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bedellympian

1 week - end of march - alpine where?

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I have one week off at the end of March and want to go swing/scratch up something in mountain-y terrain outside of Oregon. Where do I go?

 

Thoughts so far...

 

Colchuck/Stuart zone - I've been before this time of year so it would be familiar but still lots I want to do. Plus its a short drive.

 

Tetons - chance of high avy danger? good skiing if stuff is bad, long approaches in winter

 

Banff/CanRockies - chance of high avy, ice could still be in low, don't know much about it, long drive

 

Sierra - sunny mixed on granite, minimal ice?, long approaches

 

alternative ideas?

 

Obviously conditions/weather/avy danger at the time will probably be the concluding factor but I'm curious what other folks have done/would want to do? Specific routes?

 

Thanks!

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assume you want to stay in north america.

 

You can find ice in banff in march but it means going more alpine and north facing. something like slipstream would be good plus the added day light would help with that route. murchison is higher elevation and may still be in also. we used to do college spring break up there which is mid march and plenty of fun most years. But prudence would be critical for ice climbing in late march. a couple of weeks could make a big difference.

 

Joshua tree! so nice in march. glorious!

 

maybe yosemite?

 

late march is kinda of a hard time for mountain routes in most places. the objective hazards are in full swing between fickle weather, increased spring point avi slides, and just more difficult getting around. think ski mountaineering and craggin for march in good ole USA.

 

 

 

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or some routes in alaska range. may be a bit of a "smash and grab" for a week vacation but it would be more memorable than booting around the cascades. check out the super topo alaska range book.

 

Mt Francis and mt crosson are near the denali hwy airport on the kahiltna. plus tons of other eye candy.

 

 

 

 

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The ghost is great in late march. Still plenty of ice, with the possibility for mild temps and longer days can make camping quite enjoyable.

 

If you've never been there'll be plenty to stay occupied for a week. Bring a 4x4.

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red rawks is pretty sweet in march and there are big mountain feeling things there fo'shizzle - desert alpine's pretty cool...

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Honestly unless the weather window is amazing I wouldn't spend the time in the cascades unless you are ski touring. If you are ski touring, it would be perfect time of year for Isolation Traverse, Ptarmigan on skis, or Forbidden Traverse

 

I'd echo Banff for ice, JTree or Red Rocks or Smith for rock climbing. Moab for a week of crusher mountain bikling. Indian Creek if you are up to it. Sierra for melting-out-but-probably very cold higher elevation scrambles

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I would say, Valdez ice climbing and skiing.

 

Ice climb if it is storming, ski tour if it is sunny. Or you can do both in one day. Highest of quality in both regards.

 

Fly to ANC, rent a car and about 3hrs drive, or fly direct to Valdez for a few hundred more. Ice climbs are about 20 miles outside of town, skiing starts about 30 miles outside of town.

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gavinj4 - Trout is closed end of January thru mid-May at the earliest for raptor nesting, please do not abuse the self-enforced climbing ban that the community has worked out with the BLM.

 

Aside from that I live near Trout and climb there weekly in the fall so it's not exactly what I want to do with a week off.

 

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Is spring time optimal for chamonix alpine climbing?  I would have guessed the optimal time there would be same as here.

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All I know is Colin and many uber-alpinists make a point of being in Cham in March.  I guess that's when it is prime for the mixed routes.  And if they aren't in shape, POWDER.

If you want to climb the tourist routes (like me), then summertime is the probably the right time.

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So Chamonix does look incredible but its not in the cards, neither is AK. Obviously conditions are fickle and that will ultimately determine my destination, BUT what are some areas where there is the potential for alpine MIXED climbing in western North America that time of year?

Rockies, Cascades, and Tetons are on my list of places to watch.

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35 minutes ago, bedellympian said:

 what are some areas where there is the potential for alpine MIXED climbing in western North America that time of year?

 

Pretty much anything with mountains, that aren't too high, in late March. Like on the Parkway the alpine climbing season is often better in April and early May than it is in late March. Hence the "not too high" thing. Four months out is basically too much of a crap shoot to predict good conditions. You'd be better off just booking the time off now and then figuring out where you're gonna go, a week in advance.

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Cham was dry last march, not much ice on anything.

 

RMNP can be really good at that time. It's pretty scrappy climbing, maybe not classic but excellent preparation for when you have to lead some scrappy pitch in the big mountains.

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