Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon
(Bram Whillock with Monte Johnson & Ian Strachan) Went to Marble Canyon Thursday (Dec 22). Climbed pitch 1 and 2 of Icy BC and Deeping Wall (was more like a Weeping Wall, crying on us all day). Hard to qualify it as really “frozen” at this time. Pitch 3 of Icy BC has a giant hole in it now, and both pitch 1 and 2 have sprung a serious leak. Deeping Wall still pretty nice, but all the other formations don’t exist anymore! Was +1ºC when we stepped out of our car around 8am. Still a fun day out though!
Pics below. Bram posted a short video (scroll down) on Facebook, showing the open, flowing water on the right side of pitch 2 (Icy BC)
Highway 99 South – Soo Bluffs/Whistler
(Clayton Matthews & Mike Vanwerkhoven) climbed Entropy on Thursday (Dec 22). The climb was overall pretty good. It took us 2 hours to snowshoe in (lots of snow and we had never been there). We could barely make out the climb from the train bridge – visibility was bad. Snow was waist deep in some sections nearing the base of the climb, even in snowshoes! Climbed it in 2 pitches, 50m and a 60m to the big tree. Took the gulley climbers left to descend and made one short rappel off a tree. Took 1hr 20 mins back out to the car (parked at pullout just north of tracks off Highway 99). Conditions are a little deceiving from the picture. There was a lot of plowing snow and plowing rotten surface ice. In behind that layer was good soft ice, good for sticks, but not the best for screws. The exit was tricky at the top due to thin ice delaminating over rock. Spicy!
Highway 1 – Hope
Four Mile Falls 135 m WI2 FA Graham Rowbotham, Drew Brayshaw Dec 17, 2016
This is the high-volume falls that drains the hanging valley of Four Mile Creek, southeast of Hope, just south of the Highway 3-Highway 5 junction. They rarely freeze. I (Drew Brayshaw) believe Don Serl and Greg Foweraker hiked in once only to find them open and gushing. You get a short good look at the upper pitch when driving westbound on Hwy 3 just after the quarry and before you join Hwy 5.
We parked at the end of plowed road on the Mount Hope FSR and hiked an old road (overgrown with alder) into the cutblock below the falls then followed the edge of timber up to the climb (red line). One hour in knee- to thigh-deep powder and surface hoar. Snowshoes or skis would not have helped.
The first pitch was 60 m WI2, low-angle, but all cauliflowers and aerated. I placed one screw and Graham was able to pull it out by hand without unscrewing it.
There was some rambling with a short step to the base of the second major tier, which was another 75 m WI2. Of note on this one, a 2 to 3 inch crack opened up almost all the way across the hollow lower shield of ice right underneath Graham’s feet while he was leading it. It was pretty loud.
We rapped the route to climbers’ right from trees, 2×55 m raps. The top anchor was reached by a 15 m downclimb from the top of the falls.
We hiked down along the edge of the drainage (blue line). This wasn’t any better. Again, one hour back to cars.
I had been interested in checking this one out for a long time mostly because it was unclimbed. It was more interesting climbing than the grades suggest, but definitely not a new classic.
Highway 97 – Enderby Cliffs
Mythologic is getting lots of traffic, considering the level of difficulty involved. Two ascents at least over the last three days.
On Tuesday (Dec 20), Mythologic was climbed by Mike Verwey and Steve Holeczi. Mike reports: Steve H and I went up there today. That thing is a mega classic and in good shape! Was pouring but was able to dodge it mostly. Still got a little wet. Gore Tex recommended! It’s climbing well. Pretty good screws and a couple steep bits. Such a cool climb!
As well, Mike Stuart and Alex Geary climbed Mythologic on Thursday (Dec 22) in 5 pitches. Pics from both ascents below.
Highway 3A – Okanagan-Similkameen
Gong Show 18m WI3 FA Dave Mai & Stan Sabourin Dec 21, 2016
(Stan Sabourin) New South Okanagan ice line Gong Show WI 3. Climbed with Dave Mai yesterday (Dec 21) on remarkably good ice. Steep, but short. The climb is found up White Lake Road, west of Yellow Lake (Highway 3A).