Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road
We (Chris Vale and Marcus Dell) climber Rambles Left on December 30th. It was cold and the ice was in good condition. The top tier (Photo below) is formed enough to be climbed, but we did not get on it.
We (Chris and Marcus) returned to the Rambles on January 2, 2014 and it was much warmer resulting in very wet conditions. Rambles Center was thin compared to most years at this time, will lots of running water.
We climbed Rambles Right and it was in good condition.
The Column was very wet and generally a mass of icicles – we did not climb it.
We did however climb the thicker Petersen-Smaridge Dihedral, which was in good condition.
Myself (Peter Watson) and a couple friends went back up Loose Lady yesterday (Jan 4) hoping to send.
The solo approach ice was in good shape; the WI3 pitch was about half as much ice as when we were first up the route in December. Hopefully it lives through any upcoming warm ups.
The main, upper pitch(es) had changed some. The first 55m to the back of the pillar was exciting cauliflowers with a fair amount of cleaning to get good sticks. Th bolt on the right side is out of the ice again, which makes committing to the top out to get to the cave feel much better. We found a double v-thread (aka Abalakov) in the bottom of the floor behind the pillar – thanks, boys! There was a visible fracture all the way around the pillar about 4ft up from the floor. I (Peter) felt that the ice above was still solid and proceeded to climb about 3-4 meters up the left side of the pillar, only to back off as the ice turned out to be only a 2.5 inch shield over a tube of flowing water for the next 4 meters.
Need to make some mixed routes out the back and sides of those pillars, as options abound.
On decent, we found a new (?) 2 bolt anchor to rappel the 65m approach WI3 pitch. The rest is easy down-climbing.