Posted by: westcoastice | January 29, 2016

January 29, 2016 Ice Climbing Report (FB)

Highway 40 – Bridge River Canyon

Salmon Stakes – looks in from the road

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon

No new ice reports, but assumed to be still in condition. Marble stays a few degrees colder than most of the areas surrounding Lillooet, which is remaining below freezing all weekend.

Double Agent D7 (≈M7, no ice, dry-tool only) 20m 6 bolts FA Scott Payne & Garry Brace January 23, 2016
New dry-tooling route at Marble Canyon. Route is located about 8m right of the 2nd pitch of Icy BC. 6 bolts – 1st bolt is above the lower roof and should probably be stickclipped. Photo is of Scott Payne on the first ascent.


Scott Payne on the first ascent of Double Agent (Garry Brace)

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

(Jeremy Thom) On Sunday, Jan. 24, our BCMC group was at Carl’s Berg.  It was fat and blue.  There were multiple plausible lines.

Right of centre was a line of blobby mushrooms that looked super fun but bold.  Pro looked questionable at best.

On the left was a very featured pillar with some delicate looking stemming, but hideously chandeliered, dripping, and dubious looking pro.

I (Jeremy) went up the obvious middle pillar.  It did its namesake (web-editor note – Carlsberg Column in Field, BC, Canadian Rockies) proud.  It’s in very steep, stiff condition – much tougher than when (Eric) Bites and I were there earlier this year.  At 10 am, the ice was reasonable.  Hard and brittle in some places, plastic in others, a bit of chandelier, a bit aerated, but overall good steep climbing and decent but not perfect gear, with a fair amount of cleaning.  I did spend five minutes hanging off a screw about 3m up the steep stuff, having a conversation with myself about choices, decisions, consequences, and such.  And maybe swearing.  The ice got worse higher on the pillar and at maybe 1/2 height I found a v-thread in a cave (thanks Jean-Marc Savoie, I think), clipped, and trended left to some decent ice near the top of the left pillar.  I built a TR anchor in decent ice about 27m up, and then traversed easily right, back to the top of the middle pillar, where lots of cleaning permitted another nice TR anchor.  If I had continued on, the ice trending up and right to the tree anchor eases off a lot after this anchor, and looked just fine.

Instead, Chris Bueley, Suzanne Landry, Bala Kumar, and Oudi Cherfina smashed the living daylights out of the TR lines, mock leading all day.  Let’s just say you could hook your way up the central line now and you wouldn’t need to clean anything to get gear. When I went up to clean it at 5pm, it had warmed up, was all hero ice, and felt like 4+ºC.  Funny how much a line can change in a few hours.

I never did the left line, but just watched the gang lap it.  It provided super cool, gymnastic climbing with lots of opportunities for stemming and scumming and great rests.  It did not provide any reasonable gear.  Probably around 40 screws were sunk into it throughout the day, and apparently only a few found more ice than air, even after knocking several tonnes of choss off it.  Gear was better towards the top, but you’d have to be very bold to get there.

Note that the wide, 12m tall curtain of grade 3ish ice below the main business would make a pretty good place for a grade 3 leader to bring a bunch of beginners.  You could probably string up 6+ ropes side by side and climb a wide variety of ice from lower angle 2 to some short steep steps to some crazy mushroom cauliflower stuff.  Just be aware of a bit of hangfire danger, mostly on the extreme left and right side.

On the drive, we didn’t get great views of much of anything, but most of the stuff around Wader Land looked pretty good, except for that one wide one that is always flowing.  Shreddie looked pretty similar to a month ago, when Bites and I were last there (see pic below).

I (Marco Buccheri) lead The Tube Sunday, January 24 with Tom Appleby, Julio and Loren. The first 10-15 m definitely felt harder than the WI3+ WI4- graded in the book ( I thought that I was just rusty). I placed the same number of screws; the ice was very aerated and did not take very good screws.

(Jean-Marc Savoie) See below for…  pics of The Tube taken on January 22nd. It was in great condition! With Nic Vissers and Mike Gudaitis.

Note that The Tube has a handy new 2 bolt rap anchor installed on the left at the top.

Highway 99 South – Pemberton/Whistler

We (Jeremy Thom and company) had another BCMC course running laps up at The Plum Saturday, January 23. The first pitch was soft, wet, and detached, thin on the edges with a big hole in the middle, but still easily accommodated 2 ropes on fat blue ice. It was good to go at least to the tree belay at the top left of the first pitch. Didn’t scope above that.

Highway 5 – Coquihalla – Box Canyon (New Climbs)

At the very back end of Box Canyon (on what I [Dan Canton] think may be called the Emerald Wall) in January/February 2009 myself and Steve Vanhulsentop climbed the obvious left most of the two climbs (the right one virtually never forms completely or stays safe past the first rays of direct sunlight). The first we called Lawyers, Guns and Money. The second Innocent Bystander, third Truth and a fourth called Single Malt.

Lawyers, Guns and Money WI4 3 pitches (long) FA Dan Canton & Steve Vanhulsentop Jan/Feb 2009

It starts with a WI4 pillar of about 60′ and the rest I’d have to look at the photos to get a good idea of the terrain. If memory serves the first two pitches are solid WI4 and the third is moderate WI4. All three pitches are quite full 60m pitches and consequently full 60m rappels. The climb is steep steps with snowy slopes/ledges in between. As I remember we set three tree rappels back to the base.

Innocent Bystander WI4 2 pitches FA Dan Canton & Steve Vanhulsentop Jan/Feb 2009

The second new route is best described as all the way to the end of Box Canyon and then way up high on the right-hand side. This one we called Innocent Bystander.

This one is a fair hump to get to. Getting to the very back of Box Canyon itself (to do Scotch On The Rocks, Engage, etc.) is quite an exhausting effort in all, but perfect conditions and this one is that much more so. If one does go to the effort they’ll be rewarded with a decent experience. Pitch one is WI4 – but almost always thin/delicate and often doesn’t touch down. If I recall correctly I think that any meaningful screws where unavailable until at the base of pitch two.

Pitch two is fat with a short WI4 pillar that has a WI3 alternative on the right (I think). There’s a tree anchor/rappel point at the top. Care should be taken when rappelling to not go past the ice that is thick enough to install an Abalakov. On one ascent we found only enough ice for one attempt at a V-thread. If we screwed it up we would have had to climb up to thicker ice for another try. This climb, unlike everything else in Box Canyon, actually gets you high enough to get a peek out of the canyon and has a bit of an alpine feel.

Truth WI4 15m FA Dan Canton & Brad Winter Jan/Feb 2009

The third first is immediately to the right of Scotch On The Rocks. It’s a quarter of a pitch (if that) pillar that ends in a bushy thrash. This one we called Truth WI4 (only due to it’s steepness. It could be argued as WI3 due to it’s lack of length), 1/4 of a pitch. This is not a destination climb. It’s only worth mentioning as an extra to do while in the Scotch vicinity.

Single Malt WI5 60m FA Dan Canton, Steve Vanhulsentop & Michael Down Jan/Feb 2009

The fourth is a steep alternative on Scotch On The Rocks. It only forms in really fat ice years. It’s best described as the steep/direct pillar starting at the base (slightly left of center) of Scotch. Everything else about this climb is identical to Scotch – one 55/60m pitch with a station/rappel on the climber’s right.

Another practical note about Scotch On The Rocks is that I installed a rappel route in the trees above it that will take one to the top of the climb. If one isn’t feeling they’re sufficiently beefy to lead it they can, with great effort, hike around on the far right and then descend the ever steepening slope above to find two rappel anchors on trees which will lead to the upper Scotch area where an anchor can be placed.



  1. On Jan. 16 2016, 2 weeks ago, Mitch S-C and Wes Dyck climbed Truth to the top of the canyon in a rope stretcher of 60m. Ice ran out and was steep snow and intermittent ice to the rim. Agree with Dan’s grade 4 rating.

    We traversed left to the top Scotch on the Rocks on steep snow about a pitch and set up a toprope in the running water. We beefed up the anchor with another 7mm cord and added a locking biner to the existing single biner anchor. 55m. When Scotch is in it is a hard and sweet 4+

    Probably thinned out by now with the warm temps.!

  2. […] a comment from Wes Dyck from the Jan 29 Post: On Jan. 16 2016, Mitch S-C and Wes Dyck climbed Truth to the top of the canyon in a rope stretcher […]


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