Posted by: westcoastice | January 14, 2017

January 14, 2017 Ice Climbing Report

Highway 1 – Harrison Hot Springs, Hope & Fraser Canyon

(Adam Palmer) Fun night on Trojan Horse tonight (Jan 13)… got caught doing the white line, multiple times. The climb is on Rockwell drive, going towards Sasquatch Provincial Park in Harrison Hot Springs. Pictures below.

(Drew Brayshaw) Around 2001, I was flying in a heli over the Fraser Canyon during a cold snap and got a glimpse of icefalls in the canyon of Puckat Creek, just north of American Creek. Checked it out solo in 2013-14 winter, but the first falls hadn’t frozen up then. Went back today (Jan 14) with Adam Palmer, Richard Garside and Todd Arsenau. Everything was more or less frozen. The first cirque main falls goes at 20-25 m WI 2 to 3 depending on line (many hollow sections). Wandered up the creek bed above for another 15 to 20 minutes and take a left fork to find additional 20 m and 8 m steps of WI3. There are other waterfalls quite a ways further up the creek which we couldn’t get to due to open water above the forks which might be profitably reached by skiing along the power line roads from Stulkawhits Creek to the north. The icicles on the left side of the main cirque were detaching spontaneously in the warm temperatures as we came down but might give challenging climbing to bolted anchors in the rock band above in future.

Last Sunday (Jan 8) your trusty WCI webmaster (Adrian Burke), Francis St-Pierre and Lee Purvis climbed Mousetrap outside Hope, ascending 8 pitches in all. The first pitch was a straight-forward WI2+. Francis led the second pitch, a super fun, very long (55m) stepped/blobbed WI3. It had some running water underneath, open in spots. On rap, later in the day, there were additional spouts open on pitch 2. Pitches 3, 4 and 5 included easier climbing, but with some open spots, some questionable pro and icicled sections. Lee led the crux sixth pitch, which was the money pitch. It included steep sections and good protection, going at WI4. We climbed another 1.5-2 pitches that didn’t really add aesthetically to the climb. Topping out on pitch 6 would have been as good or better. Be careful of open holes below pitch 5 and pitch 6 (I dropped into one up to mid-shins in the stream).
A Better Mousetrap was also in, and got climbed by James and Sten

Highway 40 – Bridge River Canyon

(Peter Watson) End of a good three day trip to Lillooet. Climbed within 20km all three days. Today (Jan 13) had us check out Xwisten Steps! Fun route for sure with a quality 1000m elevation gain. Lots of open running water in the drainage between steps 1 and 2. Avalanche of note had run out of drainage heading towards Suncatcher. Route is in good shape now that I cleaned all the crap ice off the surface. It was a day heavy in excavation. Trail from Gravel pit works really well for access till the snow flies. 3 new tree rappel slings and 2 v-threads got us down the gulley quite quickly.

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

(Lee Purvis) Francis St-Pierre and I climbed Closet Secrets today (Jan 14). We thought it was in hard condition. Brittle ice. Layer of snice and/or rotten ice. Loads of cleaning; it’s in better shape now. 🙂 There were tracks up to the climb and a bail abalakov half way up the first pitch. Don’t think too many other people have been to the top.
Shreddie‘s top is forming, but is not descended far enough to climb.

(Tim Bonnell) Climbed Carl’s Berg today (Jan 14) with Brent Moore. Fatter than in recent years. We climbed the right side while another group was on the left. Great day out.

(Jean-Marc Savoie) For anyone wondering I remarked Belmore cable entrance with the only thing I had. A McDonald’s cup beside the green tape.
Also clearly Tres Burly has not touched down and Red Wall Wanderer is touched down but not very fat.

Highway 99 South – Squamish, Whistler & Pemberton

Eagle Eye WI5 100m 2 pitches FA Jia Condon, Tony Richardson & Paul McSorley
Eagle Eye ascends ice right and behind the Papoose. Approach by hiking in left of the Papoose, then trending right and up, along the power lines. Look up and left to see the climb. See GoogleMap pic below for beta. Pitch 1 climbs 35 meters of WI4 ice. Traverse snow slopes left to the base of pitch 2, the crux 30m WI5.

(Joseph Wong) Attempted Shannon Falls today (Jan 13) 1pm at the base. I climbed as fast as possible on the left until the red dot (see pic below) where I needed to traverse left to gain the easy terrain above (right is not passable with big water flow). But the ice is v watery, chandelier and it’s pouring water. I tried a few times but couldn’t pass it and downclimbed and went home.
(Eric Hughes) Tried a night ascent of Shannon Falls… the section that was mushy for Joseph was missing entirely! It’s not link able without a snorkel and dodging falling fridges!
Consensus is Shannon is not climbable at this point. Photos below.

(Jia Condon) The Dream in Squamish is in good nic! We rapped route via Sea to Sky Gondola. Would be wise to bring skis and stash near gondola for ski down access road. Brings you to your vehicle that you shuttled earlier while waiting for Gondola to open at 09:30. Only necessary if your going for the “integral” via Gondola. Tony Richardson on the sharp end with Jason Kruk. 5 star route.

(Jean-Marc Savoie) Today (Jan 14), I managed to rap in and flag my way out of A Scottish Tale. Combo of yellow tape, green tape and the orange tape on the flat road section. The climb is looking prime today although possibly it will melt away this week. Should be good next couple days maybe. T-shirt ice climbing. Picture below.

(Jeremy Thom) Our BCMC course went up to Cal Cheak on Saturday (Jan 7) last week, where we ran into a few other parties. Despite our collective best efforts, there is still plenty of ice to smash away at. I would suggest bringing your beater picks though, or if using your new ones, don’t swing.

Access notes:  In case of bad weather preventing visibility of the climb from the road (which is getting harder and harder as the trees grow), I (Jeremy) stuck some yellow flagging on a few trees at the trailhead. It’s, by my odometer, about .7 km past the bridge. There is currently a huge donkey trail to follow, but if there weren’t, you follow the flags for 25m, turn right at the short bluff you then hit, pass the end of that, turn leftish, and generally head uphill following the line of least resistance and bush. You’ll see the climb quickly.

(Jeremy Thom) On Sunday (Jan 8) we went to Nocturnal Emission. It had a little bit of everything: thin, hollow, detached, rotted and snowy veneers over low angle rock slabs, steep sun rotted ice, moderate angle sun rotted, hollow, detached, delaminating ice, chandelier ice, wet ice, fat plastic ice, etc. etc. There were great lines and not so great lines. The route is basically a braided creek/fall, and there are easily 4 separate and distinct lines, with a huge variety of terrain to choose from – mixed chimney stuff on the far right, low angle grooves and corners on the left, multiple series of short steep pillars in the centre. It’s amazing! You could lap it all weekend (it seemed to be about 2 pitches long to me, but we only went up 60m and couldn’t actually see the top from where we were) and never climb the same terrain twice. Highly recommended. The lines get quite steep, but never for more than 5-8m, so there didn’t seem to be anything over WI4. You could TR WI2 lines. It seems pretty sun affected, but lots of ice is in narrow gullies and chimneys, which are shaded and offer good ice. May stick around for a while yet. Picture below.

Approach notes:  You get a great view of it from the bridge (as described in the guide). We took the power line road, starting not quite 1 km past the bridge, again as described. Drive or walk the powerline road along the lines for about ¾ km, until you hit a fork, where a smaller road branches left, downhill under the power lines. Right there, look to your right, where I framed the entrance into the forest with 2 yellow flags on either side of the “trailhead”. There seems to be a flagged and evenly cleared trail that winds through the bush for maybe 10-20 min. It weaves left and right like a drunken sailor, but it follows a pretty obvious line that looks maintained and is bush free. It occasionally joins up with something that looks like a forestry or utility path. There is pink flagging everywhere in the forest there, none of it, no doubt, having anything to do with the climb. Overall, you trend left (and right and left and right and left, but mostly left) and up a gentle incline through the forest until the hillside steepens and starts to open up and you get views of the climb. From there, we followed what I assume were Bob Rogoz’s and Fern Webb’s tracks, which traced a very efficient and brush free line up to the base. I didn’t measure, but I’m guessing you gain maybe 150m of elevation from the powerline road, and it took maybe 30-45 min from the “trailhead”. Pretty painless overall.

(Jeremy Thom) Climbing near Whistler today (Jan 14). Entropy is in nice shape. Fig Plucker looked peachy too. Donkey trail to the base. We wished we had snowshoes, but if you follow our postholes you shouldn’t need them.


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