Posted by: westcoastice | February 17, 2018

February 17, 2018 Ice Climbing Report

After a week of warm temperatures, the cold has returned, promising an extension of the ice season to the end of February. Let’s hope this latest Arctic front has staying power.

Please be careful out there and consider Avalanche Risk in the selection of climbs and approach. The intermittent snow last week and today has pushed much of the South Coast and Interior to Considerable and High Risk. Check the latest conditions on Avalanche Canada.

Highway 40 – Bridge River Canyon

(Goodarz Nategh) Climbed Honeyman Falls on February 12; temps -8ºC to -3ºC during the day. Ice was solid at climber’s right and wet in left sections as well as near the top of first tier. There is some sectional thick curtain walls separated from the rock!
There is also some spicy moves in the middle section if your looking for some overhang play! Solid ice in overhangs yet!
Waterfall dumps ice cubes time to time with intimidating noises, but safe enough to climb on the righthand section.
Near the top tier a pumping station is been created by waterfall spraying cold water on your shell.
(Drew Brayshaw) Approach Notes: Park on Hunt Road, next to a metal gate posted No Trespassing. Don’t block the gate or neighbouring driveways. Walk north up the gated road for 10 minutes to its end at a water intake. Hike up the creek bed in drainage behind the intake to the climb. Don’t pee, or do anything else gross, anywhere upstream of the water intake, including at the base of the climb if you want climbers to still be able to climb here. We had confirmation from Lillooet councillor Kevin Aitken that it’s OK for climbers to walk in access the route subject to the “don’t pee etcconditions.
(Drew Brayshaw) Collapse Risk: For what it’s worth, the amount of open water visible in Goodarz’ pictures would have had me turn around. This climb can be very hazardous and is not often recognized as such because of its easy grade and short approach. I have seen it calve refrigerator sized chunks under similar conditions and had friends get injured and have their gear damaged by icefall. Hugging the right-hand edge as per the photos was definitely the safest climbing strategy, but a safer strategy would be to wait for colder conditions with less running water.

(Pierre Etienne Banville) Climbed Jade Falls last Friday (Feb 9). First pitch in good shape, but wet. Second pitch non existent. The dagger to the right of Jade Falls is touching down (see photo below).
(Drew Brayshaw comment RE: dagger) Never seen that before. Normally just a hanging drip. It’s unclimbed as far as I know. Somebody should deal with that.


Jade Falls on Friday February 9 (Behrouz Borji)

(Peter Watson) The Gift that keeps on giving (climbed Feb 15). What a route. It’s an awesome outing. Start early, it is fast to get off of.
1st pitch – Technical Crux with 10m delaminated / thin ice and sustained cruxes for the following 30m. Find stance on left in snow and good ice.
2nd pitch – Physical crux 12m vertical ice with no good feet for left foot. Pumpy.
3rd pitch – Last 10m running wet.
The rest is straight forward.
River crossing sounds like you can go up stream until you see flagging to cross this will keep it knee deep.
After climbing this route yesterday, the key to future development of this route is mixed climbing. First pitch has a corner to the right that could go on Trad gear and to the left would be amazing sport mixed. Second tier has easy looking flake system to the left of pitch that would go on gear as well. Just some thoughts for the future. As well a mixed crag could be developed to the left of the first pitch on immaculate looking granodiorite (edited).
(Steve Janes) Not trying to shit on anyone’s plans here, but I’ve noticed a lot of people trying for The Gift, and running out of time only to rap before finishing. This is a long route guys. With the river crossing and the approach. Trying to day trip this route from Squamish or Vancouver, or anywhere outside Lillooet/Pemberton, is a huge undertaking. Anyone that desires to climb The Gift would be seriously well served to spend the night in Lillooet. Even going from Lillooet, start early so you can cross the river and do the approach in the early dawn light, especially if you’re a party of 3. Just suggestions. Power to anyone that day trips it from outta town, yer harder than I!

(Marc-André LeClerc) Climbed The Theft Monday (Feb 12) with Brette Harrington and Steve Janes while Danny O’Farrell took some great photos. Amazing that this hadn’t seen a repeat in 22 years. It must be the best waterfall climb in Southwest BC without question. We climbed the first pitch directly (as opposed to out right in the thin corner) and Jia and Geislers bolts from their attempt facilitated reaching the incomplete P4.
Pitch by pitch:
1 – From the top of the pedestal climb easy rock with good protection to reach the serious hanging dagger which is climbed to the top. M5 WI6X 40m
Note from Adrian Burke – originally climbed on far right on mixed rock and ice, then left to the top of the curtain, on first ascent.
2-3 – climb an easy, but spectacular ice chimney to reach the base of the upper column. (60m – inc 20m of WI4).
Note from Steve Janes – Chockstone aided around on first ascent was covered in ice. Didn’t even see it until on rap.
4 – Look for a bolt line to the right, and put the belay in a safe place. Dry tool past bolts to make a wide stem to the ice. Crank through ice roofs with knee bars to gain the front of the column and an eventual cave belay. 40m M7 WI6+
5 – step back out of the cave and climb a spectacular 55 meters of ice roofs and cobra hoods to reach the top of the climb. 55m WI6
Note from Adrian Burke – originally climbed in 2 pitches on first ascent.
Rappel from V-threads. Bring a selection of cams to 0.75 and a knifeblades and bird beak for direct first pitch.

An account of the first ascent of The Theft in 1996 can be found on Tuan’s page.

Highway 99 South – Duffey Lake Road

Comments on the Phair Creek climbs and approach – (Kevin Aitken) You would be walking from 5km mark on enterprise FSR. Road has been deactivated at that point. (Drew Brayshaw) Hopefully with enough snow you can ski along the deactivated old road alignment rather than walk. It’s probably a pretty grim walk. Other issues would be that the bridges were pulled when they deactivated the road so come prepared for creek crossings. Let us know what you find if you go!
(Pierre Etienne Banville) Climbed Synchronicity on Saturday (Feb 10). First pitch was melting away really quickly. It involved an unprotected sketchy section of rock climbing towards the end. The rest of the climb was still in great shape and still lots of fun!
(Shannon Healy) Rick and Kyle also climbed Synchronicity or February 10. First pitch was mixed/rock climbing at top half, with no protection (lots melted away by the time they rapped down). Second pitch on left side was good with a little digging for good pro. Last pitch was good until the top where the ice was hollow sounding leading to thin then very little ice at the tree. Pictures below.

(Wes Dyck) Dan C. and I climbed Carl’s Berg on February 9. It was -10ºC all day and we did 2 lines on it. Was in great condition and since then must be getting fatter.

(Wes Dyck) Dan C. and I climbed Shreddie on February 11. Temps were -13ºC at the parking lot and about -8ºC on the climb. I underestimated this climb and we had high adventure content on both pitches. I led through a cascade of spray at top of first pitch with water logged slush roof (screws could be pushed half way in before needing cranking). There is a three bolt anchor in behind the column. Dan fired the last pitch on the outside of column. Thanks Dan! Hard, brittle , unconsolidated, balancey ice was found on this pitch. Both of us thought that this was harder than Carl’s Berg and becasue of the technical nature of the ice i thouht it was harder than Kitty Hawk. Temps being what they are……. it should be getting fatter. It’s a full 70m rap to the bolt station at base of Closet Secrets.

Highway 99 South – Pemberton, Whistler & Squamish

(Fern Webb) A few days ago Entropy was definitely showing signs of re-forming and Fig Plucker was also starting to ice up. It’s a battle between cold temps and longer sunshine hours this time of year though, so probably best to bring some binoculars and scope it from the road before committing. Check it’s thick and not delaminating at the top.

(Eric Carter) It’s in excellent shape. Climbed the West Face/North Ridge Monday (Feb 12). Descended the West Ridge. No need to go on the pink slab, just crampon around it on the left. North Face also looks excellent. East Face has a bit of a cornice. Specific descriptions included in the photos below.

(Marc-André Leclerc) Climbed the North Face of Ledge Peak via the 1969 Walter-Zenger route on Saturday (Feb 10) with Brette Harrington. This is destined to become a classic winter test peice. The best I have climbed locally, just phenomenal. 10p M7+, 90 degrees. 23-hour push from Squamish.

Highway 1 – Hope

Mousetrap is doing it’s best to form, but temperatures have not been cold and consistent enough. Below are pictures from February 12 and February 17, showing some of the progression and the most recent lapse back to flowing and open.


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