Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon & Oregon Jack
We (Jeremy and BCMC training group) were at Oregon Jack on Saturday (Jan 18). Had the place to ourselves. We saw temperatures as low as -4°C at the parking area, around 10:30 am. The climb was in reasonable shape. A lot of thin hollow ice covering huge holes, but there was a vein of fat, well bonded ice that trended up left from the centre. I only went about half way up, as we were running laps for the training course. The ice got progressively more hollow sounding as I climbed, but it was just fine at least to about 27m up. The rest of the ice above certainly looked plausible, including the upper pillar. Plausible, but I guarantee nothing.
Sunday (Jan 19) we hit Marble Canyon. It was about -1°C in the parking lot at about 9:30. First off, big thanks to Paul Olynek and his party, and Jim Ongena and his party, for sharing ice, sharing ropes, sharing knowledge, helping out with belaying and the like in a moderately crowded environment. It really helped the class go smoothly and we really appreciated it.
As for conditions, Deeping Wall was in fine form. It is completely hooked out everywhere and takes good screws easily. The left line felt like about WI4 and the centre two lines were probably around WI4+, factoring in that they were hooked out ladders.
No Deductible is now a huge fat (and soaking wet) pillar all the way to the ground. I gather the drainage has changed a bit. I wasn’t on it, but it looked WI5/5+.
It was the first time I had laid eyes on The Showdown, but it seems to have a fair amount of reasonably well bonded verglas on it now, so it might be in easier conditions than when Garry put it up. I don’t have a point of comparison though.
Icy BC looked pretty awful to me, but some of the leaders from Paul’s group got it done. There was certainly continuous ice all the way up the first pitch, but a lot of it looked wet, hollow, detached, and/or thin, and there was a lot of water running underneath .
Highway 1 – Fraser Canyon
Every other climb that was visible from the road on the way up or back (we drove the Fraser Canyon as far as Lillooet) was completely non-existent.