Posted by: westcoastice | January 26, 2017

January 25, 2017 Ice Climbing Report

Vancouver Island

Silver Stag WI3+ 80m FA January 14, 2017 Danny O’Farrell & Chris Jensen
That cold snap created some nice ice on the Island. Last weekend, Danny O’Farrell and I (Chris Jensen) climbed Silver Stag WI3+ 80m in the Beaufort Range. I don’t think this basin has seen any previous ice action. There are (were?) several other lines to be climbed here between WI3 and WI5. Most of the routes are located at the NW base of Mt Clifton. Long ski approach though. To find Silver Stag, ski into the NW base of Mt Clifton, Beaufort Range, Vancouver Island. It faces north and is easily seen when you’re coming up the valley.

(Steve Janes) Not sure if they’re worth sharing, but managed to find and climb three rare forming lines just outside Victoria BC during the cold snap earlier this month. Reports and pics follow…

Icy Jugs M6WI4+ 12m FRA Jan 12th 2017 Steve Janes
The first and best of the three was at the Firewall area at Mt.Wells. It was about 6ft right of the summer rock line Jugs Jugs Jugs. A few strenuous mixed moves through the rock overhang to gain the ice. Then steep and chandeliered to the top. Calling it “Icy Jugs” M6, WI4+ (12m) FRA Jan 12th 2017

Leigh Right WI3 12m FRA Jan 10th 2017 Steve Janes
This 12m WI3 line is right off the highway. Close to Leigh Rd in Langford. When coming back into town from the Malahat, take the Leigh Rd exit. The ice is on the right side of the off ramp. We drove ahead and parked near the ambulance station on Leigh Rd and walked back. Top rope anchors off trees. Bring long runners to extend.

Leigh Left WI3+ 12m FRA Jan 10th 2017 Steve Janes
This line is about 20m left of the previous line and is about 12m WI3+.

Highway 40 – Bridge River Canyon

(Jean-Marc Savoie) On January with Nelson Pelson (?) and Tim Nielsen. Had a blast despite insane warm temps in Bridge River. Anything South-facing is out! Duffey was also warm (+2ºC). We found Nite n’ Gale in mostly good condition. First real pitch had a giant hole. We stayed right. Replaced all rap stations. All slopes had already slid. River crossing was amusing with a half inflated boat. No one drowned.
The water is deep right now for hip waders. Travel is fast, as there is hardened old avalanche debris which is Styrofoam neve at the moment from a size 3+ avalanche, making the approach fast (Note this was prior to more recent snowfall). The 2 main pitches are 60m for the first and 70m for the upper pitch, so be prepared to simul up to the tree, where we left the anchor if you have 60’s like us.

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon

(Peter Watson, with Garry Brace, Kevin Carriere, Mary Gillespie & Eric Fagarvik)
Great group of friends at Marble Canyon on Friday (Jan 20). Bottom tier is continuing to grow ice although very wet.
First time in years that I have seen Dihedral Direct climbable (6m to first ice thick enough for a screw) climbed like a 5 in today’s conditions.
The Dihedral Direct – in
Waite for Spring – that name has a ring
Comfortably Numb – always in, but with lots of ice on route and a fat steep ice top out.
Deeping Wall – 3 or 4 leadable variations.
No Deductible – growing and looks good to go.
Icy BC – 1st tier- left hand side worked yesterday still looked like the way to the top today. Some thin looking tubes at the top, center of this pitch.
2nd tier- fat, fat. Lots of ice to climb hollow and thin in areas.
3rd tier – climbed right side groove of center both times. Non strenuous WI4. Right side against the rock looks good and fun and in its regular WI5 shape.

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

Robert Nugget and I (Francis St-Pierre) climbed The Tube today Jan 25. Fat & plastic center line, drippy on left, thin to no ice on top. Good fun!
Carl’s Berg looked fairly white with holes opening. Not sure how much longer it will be climbable.
Rambles looked fat from the road.

Highway 99 South – Squamish, Whistler & Pemberton

(Kyle Skidmore) Finally got around to uploading some shots from our expedition up White Blotter a few weeks ago with Alex Watson and Ryan Larkin. See pic below.
(Mike Gudaitis) The 
Office on Blackcomb was a little lean. Thin ice / some snice with a fair bit of heavy snow pillows to excavate…Crux gear was a shovel and a super stoked French woman!!! (with Julie Cossette)

Husume looked very snowy.

(Eric Dumeric) We went to Cal Chek January 22. It is out for now.
(Klemen Mali) Sad conditions at Cal-Cheak (pics below)

Highway 1 – Sicamous/Malakwa Ice Routes

(Josh Smith) Should have posted this earlier – all the Malakwa climbs are in good shape, was there last Sunday (January 15). Climbed Roadside (wet) and had a look at C People Play (in, my 72year old father in law partner just didn’t feel up for the sustained climbing after Roadside).

Highway 1 & Highway 7 – Hope & Fraser Canyon

Waxed Gash WI3+ 55m FA January 15, 2017 Shaun Neufeld & Maxim de Jong
(Drew Brayshaw) While Fern and I were adventuring out left of the photo, Shaun Neufeld and Maxim de Jong hit up this chimney full of ice directly upslope of the first parking lot on Hunter Creek FSR. The right line (possible WI5) was too wet to climb. Shaun led the FA of the left hand line, 55 m at WI3+ with a roof half way up and a 15 m finish on a 4 foot wide vein of thin ice. As per a suggestion from the late Dean Potter to Max this line will henceforth be known as Waxed Gash.

Spitting Cobra WI4 265 m FA January 7, 2017 Shaun Neufeld, Gary Rowbotham, Drew Brayshaw & Marc-André LeClerc
(Drew Brayshaw) This is the big line in the corner at the Ruby Creek Bluffs on Highway 7 that is between Tailwind and Tradewinds. First really noticed it while climbing Tradewinds in 2008 with Shaun and it has been a goal ever since, although complicated by the fact that the lower corner does not always form up, in which case it would require two pitches of mixed slabs to get on the ice.
The upper ice does form regularly and always forms up the rad “cobra hood” feature which gives the climb its name due to the typically strong winds experienced in this area. There is a part of the climb below this where all the ice is located in a chimney and can’t be seen from most parts of the road, leading to it looking like it’s not in yet when scoping from the highway – this took me a couple years to figure out.
I gave this a first try with Sam Waddington in December 2016, but when we got to the crux pillar the cobra was spitting out a steady spray of water and we decided to bail. Went back today (Jan 7) with Shaun and Graham and we climbed it, some spray, but minimal overall. While Graham and I were getting ready to second the crux, Marc André caught up to us solo, climbed the crux solo right behind us, and soloed to the top next to Graham, who led the last pitch. So ultimately a four person FA.
This is a beautiful route with aesthetic position and two of the five pitches are also five star single pitches! The others are WI2 ramps, but that is the nature of the granite in the area.
Marc-André walked off the top, southwest, down to Skawahlook Business Park. Graham, Shaun and I rapped slabs to climbers left of the climb off trees (one somewhat sketchy tree rappel) for 40 m and 70 m to regain the lower ice, then made one 70 m rap down the ice, and then downclimbed about 30 m to our packs and walked out via the approach.
The pitches are:
100 m WI2 – Sam and I found thin ice and soft snow on these pitches and belayed on the first attempt. Today they had fat ice and solid neve and were easily soloed.
50 m WI3 – ramp leads to ice bulges. Belay in chimney
65 m WI4 – climb remaining chimney and pillar in narrow gully up to cobra hood feature. Sneak around this on the left (delicate) and up to belay ledge
50 m WI2 – climb ramps to reach belay trees on top of the climb
A dozen screws (include a couple short ones) and some rock pro in the wired nuts to finger size range can be useful as well.


Highway 97 – Enderby Cliffs & Kalamalka Lake

(Lyle Knight) Climbed Mythologic in 3-pitches on Friday (Jan 20) with Quentin Roberts and Brendan Mahler – great condition (consolidated, good pics and screws) and really cool features to play with!

Kal Pillar WI3+ 18m FA January 7, 2017 Lyle Knight & Gary Wolcoff
(Lyle Knight) I found this weep during the summer while exploring the new Okanagan Rail Trail and have watched it grow over the last month – Gary’s been climbing ice in the area for 30+ years and hadn’t seen it before so maybe a first ascent, unless told otherwise.
Super narrow window due to location and aspect. We’re climbing on left side because the middle is a snow cone with a semi-detached top out. About a 15 minute walk south of Kekuli Bay PP, easy to set up as TR.


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