Posted by: westcoastice | January 6, 2014

January 6, 2014 Ice Climbing Report (Thanks Peter and Mark)

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon

On Sunday, I (Adrian, your trusty WCI blog host) and a BCMC crew (Darrin, Suzanne, Guy, Ilze and Don) went for a fitness day at Marble Canyon. We found good climbing conditions in general, good sticks and reasonable temps (-4°C midday).

Dale’s Route/The Dihedral/Waite for Spring – all these routes routes are completely dry, save one or two short icicles at the very top of Dale’s. Completely bare rock compared to the thick ice pictured on page 141 of Don Serl’s WCI guidebook.
Deeping Wall – Thick and immense right now (see pics below). There is room for at least three widely-spaced lines on the main curtain. The climbing is steepest on the far right line, in solid WI5 territory, with a mix of dry ice and dripping chandeliers/icicles. A little less steep and a little dryer on the two left lines. The ice is in good climbing condition, despite being a bit kicked out. There are still many friable bits, especially near the top, with ice being knocked off by most climbers on ascent. Wear helmets and belay well away from the base.
No Deductible – This line is almost completely iced up, adding a fourth almost pure-ice line right of the Deeping Wall (see pics below). Not much mixed climbing necessary, if any. The ice is chandeliered and wet, but a strong, brave leader might get it done. The main issue is the bottom 5 meters, which is drippy, icicled and only partially down. Protection would be tricky until above the ‘cave’ at the base.
PROJECT/NEW ROUTE – There’s a fun mixed project going up just left of Icy BC‘s first pitch. Climbing is on very thin verglas with only 2-3 mandatory rock/mixed moves. It feels like it’ll be about M7, once the first ascentionist finishes bolting it and gets the official first ascent/lead done.
Icy BC – The climb is not in ‘fat’ conditions, but has at least two leadable lines on the first pitch. The leftmost line is tons of fun, with dynamic climbing through vertical bits, some blob hopping and some meandering climbing through icicles/chandeliers up high. Despite the gymnastics, it’s only as hard as WI4/4+. The right line on the first pitch would be an exciting lead; a 15m thickly-iced, but hollow tube (full of flowing water), followed by cauliflowered ice and a final solid column. Almost as much fun as the left line, and probably closer to WI5. Pitch 2 is in typical shape, with two kicked out lines. Pitch 3 is completely open, flowing and spraying on the left, and ‘in’ on the right. Lyle climbed that right side last week, so presumably it is leadable if you can navigate a way to clear the last few steps to the anchor (see pics below).
Body Shop – looks in, from what I could see from the top of pitch 1 of Icy BC.

Highway 40 – Lillooet and the Bridge River Canyon

Honeyman Falls – Not in. There is ice and snow at the base and up about one pitch on the right side, but 90% of the flow is open, running water (see pic below).
Cherry Ice – Looks in, as spied from across the river (see pic below), but might have a gap at 2/3 height.
Nite n’ Gale – I’ve included a picture of the upper pitches from Peter, when he was up there on December 20. Likely to be in similar shape today, despite the warm trend two weeks ago, as the Bridge River Canyon stays 5°C or so colder than Lillooet. Go get it!

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

Small Seep/ Storm Brewing/ Mumu Man – Not in. All bare rock.
Synchronicity – The climb was observed from the highway at dusk, so take this with a grain of salt. The main ramps looked in, but the topmost pitch appeared to have some open gaps.
Synchrotron/Mother – These routes appeared to be thin, if in at all.
Carl’s Berg – Observed from the road at dusk. Appeared to have one continuous line in the middle, but open water gaps on the left and the right. Likely to be in more serious than normal shape; WI5+, chandeliered and wet, with difficult protection. Someone go get a closer look!
Rambles Left – Was climbed on Saturday in three reportedly-thin pitches.
On Saturday, I (Adrian) and the BCMC crew climbed Rambles Center. Pitch 1 had two potential lines, both WI3, with good protection on the left line and short screws needed for the right line. Pitch 2 was in easy WI2 shape, mostly well protected, with some wet dirt/rock on the top-out. We continued on to the Rambles Center Top Step.
Robin Hood – Thin verglas and bare rock for the most part. I’d say not in.
Robber Baron – A thick, smooth layer of ice. Fun climbing, protectable with short/medium screws. Thicker than the thin verglas described in the WCI guide.
Lenin – Fun climbing, good ice. Cool moves around the rock mid–height.
Left Finish – Steep to start, but kicked out, with good footholds. Protection was difficult sometimes, with hollow/chandeliered sections. The column has a hollow section in the back at the bottom 1 meter, but held up to our many (6+) ascents that day.
Right Finish – Dripping wet. Full Gortex recommended. We choose not to climb it.
Rambles Right – A party of three climbed on Rambles Right on Saturday. We heard them climbing and rappelling late in the day Saturday. Unfortunately, we did not connect up and did not get any firsthand data. That said, we were halfway down Rambles Center and heard them rapping far above and right. They might have gotten as high as the Upper Tier climbs.

Highway 5 – Coquihalla

I (Mark) went back to Box Canyon yesterday (Jan 5th). After a lot of postholing, wallowing and wandering, we made it to Grim Reaper and climbed a few pitches. The middle pitch had a steep central line, which climbed nicely amongst some more suspect melt/refreeze and snow affected junk. The pitch(es) to get there were not quite as nice, and the diagonal groove up to the base of the main wall did provide a bit of a shower. The top pitch had a fair bit of open water flowing and was quite bulbous – we gave it a miss. See our pictures in the Gallery below.

As we climbed we listened to everything which gets the sun collapsing, e.g. Fear-O-Fungi.
Yellow Flow is pretty much melted out.
The Mr Natural wall was holding on a bit more.

30 – 50 cm more snow would probably make it much more reasonable to get in there with snowshoes.

Highway 3 – Manning Park

We (Peter and co.) went out to Manning Park on Sunday, despite the recent post (Jan 3). Worth the risk given that the following two days after the post called for fairly cold nights. We awoke to -17°C temps Sunday morning, checking the Manning ski report, leaving us thinking that Nepopekum Falls might be healed up. When the viewpoint opened to show us all three routes in this valley, Go With the Flow WI4+ looked big and blue. So we decided to go for it.
Go With The Flow approach – we crossed the creek to gain the slope under the climb by using snowshoes on top of snow covered and uncovered alder branches across the creek. The 200m elevation gain was better than last trip up, but it still sucks. I think ski touring in once there is more snow would be best.
Go With The Flow – The climb (pics below) was in fun shape, with typical coastal conditions; ice was good in enough spots to keep you moving forward. The guidebook calls this route 30m, but we climbed 2 pitches, 45m and 20m. We were able to rap from the top V-thread all the way back to the ground with 60m ropes. The top pitch was stiff, steep ice that needed lots of clearing. Get on it quick before the next meter of snow falls this week. Note: the Manning forecast calls for a lot of snow this week, while the Duffey is getting almost none.
Nepopekum Falls looked good as well, including the right side. See the pic below.


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