Friday, Jan 1 – Climbed Pandome Falls (in the Mt Baker ski area) – was in good condition. Climbed initial 8m Grade 4 wall on right at start. Final couple metres to belay are very thin, otherwise, lots of thick ‘comfy’ ice.
Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon
Monday, Jan 4 – Went back to Marble Canyon. Trundled a few death blocks out of Hit and Run (on the Icy BC Tier 3 level) to clean the exit from Air Care. Marc-Andrew LeClerc led Air Care (again, pretty sketchy ice low down, with dubious gear, then quickly improving once you get established in the groove; and with excellent ice at the top). Marc tried Hit and Run, but couldn’t make the moves and place gear too, so he fell out of it a couple times – a good effort, and he’ll ‘tick’ it for sure once his new leashless tools arrive! I TR’ed (the ice, not Hit and Run) and we rapped off a couple V-threads.
Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road
Sunday, Jan 3 – Climbed Sergeant Pepper. Approach notes and times in the guide are accurate, but the route description is not. The guide has the approach pitch as “40m of Grade 2”, but the bottom half of this was a snow-covered walk, so it’d read better to call it 20m Grade 2. And the pillar is only 20m, not 50m! But it’s very challenging climbing, with very poor ice and dubious pro (at least Grade 5 from the leader’s point of view, although technically Gr 4) – if the option existed out here, I’d give it a ‘Scottish’ double-grade of 4/5+. We continued up the gully (per the guidebook) for 55m, climbing a very nice 15m Grade 3 step midway. We rapped 55m from a small cedar on the right, then 40m to the base from an Abalakov at the crest of the pillar. Great route.