Posted by: westcoastice | March 17, 2014

March 17, 2014 Ice Climbing Report (Thanks Jer)

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon

Hayley, Riley, Eric and I (Jeremy) successfully squeezed one more day into the season at Marble Canyon on Sunday (Mar 16). The lake was reasonable, though thought-provoking enough to rope up and not do up waist/sternum straps. I checked in the middle and it was at least 16cm thick.

There is still plenty of ice at Marble. The main problem is it is falling down. Nothing is bonded to the rock anymore, so anything thin or icicly was releasing. There was stuff coming down all day. Luckily the middle line on Deeping Wall was well out of the line of fire, and still fat, if soft and a bit rotten. It took so-so screws on the way up, but the ice was soft all the way in. Screamers advised, or just TR it. There were plenty of other lines on Deeping Wall, though the ice got worse to either side of the central pillar and you became more exposed to icefall. Overall, it was surprisingly not very wet. There was minor dripping, but goretex wasn’t even necessary.

No Deductible looked too poorly adhered and supported for my taste, even on TR.
Icy BC looked as if very large chunks could give way at any moment.

We horsed around on the mixed line on the arête to the left of Pink Cadillac, but with the warm temps (it was around 5ºC the one time we checked, but seemed warmer than that), the rock was pretty fragile. And with no ice at the top, it was desperate smearing for the last 8 meters.

Pink Cadillac had one bit of hangfire above it.

We were hoping to hop on Gary’s The Showdown, but it was taking fire from above and both sides, and there was a large and growing pile of debris at the base. Best avoided.

We didn’t check out anything in the upper tiers.

The pics show how much ice there is.  My guess is that another week like this past week and it will be toast. Even the best line at Deeping Wall had pulled away from the rock by about 1/2 meter at the top and sounded very hollow. If the temps drop down again though, there should be plenty left for next weekend.


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