Highway 3 – Sumallo Bluffs
The Sumalol Sixpack routes (pp 106-107 in West Coast Ice guidebook) were in on Tuesday (Mar 10), but thin, and melting later in the day.
The road is covered with icy snow from about 4 km south of Sunshine Valley, making for a 5 km walk or quad ride to get to the road end. The Sixpack routes are about 10 minutes walk further along a snowmobile/quad track, past the road end.
Higher up, there’s lots of nice ice on Mt Rideout and Mt Payne, although this is alpine terrain, rather than waterfall ice climbing. You’ll do mostly snow and rock climbing on any of these routes, with a few pitches of ice, depending on which gully you pick. Of note are some fully in, fat, blue unclimbed waterfall routes on the East side of the gully rising to the Silvertip-Rideout col (picture below); about 350 m in elevation and about 500 m West in distance above the Sumallo Sixpack. The approach to these is threatened by cornices at the top of the gully, but the waterfalls themselves are not. Seems like a long way to go for a pitch or two of ice, but if you are desperate, it might make a nice day out.
Highway 99 South – Whistler/Permberton
NEW ROUTES on the Rethel Headwall, above Wedgemount Lake
140m vertical gain for both climbs (below); folks will climb these in 2-5 pitches. Full rock rack and half set of screws recommended. 2 x 70m rappels fixed down the line Intolerant Tearin’. Ice grades are a myth to me (Jason) so I could be way off. Both routes were climbed in prime conditions and were still reasonably bold leads, with Intolerant Tearin’ being a tad bolder and No Cupcakes already receiving classic status with one possible repeat I heard about via Instagram of all places.
Intolerant Tearin’ M5+ 140m FA March 3, 2015 Jason Kruk, Tony Richardson and Kye Petersen
A true mixed adventure, with steep ice, thin ice, névé, rock climbing, frozen turf, and even a few pesky snow mushrooms to negotiate. Pitch 2 was just a little bit run out.
No Cupcakes WI4+ and Mixed terrain. 140m FA March 4, 2015 Jason Kruk, Tony Richardson and Kye Petersen
Crux first pitch was both delicate and thuggish – we call that drum & bass! A full 70m journey passing multiple cruxes of different styles. Second pitch eases off a bit.