Posted by: westcoastice | January 21, 2013

January 21, 2013 Ice Climbing Report (Thanks Jeremy, Ian, William, Milan and Ray)

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon

Ian and William spent a relaxed Sunday at Marble Canyon. The left side of Icy BC‘s first pitch is in stiff WI4 conditions with good pro. Next, climb the ladder on the second pitch, followed by lovely solid climbing on the third. Most of the third pitch mushrooms have been smoothed over.
Milan, Jason and Evelyne also climbed Icy BC (on Saturday), reporting “Awesome conditions! Good ice all the way.” See the image gallery below for a great pic of pitch 3 from Milan.

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

After our plans for Saturday got all messed up (contact lens malfunction), I (Jeremy) went to take a look at Storm Brewing and Mumu Man. They are baked like my dad at a Grateful Dead concert, though technically they are touching down.
Approach Notes for Small Creep Area:
The Issue:
The dam that provides access to Storm Brewing and Mumu Man, plus Small Creep (which looked lean and wet, but probably leadable) and the surrounding smears is now closed off. There is a very tall, locked gate with barbed wire and a “NO TRESPASSING” sign. I (Jeremy) wandered around for a half hour trying to find another way across, but came up with nothing that would not involve vandalism, serious risk of injury, a thorough soaking, trespassing or all of the above. I heard a rumour that there is a fish hatchery somewhere downstream that might provide access but the word is that the hatchery will not get you across the river.
The Answer: The best solution is to walk the railroad tracks from the West end of Lillooet. Word is that it is about a 20 minutes walk.

Milan, Jason and Evelyne climbed Rambles Center. The climbing was pretty good on the Rambles Center pitch, with new ice on the pillars of Upper Tier as well (see pic below, along with a shot of Carl’s Berg).

Milan, Jason and Evelyne climbed The Tube this weekend. It was chandelier ice, but climbable and fun. Another party left a V-thread about three quarters of the way up the climb where the good ice stops. The final bit was too aerated to be safely climbed.

After lots of drainage scrambling trying to make it to The Plum, Ian and William made it back to the car for 9:30am with only some approach ice climbed. They salvaged the day by joining two Squamish boys on Carl’s Berg. The Squamish team had the more congealed right side, so we (Ian and William) took a line to their left, immediately right of the main flow (open water). That first pitch went at WI4+. We then branched left after the mid belay, crossing the flow (water) below open holes near the top (WI5). The ice was overhung and chandeliered with very poor feet. Pro was possible, but required serious forward thinking and a bit of excavation. Great exposure with the crux being the overhung second pitch. With the belay in a cave below you and nothing visible under your feet… ice fall went clean to the bottom. First half of the third pitch (WI3) was great with mild open water; second half involved lots of open water/rock and was overcome by turf and tree climbing skills (Mud and Snow 3+). Overall, the climb was moist on the surface, with lots of water pressure behind. Wafer thin over the flow, with a squirter at the base that was shooting out a foot.

Highway 99 South – Pemberton

There were three parties attempting The Plum on Saturday (see Saturday’s report for Lee and Francis’ ascent). Along with Ian and William, Jeremy’s crew added a few more sucker tracks to The Plum approach.
Jeremy’s comments on The Plum approach (referring to Sunday’s Approach Notes): “However, if you’re looking for Rocky and Bullwinkle, head up to the shack just under the power lines (along the track that heads up and right from the parking area). Follow/wallow our tracks that duck into the trees from just behind the shack. The tracks will eventually break into the Rocky/Bullwinkle drainage. Follow the tracks for far too long up (but not all the way to those climbs), before traversing back left and down to the base of The Plum. So while I generally agree with Francis’ advice for The Plum approach, please be advised that it IS possible to go too far right.”

Highway 99 South – Whistler/Cal-Cheak

Sunday (Jan. 20) Ray Bucknell, Darrel H. and Tanis A. climbed at Moaning Tree, Cal-Cheak, near Whistler with one other party. Despite thin ice, the climbing was fun and it was nice to have a day of ice-crag’ing without heading over the Duffey. The left-hand lines were in the best shape. Vegetable Alley and Easy Money were the most well formed and the columns at the top made for fun, delicate climbing. The WI3 flows on the right were thin and discontinuous. Unfortunately, with the last few days of “warm” temperatures and what looks like more to come, I doubt the remaining ice will have much life left in the near future.

See Ray’s pics in the Gallery above.


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