Posted by: westcoastice | December 30, 2017

December 30, 2017 Ice Climbing Report

Thanks to Drew for updating the latest New Climbs Update.

Drew also created a beta version of a Google Earth file that includes locations of most climbs from both Don Serl’s West Coast Ice guidebook and the New Climbs Update.
Here it is embedded in Google Maps. Please let us know if you notice and major errors or omissions.

There’s been quite a bit of snow in the last few days. Avalanche conditions, particularly in Eastern BC, are as high as Considerable. Keep safe – check the latest local conditions at Avalanche Canada.

Overall, you should expect snowy and early-season, thin conditions on most routes. The upcoming sunny days and cold nights should start to fatten up the ice nicely, over the next few weeks.

Highway 40 – Bridge River Canyon & Lillooet

(DrewBrayshaw) Graham Rowbotham and I climbed at Hell Creek today (Dec 27). Main falls have a couple WI 2 to 3 lines to do. Oh Hell/What the Hell are also in with some wetness; Oh Hell finish is pretty much just icicles so move left from top of that pillar to What The Hell anchor tree. Hell Freezes Over is not in yet but has some icicles. Looked at hiking up the canyon to Lost in Hell/Bloody Hell, but there are lots of fresh downed logs from the fire in there. Looks like there might be more ice too, if anyone feels like prospecting for new climbs.

(Drew Brayshaw) Graham (Rowbotham) and I made a couple of false starts this morning and ended up salvaging the day (Dec 28) with a run up Honeyman Falls. The first pitch is in great shape. There is a huge geyser on the second pitch and, this is important, it moves around! It moved over to spray our belay 70 m up a couple minutes after we got there. We got doused pretty good while building a v-thread and retreating and ended up with a few mm of rime all over our clothes and gear. Recommend building an anchor lower down (40 m or so off the ground) if you climb this in the next few days.

Highway 99 North – Marble Canyon & Oregon Jack

(Peter Watson) We climbed Icy BC today (Dec 29) at Marble Canyon. Drove up the Bridge River to have a go with The Gift, but lots of new snow and strong winds had us run away. Marble was a nice consolation to the day. The storm made for a memorable ride home.

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

(Peter Watson) Meet at 11am at Cinnamon Creek today (Dec 27). Mindset on climbing Last Call. It did not disappoint. First (mixed) pitch has some ice, but we used a 4th class ramp about 200 feet up from start of real first pitch and rappeled off a large tree 30m into gully  — to arrive below start of second pitch (first real ice pitch). Steep and chandeliers describes first 20m or so. Wi4+. All rappel stations replaced with new cord and rap rings. One v-thread for second rappel. 70m ropes used.

(Kris Wild) Driving back to the coast from Kamloops on Dec 30, and can give visual report on a few spots.

Marble Canyon routes look great, especially Icy BC.
Three Ring Circus was fat (not sure about access these days).
Synchronicity looked awesome (powdery snow on talus approach would be gruelling).

Highway 99 South – Pemberton, Whistler & Squamish

(Brian Martin) Climbed Cal-Chek today (Dec 28), it’s in, I led with 15cm screws on the bottom 1/3 and 13’s on the top 2/3 with my last screw being a 10cm. I suggest going around the rock on the right if you are at all nervous about rock climbing with ice gear as straight up on the big bulge doesn’t top out on ice. I am a conservative climber, but if you are comfortable with a little risk straight up works. As a note it was just Justin Bennett and myself there and the snow was pounding down. Enjoy it, the conditions were perfect today.

Some pictures of Cal-Chek from Jean-Marc Savoie:

(Alex Ratson) Got on A Scottish Tale today (Dec 28) via the Sea-to-Sky Gondola. Seemed like a slight inversion with much wetter snow falling up top then at the car. Regardless, the route was fun to climb. Lots of large sluffs on the peripheral of the gully… might be front country but definitely still presents some avy hazards with this large dump of snow.

Highway 1 – Hope

(Don Serl) I went to Kamloops and back for Christmas visiting, and from a quick but decent look while passing by west of Hope (Dec 27), I’d say Medusa is in. Not much snow, so the walk up will be a bit of a trial.

(Fern Webb) I got a glimpse of Nepopekum Falls from the blue chair today (Dec 27). Looks blue and solid, but not as big as I have seen in other years. Lots of fresh snow so the approach will be a chore. Was snowing too much to take a picture.


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