Ok, finally conditions have stabilized sufficiently to justify a latest edition of Haireball's Ass-clammin report: After monitoring the Funnel for a week, and snooping around elsewhere in the Icicle, Anthony Lubetski and I pulled the trigger and walked up to Hubba Hubba this morning. It had not been our first choice, but Eightmile Butt-rest has melted out, and the only other ice that looked remotely climbable was the Dog Nasty Dike on Dog Dome, and we were not prepared to bridge the river. so - Hubba Hubba.
after a sobering approach over piles of avalanche debris we estimated at thirty feet or more deep, we found the Funnel to be badly sun rotted and shedding bits at a greater pace than we wanted to risk, so we opted for Hubba Hubba left, hoping for two pitches WI-3, M-0. The first WI-2, M-0 pitch was bony but fun (I always enjoy old-school mixed), but the second WI-3 pitch was being continuously scoured by bits of ice and dirt shed from the sun-baked ridge above, so we chickened out and rapped off from the resident anchor. It was a fabulous morning, even with the post-holing in an inconsistent snow cover that could be a leg-breaker for the unwary.
lowland ice appears to be disappearing at an unexpectedly fast pace,. When Dr Shipman and I can do a fly-over (nice to have climbing partners who own and fly small airplanes), I'll present what we see in the alpine venues. If we don''t suffer a catastrophically abrupt spring melt, I expect to see a superb spring alpine mixed season in the Stuart range.