group of up to 8 VOCers at Marble Canyon on the weekend of Jan. 30 – 31. Of course, they will share the wall, the fun, and the fire!

CROWD WARNING #3 (Matt Kennedy): a group of up to 15 VOCers will be at Marble Canyon on the February long weekend (Feb. 6-8). Of course, we’ll share the wall and the fun with anyone else who’s there!

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

Synchronicity area has lots of ice
Synchrotron and Mother looked to be complete with the dry tool variation to the second pitch.
There have been a couple of successful runs up Loose Lady very recently. Henrik Hinkkala reports (Jan 20) Loose Lady in wicked shape, no water running on the route, all internal, great pro. Just climbed it with Richard Be and Ryan Larkin. This will probably be around for a little while, and has been a long time since it has been in. Highly recommend taking day off work to get it done.
On Saturday (Jan 16), Peter Watson and I (Jean-Marc Savoie) finally sent the infamous Loose Lady (WI 5) on the Duffey lake road. Peter did an amazing job working his way through the crux pitches. He went up and stayed right until going through an ice tunnel to a large belay ledge under the upper pillar. He then took the left side into the back cave. Around to the other side and straight up. Burly and fun! Temp around 0 to -2. Mostly great ice.
Bruce and Lyle comments RE: Loose Lady – there’s a few drainages to be avoided when the avalanche hazard is up, and this is one of them. There’s big, open terrain above and it’s common to see big debris right down to Hwy 99 at a his location. IMO I’d wait a few days for conditions to stabilize. Loose Lady is by far one of the higher risk ice climbs in the corridor, yet because it is not apparent, often unsuspected.

Pics from Eric Hughes of Red Wall Wanderers, Tres Burly and Dunkin’ Donuts (new route) below…

NEW ROUTE
Dunkin’ Donuts WI3+/4- 60m FA Eric Hughes Sarah Hart & Ian Bennett January 21, 2016

</p)

After the most minimal amount of research I’m (Eric) going to say this is a new route? 60m long, WI3+/4-, three steeper tiers with easy ice between. Small alcove at the top with thick enough ice to rap off. Bring a few extra stubbies. Located 75m down hill from Red Wall Wanderers, 25m left of Playing Hooky. Dunkin’ Donuts is worth climbing if you have made the effort to go climb RWW, but it’s not in.

Highway 97 – Enderby Cliffs

Wicked-fun day on Mythologic with Matt Maddaloni and Bruce Kay – Lyle Knight (Lyle’s report and photos below)

Mythologic near Enderby BC is in very good condition, the aspect and valley overcast is helping it continue to grow. Good trail beat in, a gradual 2.5hrs to the base, take snowshoes! A couple of minutes into the hike take the left branch onto the new Parks trail. After about 20 minutes (1st switchback) head off the end onto our trail, mostly ribboned if it gets snowed over.

Note: our ropes got stuck on the final rap (dusk), if you head up it would be appreciated if you could send them down and I’ll retrieve in a few weeks, please let me know!

Posted by: westcoastice | January 14, 2016

January 14, 2016 Ice Climbing Report (Facebook again…)

Documenting the very active West Coast Ice Facebook group, for those of you not already active participants… I didn’t get time to steal/post all the pics, but you can find more on the FB Group.

General Crowd Warning (Jennifer Carter): 5 climbers from the Seattle Mountaineers ice climbing program will be in the Lillooet area this weekend. 2 of us mentors and 3 beginners. We’re nice and happy to share routes/ let others pass/ move on over so just give us a heads up if we’re gumming up a route you want to be on. See you out there!

Highway 40 – Lillooet

(Jason Callum) Climbed on Honeyman Falls on Sunday (Jan 11). We stopped and warmed up/ did laps on the bottom 35ish m. Another party showed up and they went to the top.

Honeyman_Falls_14Jan16

Honeyman Falls on Sunday (Jan 11)

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon

I (Jeremy Thom) ran an intro to ice course this weekend.

Saturday we were at Oregon Jack. Conditions were much as Drew Bradshaw described not long ago: very cold, hard, brittle, dry ice that fractured a lot. Hard work to get sticks, especially for the poor crew who was swinging tools for the first time. Gear was a wee bit thought provoking. On the other hand, the ice was highly featured, mushroomed, and chandeliered, which made for really interesting fun climbing. Thanks to Lyle Knight for putting chains in the half-height cave. They were pretty iced over and could become difficult to find, but roughly they are right in the middle of the cave.

Of note, a couple from Kamloops, Jack and Steph, wandered by and took a lap to the top. Jack said the ice got worse the higher he went.

Add’l comment from Jack Stratton: As far as conditions, I got a couple screws just above the belay cave, but most of my screws in p2 were worthless.

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

Comments from Drew RE: Belmore Gully conditions –>  It’s -4 and sunny at the webcam right now, I expect that deep snow and avvy hazard are the biggest concerns. South Coast Inland has moderate hazard with possible buried hoar layers, something to think about…

Highway 99 South – D’Arcy/Pemberton/Whistler

We (Alexander Weber and Mandy Wong) climbed Entropy (WI3, 120m, Pemberton) on Saturday (Jan 10). I think we made it to 100m before it started to get dark. The top looked a little thin, like the description in the book says it might. Approach hike it kicked in steps.

Peter Watson added a comment on Alexander’s photo –> thats the most ice i have seen on Fig Plucker and Plucker’s Son for several years.

Jody Sutherland added –> There was a Big Cougar on the tracks (railroad) just below the climb this afternoon (Jan 11). Keep your tools handy on the approach. Eh.

Entropy_14Jan16

Entropy on Sat (Jan 10). Fir Plucker and Fig Plucker’s Son also in view.

Sunday we (Jeremy Thom’s intro ice course) lapped the first pitch of The Plum. I’ve probably been there a dozen times and by far it was in the best shape I’ve ever seen. Lots of smooth, uniform, generally plastic ice. Way better than when Eric Bites and I were up there the weekend before. Any number of lines possible. Could have had 3 TR’s set up there. Another party was ahead of us and went to the second tier, which they reported was in nice shape.

I don’t have anything useful to add to other reports that have been posted recently about Birken/Fraser Canyon, other than that White Blotter looks like the first pitch is only a few feet at most from touching down, but it doesn’t look quite ready yet.

Mauro Pizzarelli and Don Montrichard report… Some stuff in around Birkenhead, or just about in.
1) High up on the hill above Roadside Attraction there’s some ice (20-25m, WI3ish – apparently later identified as Drive By Shooting) that was thin down low, so we top-roped it. Lots of variety in here, but mostly short routes.
Drive-by Shooting: 30m M8. Jayson Green & Gavin Duffell sometime in 2008. 100m down the tracks from Roadside Attraction. Climb 15m of WI2 to a two-bolt anchor, then up steeply overhanging rock past 5 bolts with fixed draws to a final dagger. Chain anchor, lower off.
2) Roadside attraction was in, but lots of water running down on the left hand most routes, ice was delaminating. The route itself was fun though.
3) Hollow Quest for Glory was mostly in, except for a bit of hollowness
4) We also checked out Class Is In Session. It’s coming in, but still spots with quite a bit of water running behind a thin screen of ice. Maybe a week of colder weather will see it form up. I walked up to a viewpoint above the first steeper section, about two minute’s hike from the road. Looked interesting, book says 200 metres.

Highway 99 South – Squamish

Today (Jan 13) I (Jean-Marc Savoie) pruned the access trail to the top of Line Drive (WI2) at Murrin Park in Squamish. I also trimmed the branches around the main anchor tree at the top and replaced the webbing anchor. Furthermore I installed a rap anchor at the ledge below the top for when the final 15 feet of climbing is not safe to continue to the tree while on lead. The anchor is on the big Boulder which won’t get covered by snow or ice. (obviously currently this ice is out now), but it seems to be in for at least a week or 2 around Xmas this year and last.

Highway 3 – Sumallo Bluffs

Drew Bradshaw report from Saturday, Jan 10 –> Sumallo West across from 19 Mile Creek. Unclimbed drip is touching down (bottom) and double lines are in in upper gully (upper left). Fell off log into Sumallo River on the approach and suffered full immersion & had to retreat but these lines should stick around at least to tomorrow (Jan 11). Other Sumallo routes:
Landmark Curtain just touched down.
B/K and Crunchy Frog are in.
Anthrax Ripple is not in.
Mess routes and First Time Lucky are snowy

 

 

Posted by: westcoastice | January 8, 2016

January 7, 2016 Ice Climbing Report (Facebook Updates)

All reports and pictures are from our Facebook Group, over the last week or more.

Highway 40 – Lillooet

Dave Brown noted (on Jan 5): Bighorn Creek is in. Hell Creek Falls is climbable, too, though still hollow in places, especially the top 40 ft.

Drew Brayshaw later noted: if you stay in Lillooet on Saturday night, then Hell Creek Falls is well worth your attention as a Sunday destination rather than joining the crowds at Marble (see Crowd Warning below). Park just before Old Dogs, put your crampons on at the car, there’s a 20 minute ice approach up the drainage with some short bouldering steps, then a beautiful wide curtain you can set up easily 6 separate lines on, WI2+ to 4 possibilities.

Also, Kevin Aitken posted some pictures of Honeyman Falls and Cherry Ice from Wednesday, January 6.

ACCESS NOTES: Some climbers have reported No Trespassing signs on the approach to Honeyman. I (Lyle Knight) discussed the issue with someone from the District, they put the sign up years ago as it is a community watershed. They are no longer drawing water from this source, however it’s likely the folks downstream (Honey Farm) are using the water. Many moons ago I maintained a sign at the trailhead to make climber’s aware of the issue and to respect the water.

From the folks I talked with, the District is well aware of the importance of these resources to climbers and don’t want to be discouraging tourism (“Guaranteed Rugged!”), especially mid-winter! My contact will get the conversation going at the District office to provide further clarity and hopefully some new signs outlining the access rules.

In the meantime, I’d suggest it’s not necessary to avoid Honeyman, just access it respectfully (use the can before you go!). Alternatively, you could choose to drive up the dump road and hike in across the hillside (see Google Earth) and traverse in above the sign.

Highway 99 North – Oregon Jack & Marble Canyon

CROWD WARNING: (Jeremy Thom) So this weekend the BCMC course will take place at Oregon Jack on Saturday (Jan 9). We’ll have 2 ropes up on it all day long. We’ll obviously play nice with anyone else who shows up, but I do note that there is lots of ice in out there… We’ll be somewhere on Sunday (Jan 10) as well. Good chance we’ll join what I assume will be a crowd at the bottom tier of Marble Canyon, but that decision won’t be made until I see how the participants are doing on WI3. I’ll post Saturday evening about our Sunday plans.

ACCESS NOTES: Oregon Jack (Lyle Knight)

Parking – there is limited space at the end of the road which is also necessary for plough truck and school bus turn-arounds. There’s quite a bit of new snow so just need to make sure everyone can get around. The MOTI contractor brought this to my attention on a trip out there;
Private Property/ Access – Park inside the provincial park, just off the snowmobiled road. Definitely pass through the gate in the fence… don’t climb the fence. As long as you’re on public land you’re golden;
Water/ Sanitation – The locals likely drawing their water from this source so probably a bit antsy over a group spending a day upstream of their wells – just need to make sure you’re having the conversation with your group beforehand. I  (Lyle) put a set of chains in the cave at mid-height to reduce the amount of tat, as well.

Highway 99 South – Pemberton/ Mount Currie/ D’Arcy

Drew Brayshaw’s post on Jan 3, plus many pics below: Climbed Roadside Attraction in the Birken Valley with Graham Rowbotham today. Climb is in good shape and takes screws up to 19 cm. Mix of plastic and brittle ice. The climb is a full 60 m from the bottom ledge to the top-out, although the lower half is easy rambling. Lots of choice of slung trees at the top for rappels. There are new powerline access roads that make the approach even easier. Park in pullout 7.1 km north of RR tracks crossing at Mt Currie Reserve and walk up steep powerline roads until below ice, then bushwack up steep forested scree for 2-3 minutes to the ice. Crampons helpful for last 10 m of approach.

Other conditions observed in Birken Valley today (Jan 3). Other no-photo conditions updates:
White Blotter lower curtain just touched down, upper curtain not touching down yet.
Lodge Falls non-existant as always (maybe only ever formed once?)
Deception a thin smear bottom to top, looked hard to protect
Candlewax is discontinuous blobs. Not a viable ice route yet.
Class In Session might have the odd hole but is probably good to go. I climbed this once a long time ago and if you like “approach ice” without any climb attached, this is the route for you!
– did not see Rusty or Mild Thing

Mauro Pizzarelli provided pictures of White Blotter, PC Valentine and The Plum below.

Eric Hughes climbed The Plum on Jan 3. Reporting on the top tier — Ice was good on the steep section but mushroomed above and below.

Highway 99 South – Whistler

Eric Hughes reported on The Office (Backcomb) on Dec 31 and on Suicide Bluffs today (Jan 7). All lines on the Suicide Bluffs are a delicate top rope or a bold lead. Mauro Pizzarelli provided pictures of Cal Chek

Highway 1 – Fraser Valley

Report from Jeff Aslan (Jan 4): Got on Mousetrap yesterday. Lots of running water underneath the surface of the ice but only punched through once. I imagine it might be good for 1 more day before the warmup forecasted for later this week. We made up the first four pitches until we came to an open hole that would have taken some funky moves to get around. A Better Mousetrap was a little thinner, but less running water underneath and looked like it would go.

Highway 1 – Sicamous

Guide available here Guide for the Malakwa Ice Routes

Peter Watson’s initial report from January 2:

Rest Stop – forming well with lots of running water and spray from the upper pillars. Climbed to just the bolted anchor and rapped top pitch Could use a bit more filling in. Was climbing with my GF and she was not having so much fun.

C People Play – continuous ice top to bottom, put a trail in to the base of the route hope to get back this Wednesday to give a run at it and will update then.

Peter’s follow-up Jan 7 Report:

Got up C People Play today (Jan 7) in WI4 condition. It was climbed in 3 pitches with some pretty terrible ice for the top out. All pitches sounded hollow and unless it gets cold again this climb might be better off left alone. New cord on biggest tree at center of top tier, one 70m rappel gets you down from the top. Crampons needed for top 60m of approach especially on the descent.

ACCESS NOTES: New info on parking and permission to cross private land. John, who is the owner of Dari farm which is directly across from this climb, is the person to ask. We chatted with him and he gave us the ok to climb as well as to park in his driveway. He would like to be consulted before you just go wherever you want.

 

 

Posted by: westcoastice | January 7, 2016

January 6, 2016 Ice Climbing Report (Thanks Clark)

Highway 99 North – Oregon Jack

I (Clark Bostrom) climbed Oregon Jack on New Years Day with JD. It was about -12ºC and the ice was hard and brittle. Awkward and featured climbing in a fine setting. Worth the effort of getting out there for sure.

(see photo at the bottom of today’s report)

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

We (Clark and JD) climbed Synchronicity on January 2 (see photo below). Tried out both approaches mentioned in the guidebook. Dropping down from up the road is about 20 minutes faster than walking in from the bridge. The Tyrollean Traverse makes crossing the river easy. Approach from the car to the base of the ice is challenging due to the 2 inches of hoar. Slippery rocks and gravel make it treacherous. Some of that heavy coastal snow would help! About 2 hours.

Bring a few stubbies to supplement your regular rack. The ice gets thicker on the long ramp. Sun affected for the top of the ramp and the glory pitch.  Lots of water flowing til you get back in the trees. Cold on the top 15 m pitch. How can one tiny stream (6 inches by 1 inch) not be frozen and feed such a massive climb?

One trick for the descent: At the top of the ramp pitch traverse skiers right to a tree with an orange cord.  Rappel straight down 65m to base of ramp.

11 hours car to car. And as Don Serl says, bring a headlamp.

We (Clark and JD) climbed Carl’s Berg on Sunday morning (January 3). Dry and gnarly looking on the left but dry. Lots of wild cauliflowers. Quite wet in the middle and on the right despite being -10ºC or so. Bold lead, no matter which line you choose.

Posted by: westcoastice | December 29, 2015

December 29, 2015 Ice Climbing Report

Compiled from our Facebook Group

Highway 40 – Bridge River Canyon

Report from Drew Brayshaw.
The Walrus at Carpenter Lake. On the FA in 2007, we soloed some approach ice to get to the base of the route. Today (Dec 28), that approach ice was scary, poorly protected M4. Got to the base, main pitch of the route was detached from the rock behind and 5cm thick.😦
Night n Gale overview. Upper curtain more like two separate lines right now.
Blackbird Pillar on the left just touching down, not very big.
Mix Master J and The Virgin on the right are pretty much just icicles. Nothing continuous over there yet.
Photo conditions report (see below) for as many of the Bridge River climbs as I (Drew) could shoot.
Not shown:
Taikonaut was in the clouds, no idea where Center Line is.
Boulder Creek Falls was running and wet.
Cedarvale Falls was running water at the road.
Hell Creek had running water at the road.
Michelmoon had a big hole.
Jade Falls main column had touched down.
No sign of Xwisten Steps or Suncatcher.
Terzaghi Falls curtain had three separate small pillars touching down, none was very big around.
Troubled Waters was in.
Drake had a hole.

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon

Report from Dec 26 (Saturday) by Blob Loblaw.
The Dihedral is not formed at all.
All 3 pitches of Icy BC are in and fairly solid, under a layer of some chose. The third pitch looked the best, but no pics as it was night by then.

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

Super cold! Weather network said -12ºC in Pemberton. Back pack analog thermometer said -12 in Duffey. Drew noted -4ºC at the Rambles.

Today, Ryan Larkin and I (Jean-Marc Savoie) tried Carl’s Berg and got up half way and bailed due to very reactive (fracturing) conditions (-13ºC). The Berg is climable, but feels like expert conditions (spicy). On we went to Closet Secrets (since Shreddie seemed to have lots of ice). Ice on Closet was thin, but nice to swing into. Scarce pro. Backed off at the second crux above the cave. Worth re-assessment in a few days!

Drew Bradshaw reporting on the DuffeyRambles Left lower tiers were pretty lean. The short WI3 finish through the cave and gully on the right were in and had enough ice to be protectable. No ice at all on the left hand line above half-height. Did not hike up to the Upper Tier or Polish Wall.

Jeremy Thom’s report… A new personal best: shut down on 2 routes in one day today (Dec 27).

Eric Bites and I (Jeremy Thom) tried Loose Lady. Not entirely sure we did the approach correctly. After 10-15 min in the trees we dropped into the gulley. Rather than a 50m pitch of 3 as described in the guide, we soloed about 150m of rambling brushy creek bed with about 5 brief steps of WI2/3ish ice and some deepish pools (sploosh!! $@&&!!!!). Each successive step got thinner, wetter, and more detached. Gave up just under a big chockstone. It looked like if we could have passed that, we might have been in the amphitheatre, but we never even caught a glimpse of the main event. Attached is a pic of what turned us around.

We (Eric & Jeremy) then tried The Tube, which looked blue from the road. From up close it looked wet, thin, chandeliered, and soft, and worse the higher you go. We couldn’t even get to the base. Unless there is some trick to the approach, it looks like you have to climb the gulley below the pillar for a few short steps. Those steps were thin, detached, broken, and snowed over. We had had enough of that already for the day.

In other news, Synchronicity looked interesting. We saw it in dim light, but it looked thin but in. The lowest pitch seemed thinnest though. No promises.

 

Highway 99 South – Whistler

Just so everyone knows while driving back we (Jean-Marc Savoie & Ryan Larkin) put eyes on Entropy at Soo Bluffs between Whistler and Pemberton. It looks fat! Worth the hike.

Jeremy provided an update from Sunday on Carl’s Berg. The rest is from our Facebook Group.

Highway 40 – Bridge River Canyon

(Frank Whittaker [Facebook])… spent the night in Bridge River Sunday with Nathan Heavenor. Everything looked pretty thin or not touched down. Hiked up to Plan B, wasn’t climbable.  Lots of running water.

Plan_B_22Dec15

Plan B, Bridge River Canyon

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon

The Marble Canyon climbs are in, for the most part, in thin-ish conditions. See the pics below, pillaged from our Facebook group.

Ryan Larkin scratched his way up an M7 2 climbs left of Pink Cadillac. We (Jean-Marc and Ryan) also climbed Deeping Wall and Icy BC‘s 1st pitch. Ran into people from Kamloops and Mission. We camped Sunday night and it was -10, nippy! Over all awesome climbing conditions.
Make the drive to marble!

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

Update from Jean-Marc Savoie and others (Facebook):
Belmore Gully still looks in.
Shreddie is TBD (see pic below)
Rambles Centre‘s column is clearly visible from the road.
Rambles Right’s Dihedral is clearly visible from the road.
The Tube is forming well (let this continue till Xmas).
Loose Lady approach pitch appears thin, but present.
Synchronicity still needs time.

Carl’s Berg is on. Eric Bites and I (Jeremy Thom) got up it last Sunday (Dec 20). -1ºC at the base at about noon. Wide variety of ice – wet, hard, hollow, chandelier, mushroomed, soft, fragile, bomber…  Super fun early season conditions, though you better bring your Goretex. Generally bomber and abundant gear. And currently a steal at a WI5.

 

Older Posts »

Categories