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Found 55 results

  1. Trip: Lake Wenatchee - [FA] Alpine Dropout - 300m plus, WI3 Date: 12/12/2009 Trip Report: Ben Hargrove and I climbed a sweet new line on the north face of Nason Ridge - starting at Lake Wenatchee, topping out near Alpine Lookout and exiting below Round Mtn TH. The quality of ice, position and length of the route (over 1000 feet of ice, 4000 feet total ascent) made this unlike anything else in Leavenworth. Route overview (w/o lower 500 feet or upper 1500 feet to ridge): Started near the gravel pit and crossed the Little Wenatchee River which was barely frozen in one section (w/o the freeze this climb would end here since the river is too far to haul a boat too - unlike Drury's easy river access!). Ascended 1000 feet to the base of the ice. Route started with a 60m pitch of WI3. Ben leading P1: The climb then stayed in a slot surrounded by walls of the same high quality gneiss that is found at the Nason Ridge climbing area on the opposite side of the ridge. P2 was 60m of WI2 This lead to the crux pitch which was the only less-than-stellar pitch of the route since it was showering water and I got real soaked. We simuled the next 800 vertical feet with lots of great WI2 to WI3- sections up to 30m tall. Besides the cool feel of being high on a lonely north face, the views to the north of the Entiat Mtns and the Glacier Peak area was a nice change of scenery. After over 1000 feet of technical terrain, we dropped the rope and ascended about 2000 feet of snow to the saddle on Nason R just east of Alpine Lookout. The sting in the tail was the last 500 feet of deep snow pulling on trees while trying to not to victims of tree well inversion syndrome or collapsing cornices. We reached the ridge right at sunset. Homefree! A quick sprint for a about four miles east along the ridge, over Round Mtn and down 3000 feet to the second car on the road to Round Mtn TH. Not! Boot top breakable crust resulted in a five hour slog to the car. Actually, it was a calm, beautiful evening but too much calm, beauty is not healthy. Reached the car at 9:30 PM and Headwaters for pizza by 10:00. Stuffing our faces too much to join in the karaoke comp. Overview of our walkabout Bracing for the collective yawn and "oh boy, another WI3 in 11worth," this route is so much more unique than a typical Leavenworth dribble to nowhere. A 4000 feet plume line with over 1000 of quality ice ending on a remote ridge. Seemed similar to longer climbs in Lilooet or longer moderates in the Canadian Rockies. I doubt this one comes in much or is typically buried in snow. Name comes from finishing near Alpine Lookout and my rotator cuff surgery in May causing me to miss a complete alpine season for the first time in 17 years. Ouch, that hurt way more than the knife. Gear Notes: Screws only, GPS. Approach Notes: Need a frozen river or a boat. Do not traverse Nason Ridge over Round Mtn. Next time, I would try to drop the south side of the ridge somehow working around the cliffs which could suck too.
  2. Trip: FAs: Mt. Baker - Roosevelt Ice Circ Date: 12/10/2009 Trip Report: FAs? Baker-Roosevelt ice circ Jeff Street and myself went out to Mt Baker on Wednesday and Thursday this week to see what we could find to climb - Colfax, others? When we got to the TH, we saw a row of about 8 climbs close to one another. We could not resist and decided against Colfax (which is totally in, even arguably the Polish route) From the overview pic, we did three climbs (red arrow 3), single pitch WI3, then one climb (red arrow 1), a 2 pitch WI4,WI2+. Climbs in this area range with WI4 and WI5 variations. In this area (red arrow 1), we started from left to right, the left most climb (WI5?) raining with too much water and so we bailed on that and moved to the next climb, the 2 pitch WI4 route. Then it was dark and time to come home. Our approach from Mirkwood camp on Heliotrope ridge: Colfax
  3. Trip: Del Campo - FA: Brawndo Date: 12/14/2009 Trip Report: On Dec. 14 A2THEK and I climbed a 2 pitch ice line on the lower N face of Del Campo peak. Unfortunately the fresh dump of snow on Sun. night stopped our progress up the rest of the face. It was still a worthy endeavor with a fairly short approach. We spied the line last week from Morningstar peak and made plans to come back and have a go. With the forecast calling for more typical Cascades weather we figured it was either Mon. or not at all for awhile. The approach was straight forward. Park at the Sunshine Mine trailhead, follow the trail to the major drainage that leads to the valley between Lewis and Morningstar. From here head straight up the drainage instead of following the trail up the avalanche slopes that head toward Headlee pass. Follow this to where the terrain steepens directly below Del Campo’s NF. The climb itself consisted of 2 full pitches. One being a thin mixed lead to an ice belay right below the upper tier. The second pitch was a full 55 meters of solid blue ice. We rated the climb 3+ R due to thin conditions of the lower pitch, although short screws proved useful here. Two double rope rappels from trees brought us back to the start of the climb. We decided to name the climb Brawndo in honor of the “Thirst Mutilator”
  4. Trip: FA: Seven Minutes of Pleasure - Ingalls Creek Date: 12/12/2009 Trip Report: Today Conor Byrne, Kyle Flick, Mark Shipman and I went and climbed a fun line visible about an hour and a half up the Ingalls Creek Trail. It was a nice piece of ice in a beautiful setting. We named our route Seven Minutes of Pleasure, WI3. The climb was a full 70 meter pitch. Three parties went and climbed Gray Falls today, two of which were soloist and one party of three. One of them also went and put up another new line in the valley, but I'll leave that up to him to talk about if he wants. I hope some of you who got out this weekend will post what you did, it really helps. Conor Byrne showing some ass(???) on the approach to our new route. Mark Shipman enjoying his "seven minutes of pleasure." Approach Notes: Clearly Visible about an hour and a half up the Ingalls Creek Trail. Walk down.
  5. Trip: FA: "Gray Falls" - Ingalls Creek Date: 12/10/2009 Trip Report: Today Mark Shipman and I partnered up and climbed a route we named "Gray Falls" (WI4) due to its close proximity to Gray Tower, above Ingalls Creek. We climbed the route in two roped pitches (each being a full 70 meters) and did a lot of solo climbing up rambling steps. The elevation gain from the base of the route to the top was 900 feet according to our watches. The route: We soloed the first ice tier, then roped up on the 2nd, & third. From the top of the third we put the rope away and climbed up more easy stuff. Mark leading the middle section, WI3: The the upper level, WI4: Upper rambling stuff. Approach Notes: 5 or 6 miles of Ingalls Creek Trail. Clearly Visable.
  6. Trip: Seton Lake - FA-Piss 'n' Vinegar-450m 4+ Date: 3/13/2009 Trip Report: I generally dont write a TR for ice cragging but these routes deserve some traffic! I think everyone who has thumbed through the west coast ice guide has passed the seton lake section and probably thought those are some cool sounding routes. I actually think Don has under estimated the quality of these lines, these are must do routes and every one is 5 stars. I had been trying to get down the lake for the last few weekends but every time we prepared to leave high winds would be forecast causing us to cancel. Our mode of transportation was a canoe, a rather precarious mode of travel when loaded up with tonnes of gear. Therefore we needed a calm lake and we needed it to be calm all day, so not wanting to fully commit we decided to load up bivy gear as well. All for making a low riding canoe. I spent Thursday working and trying to come up with a wind forecast for Seton lake, once I was convinced it was worth a shot I drove up to Whistler picked up Bruce Kay and we headed to Lillooet for the night. Now there just had to be climbable ice. 4 Pines tried to charge us 80$ so we wandered over to the Mile-0. The next morning we were at the lake before sun up and paddling towards the first set of climbs. What a surreal and somewhat frightening experience, Bruce joked that the life jackets would just prolong our death in the icy lake and possibly a gun would be a wiser choice if we were to capsize. First set of bluffs, left to right Deliverance far left then the unformed Squeal Like a Pig and Fishin Musician Click photos for larger shot Fishin Musician Comedy of errors I missed a shot of but it just looks phenomenal as a narrow alpine couloir!!! Bruce and I had our sights on something larger, the 400m+ flow of Winter Water Sports, which lies further down the lake. Looking at the guide this behind Belmore gully may be the biggest line in the guide? A worthy destination so we pressed on. Water Sports from the Canoe, Ice Capades can be seen at the end, its about an hour canoe ride in calm winds Winter Water Sports on the left fully in to the water, as opposed to the first ascent where they climbed rock for 80 m to reach the ice. The right hand line is the new route Piss n Vinegar and looks discontinuous. We continued on the right on the upper wall in total about 10 pitches. Dock your canoe in a little niche at a single bolt then start climbing, make sure to keep the boat out of the line of fire of ice though. views are unique!! Looking up halfway Crux pitch Lillooet and Seton lake Almost done the route and the photo overload We topped out in a strong wind and with white caps on the lake I wondered if we should descend to a barren cold ledge or camp in the forest and make a fire. We decided to head down and see what happens. Besides the sleeping bags were down there. We were concerned about falling ice in the warm temps so we rapped the vertical forested face to climbers right, and after 8 raps we hit the canoe. I was pretty tired and the hour long paddle home seemed hard on my shoulders. However once we hit the middle of the lake the wind picked up and started broad siding the canoe with waves, this brought renewed power and we bee lined for shore, not the quickest route but having land within swimming distance seemed comforting. The waves were larger here though and as we neared the car the wind started howling, I could see the mist from crashing waves in the parking lot lights being whipped against the truck. Thankfully we were close just another 100 feet but the waves were getting big finally one swamps the canoe Bruce yells and then we slide up on the beach, safe. Then it was beer and a long drive home.. So if your full of Piss n Vinegar there are some great routes available and they come with a most memorable experience just an hours paddle away.. Approach Notes: Notes A Row Boat would be better, The wind forecast is for Lytton which is the windiest place in the interior. Either go dead calm or call Environment Canada for a forecast. You can scope Winter Water from just after the bridge going South before Seton lake boat launch. There is a very high possibility that you could walk to Comedy of Errors et al.
  7. Trip: Dewdney Creek/Coquihalla Hwy - FA Toll Free - 200m WI3 M5 Date: 2/8/2009 Trip Report: I did a little bit of ice scouting on Saturday up the Coquihalla. There is very little snow up there except right around the pass. Looks like it was cold enough for ice to form last week from snowmelt, and it is melting out a bit. Jarvis Bluffs had a bunch of rotten ice. Shady stuff higher up was in - Drool In the Lotus, Thinking Outside the Box and the shadier stuff in Box Canyon looked fat and blue. The Box Canyon approach is not in great shape, though, due to the low snowpack although someone was parked there and maybe climbing on Saturday. Driving back down the highway I saw some unclimbed ice up high on the north-facing side of the Dewdney Creek drainage and ended up enticing Doug out to climb it on Sunday. From the road it looked like a large flow of blue ice with a couple of separate possible finishes. I guessed maybe 2 pitches at WI3-4. Sunday morning I met Doug in Agassiz at 7 and we were parked and hiking not long after 8. We wandered up the north side logging road in Dewdney Creek about 2km until right across from the climb then found logs to cross the creek on. The approach is up a shallow drainage betwen two heli-cutblocks, and was easy walking on old avvy debris. Looking up from the logging road at the route. At the top of the cutblocks the drainage splts into two gullies; we took the right-hand one. There was melting rotten ice in this drainage, low-angled but hollow; we had to avoid a couple of short sections in the forest to the right. We gained about 200m up this drainage and then got to fatter ice where the route started. Doug in the approach gully. The route turned out to be a lot longer than I had estimated. The first rope-stretcher pitch (61m WI2+) went up an easy flow to a short wall of steeper ice, and got us into a large bowl with three massive, blue flows of ice in it. The right-hand line was the lowest angle but longest while the central and left lines were shorter but steeper. It was starting to warm up noticeably as clouds rolled in and we saw a bit of ice- and rock-fall so decided to climb the lowest angle line. We climbed a 60m WI2 pitch, then a 40m WI3 pitch to a ledge below the final pillar. It was Doug's fourth ever day on ice and first multipitch ice route - I kept offering him the lead and he kept declining. Maybe the fact he was using my old Pulsars had something to do with it. Doug seconding the long second pitch. We moved the belay 20m left on the ledge to the left side of the final pillar, then I led off. The ice was steppy and rotten on the left but solid and blue just to my right so I was able to get in a few good screws. I got to what looked like the top of the route (25m WI3) only to find it had melted out - I was balanced on the rim of a hollow tube. Between me and the nearest solid belay tree there was a 5m gap consisting of moss-covered, unfrozen vertical and overhanging choss with a couple of perched detached ice blobs about 2m diameter. I tiptoed across the lip of the ice tube and started grunging around with my tools looking for drytooling holds. Everything was pretty slopey and the moss was not frozen enough to turf-tool. I balanced up a couple of holds, ripping out massive clods of moss and mud, and at full reach managed to hook an incut flake under an overhang; it flexed a bit but held my weight. I mantled onto the head of my hooked tool and was able to reach up with my other hand and snag a thick devil's club stem over the overhang and then pull on it like a madman and beached-whale over into the forest above. I got up to a solid cedar tree and carefully felt the back of my pants to see if I had shat myself or not. Just then two of the ice blobs below that I had tiptoed around cut loose, funnelled down the route and laid a beating on Doug at the belay, giving his pack a good pounding while he cowered under it. Doug climbed up to me, climbing the ice easily but using some of the rope to yard his way through the mixed section. We sat down in the forest above the climb and had a bit of a breather to calm down and stop shaking. Rapping back down the route now seemed out of the question so we decided to try and walk off. We found a decent set of benches and ledges to descend to the west of the drainage, although there were a few sections of face-in frontpointing on frozen moss to link the benches. At around the same elevation as the base of the climb we got cliffed out and had to rap 30m off a tree. Forest rappeling. We grabbed our poles from the bottom of the gully and hiked out the way we had come, arriving back at the car around 5. It's great to have the longer days in February Ride'em cowboy log crossing. Overall this was a pretty fun climb except for the last 5m, which were definitely some of the hardest, chossiest and most scary mixed climbing I have ever done. Probably a colder day with the top of the route bonded would be a much better time to do this climb. Gear Notes: Screws and draws and helmet. Thick gloves help when yarding on Devils Club. Approach Notes: Park at Carolin Mines u-turn route and walk south on the highway about 300m to the narrow strip of land between the Coquihalla and Dewdney bridges. Cut into the forest to pick up the gas pipeline and follow it back to Dewdney FSR. Walk up Dewdney FSR to an open gate at around 2km, and just beyond the gate look south to see the route. Cross Dewdney Creek on logs and plug c.500m up the hillside to the route, which is at c. 1000m elvation.
  8. Trip: Strobach - FA: Ponderosa Pillar WI5 65m Date: 2/1/2009 Trip Report: Alpine Monkey and I (Bryan Schmitz) went into Strobach for some ice this weekend and ended up having a great time. The snow conditions were pretty prime, no post holing. We began at the Motherlode area on Saturday. Me looking pretty jazzed for the Hike in after the 2:15am wake up and the three and half hour drive that followed. Hiking In Some cool looking rock or dirt? 2 + hours later we arrive!!! In the words of Frank Snaders, "i am here now" Dropline through Bleeder Project Strobach Unclimbed A & B. Now strobach Unclimbed A & Ponderosa Pillar Me high up the route, the route was about 70 feet longer than we thought, topped it out and rapped off a tree. God look at all those screws what was I doing? First on The Right Left side of the watchtower Area We climbed the tongue and Hidden Delight on sunday A possible "Winter Dance" of Strobach in the upper left of the photo. The Watchtower, NOT Touching, to bad, but a good reason to return later. Approach Notes: Hwy 12 Tieton Road just east of rimrock lake, head through the woods towards Strobach Mountain. Follow directions in WA state ice. You can see the climbs on Strobach across the lake and would be a good way to check conditions if you had a scope.
  9. Trip: buck mountain - firs: buckshot (an easy way up the north side) Date: 12/3-5/2008 Trip Report: first internet recorded spray (attempt at hype deflation): on 12/4, cappellini and i climbed the line marked in red on the accompanying photo (photo used with permission of john scurlock: http://www.pbase.com/nolock/mountains ). we found conditions thinner than shown on john's photo from 12/7/05. we pitched out the first 4 ropelengths (wi3, wi4, wi4+, wi3). 3 simul-climbing blocks followed (quite a few wi2/3 sections separated by snow slopes). late in the day we were at the head of the main gully below some overhangs (the uppermost point of the blue line in the photo). overcome with a recurrence of alpine chicken syndrome, we downclimbed a couple hundred feet and simul-zigged right up steep sugar snow and neve to a belay. a zag left for 2 pitches (a bit of m4/5?)in the dark led to the ridge. dan was unwilling to slog up to the summit so we descended the west slopes and back to the tent on the moraine. in retrospect, we should have finished up the a ramp system roughly marked by the green line (more sustained and aesthetic) and slogged to the summit. to my knowledge the only photos dan took were during the hike out. as wayne noted, there are other lines to be climbed here. a line of smears directly up the north face would be a fantastic addition. ice forms early and those willing to play roulette with the road condition will be rewarded. watch for cornices (very small this year compared to previous years that i have seen it) and wind deposition. buckshot: iv, wi4+ plus a little bit of m4/5(?) Gear Notes: screws, rack to 2.5" plus kb's/la's Approach Notes: call the usfs wenatchee river ranger station at 548-6977 to make sure all gates are open on the chiwawa river road. 4wd and/or chains highly recommended.
  10. Trip: Near Hope - F.A - Family Man , 150m WI2+ Date: 12/26/2008 Trip Report: So MikeW and I were going to climb Hell's Lake Falls or something up the Fraser Canyon but just past the gas line crossing the fraser while heading east towards Hope we spotted a line running up a corner/gully on the cliff left of the road. We parked and geared up at a small pullout 100m east of the route and walked over to the base. I took the first lead which climbed low angle thin ice to the right of the prominent right-facing corner. Where the angle decreased and the ice became thinner I moved left to the corner where I scrambled up low angle mixed rock and ice to a blob of ice decent enough for a belay. (50m WI2 M0) Mike climbed a few meters of low angle ice past the belay to a snow terrace then a few more meters of low angle ice to a tree below the main gulley. This could probably just be soloed or some simul climbing could be done to combine pitches 1 and 2. (25m Wi2-) Mike took off on lead again as the last section had been short and easy. He climbed up the gulley on more low angle ice towards a prominent rock buttress where we took the left hand branch (the right hand branch looked like more low angle ice). This narrow gulley to left of the rock buttress had the most enjoyable climbing of the route, climbing up several short, steep bulges then staying to the right to avoid some bushes. Mike then belayed below the most prominent bulge as he ran out of rope. (50m WI2+) I took the last lead up the final steep bulge, then up more low angle ice moving right into an easy rock dihedral(to avoid bushes)leading to the forest above. (25m WI2+ M0) I saw some more ice in the woods above so we hiked up to the base of it. There were many options on this flow ranging from about WI2+ to WI4+. I wanted to climb a fine looking pillar but Mike had to be back in Hope with his family for the evening so we headed down, hence the name of our climb. All lines on this wall remain unclimbed. We rapped the route off V-Threads and Trees in 4 raps. Stupid me did all this in my thin lead gloves and my fingers froze until they were too weak to shove back into my toasty belay gloves. In fact I'm having trouble typing this report as my fingers are still thawing out I will post pics when Mike sends them to me... or Mike will just post them himself. Gear Notes: A few Stubbies, some med - long screws, rap tat... 50m or 60m ropes... Approach Notes: The climb is located between the gas line crossing the Fraser and Hell's Lake off Highway 7 near Hope. Look for a large prominent corner system on the cliffs above the road (where there are no nets covering the cliff) The climb follows this system staying left of the rock rib near the top.
  11. Trip: Agassiz, Hopyard Hill - F.A - O.C.D Pillar 37m WI4 Date: 12/24/2008 Trip Report: So this morning MikeW picked me up and we went over to a roadside climb in Harrison. I led it but Mike started feeling sick so we left.I was trying to figure out what to do as the day was still young but all the low angled stuff I would solo was getting buried in snow. I remembered that on a little hill named 'Hopyard Hill' 1 or 2 km's west of Agassiz's city center there is a NE facing bluff of dirty, crappy rock. On this cliff there is a rarely formed pillar that is usually just a couple of icicles. I thought it might go this year so after picking up a new pair of climbing pants at the post office, I convinced my GF to come out and give me a belay on a pillar. It took a fair bit of convincing to get her to go out in the cold and heavy snow, she told me that I was 'obsessed' to want to climb the route this badly... thats where the name comes from. It took us about 1/2 hour of walking to reach the base of 'Hopyard Hill' from my house and the pillar looked good but quite small. We hopped a fence, crossed a little field and hiked up snow covered rocks and bushes to the base of the climb. We put harnesses on, I racked up, then started up the ice below the pillar. I started on the right side of the flow, climbing a very short step and then a slightly longer steep step above the first. From the top of the second step I headed up and left towards the pillar on thin, but low angled, ice. Once I reached the base of the final pillar I was surprised to see that it was actually about 10m long, vertical, and chandeliered... I thought to myself, 'dammn, I've never lead water ice like this', and was hesitant to continue. I thought of placing a screw right at the base of the pillar but decided to conserve them (I only have 7) for the steep section, plus I needed the long one to make an Abalakov if neccesary. I started up the chandeliered, dripping pillar and got a screw in partway up, I continued up the steep pillar until I got to just below an obvious crux and fired in a short screw. I did a few more moves and got some bomber sticks at the top of the pillar and pulled into a shallow cave. The very top of the cliff was a few feet above me but getting there would require pulling a roof on a 3 inch thick curtain, the shallow cave had good ice in it and I built a solid abalakov and rapped down. My 70 meter rope didn't quite make it so I ended the rap in some bushes to the right. It then started to snow very hard so we quickly packed up and walked home. Overall the route was much better than anticipated, it was longer and steeper than I had originally thought and made for a nice F.A on Christmas Eve.... My only picture of the route sucks... I'll get a better one tomorrow if visibility improves The route from the base, it starts on the right hand side then diagonal's up left to the base of the obvious pillar. I ended in the shallow cave at the top of the pillar. Gear Notes: Screws, V-Thread Tool.... Approach Notes: Just off Mountain View Road in Agassiz, Look for some bluffs facing the road on the hill... the obvious pillar above the trees is the top of the route...
  12. Trip: Hope - FA Blue Moose (90m WI3+) Date: 12/22/2008 Trip Report: Tyler Linn and I climbed a new route near Hope today. The climb forms on the lower slopes of Hope Mountain about 200m west of the Thacker Creek drainage and I have been eying it for several years. A steep curtain at the base that doesn't always form leads to rolling ramps. You can only see it briefly from the highway but from the east side of Hope near the Coquihalla Bridge on Kawkawa Lake Road it is very obvious. It looked like the curtain had touched down so Tyler and I headed up after a bit of a gong show involving me forgetting my tools in Chilliwack and driving back to grab them. You can't park at the base on the highway so we ended up parking at the Hope crematorium and walking along the highway to the route. A better spot would have been to park near the gas pipeline office. You turn off the highway right at a sign saying "Next Services 100 km" and bushwack up to the climb in about 15 or so minutes. Route line from the highway. Route from the base. The direct pillar was touching down but was sadly spitting wet and horribly chandeliered and I didn't fancy leading it. Neither did Tyler. However I found a dry line along the very left margin, steep with good rests for 20m and then a narrow chimney/ramp line with some tricky and delicate footwork on a narrow ice vein combined with moss drytooling. I belayed after 30m in a clump of bushes and dealt with a loose crampon. Tyler led through on the next pitch which was a long rambly ramp, snowy but with a steep 15m high WI3 in the middle. We walked off to the east (towards Thacker Creek - skiier's right of the climb) down through steep forest, no rappels necessary. Ass shot of me reaching the ramp. The climb was pretty good, the direct column will also be a fine line with short approach when it comes in. Most everything else is in around Hope and the Fraser Valley in general and should last till Friday. Gear Notes: Eight screws or so, a few 10 and 13cms are useful. Approach Notes: See trip report.
  13. Climb: Abiel Peak-It's All-Der Date of Climb: 3/25/2006 Trip Report: After changing plans at the last minute, Keith, Pax and I decided to check out Abiel Peak on Saturday. The approach trail is popular with day hikers, and was packed down so well that we didn't need our snowshoes at all. Having hiked up in here this past fall with Keith, we sagely knew not to follow the picknic-table-nature-trail loop trail out of the parking lot. If you're coming in on skis, I would just go up the valley which is to the right once you reach the railroad grade (as Ade mentioned in his TR). As it has been mentioned, there are a ton of lines up there. The rock is like the sourrounding peaks: compact and fairly crackless. mixed lines could be bold. (big topo in the gallery) Fun climbing with two pitches of AI3 and one of AI4 on the right side of the face. We easily walked off right and down a wide gully to the west. more pics/details on my website Gear Notes: 4 screws, short and medium length lots of slings #1 camalot Approach Notes: Exit 47 off I-90. Take the Annette lake trail
  14. Trip: Behind Yak Peak - FA Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen WI3+ 90m Date: 3/16/2008 Trip Report: winter isn't over just yet Don, Graham, Jesse and I got a hot tipoff from Chris Link of the Coquihalla avalanche crew that there was ice at the back of the Falls Lake basin behind Yak Peak. We skiied in and climbed a nice 2-pitch WI3+, fat blue pillar now called "Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen". To the right of this route there is a broad curtain with lots of potential slabby ice lines - like a 80m high, 200m wide sheet of continuous blue and gray ice. Avy hazard from above. There are also at least 3 separate 2-pitch nice looking mixed lines up corners and gullies choked with narrow veins of ice. If you haven't worked off your winter ice stoke yet this would be a good place to go get some over the next few weeks. It snowed on us all day. The spindrift was pretty ridiculous at times on our route, and the climb sort of felt like being stuck in the rinse cycle on a washing machine filled with powder snow. Pretty alpine ambiance. Gear Notes: A bunch of screws and draws. Approach Notes: Ski west from Falls Lake off Coquihalla Highway about 1km to find the north-facing ice on the south side of the valley.
  15. Trip: Hells Gate/Fraser Canyon - FA "Styx" 105m WI3 Date: 1/26/2008 Trip Report: This line is located 200m north of Cerberus on the west side of Hells Gate. I had scoped it earlier and it seemed pretty easy, with a couple steep steps dividing rambly-type ice. My friend Sarah was down from PG and looking to do her first ice leads so this appeared to be a good choice. We left Agassiz at 7:30, had some Triple O's in Hope and left the car parked at Hells Gate around 8:30. Hiked down to the river, waited for 2 trains to pass, crossed the bridge and 2 sets of fences, and hiked up the tracks past Cerberus gully to below the route. Crampons on at the tracks and 100m of easy approach hiking up low-angle ice led to the route. First pitch was 45m with 5m and 15m WI3 steps separated by easy ice. Second and third pitches were led by Sarah for her first two ice leads. P2 was 20m WI2, mostly moving the belay up an easy ramp. P3 was 40m WI3 with a 5m near-vertical wall halfway up and easier ice elsewhere. Two raps down. Snow started on first rappel. On the way back out it turned out one of the locked gates we had climbed over was not really locked. Slog back up to the highway, as always, is crux of climbing at Hells Gate. Gear Notes: 8 screws, 2 ropes, waterproof gloves Approach Notes: Hike down trail, cross river, walk up tracks
  16. Trip: Sumallo Bluffs - Unnamed WI3 - 60m Date: 12/1/2007 Trip Report: I went up to the Sumallo Bluffs today with Matt Kidd and his buddy Cam. We climbed a WI3 a few hundred meters to the left of 'the mess'. The ice was super thin and sketchy for Matt to lead because of lmited screw placements. We all made it up and I was ecstatic after my first ice climb ever. Here's some pics... Here's details about our climb. We drove past the Buzowski Kippan and Landmark gullies for at most 1km and pulled over at a small parking lot across from a couple small clearcuts. We headed into the trees about 50ft back from where we parked and crossed the creek on a small log bridge we contructed over a shallow area. We bushwacked up the trees for 20 mins to find ourselves at the base of a small gully with some low angled ice at the bottom, we then traversed east into the next gully and ascended snow covered rocks to the base of our climb. The 60m rope was about 15ft short of making it to the anchor tree (above and left of the route)..so a 70m rope would be a good idea unless you want to simul climb 15ft of the route while your partner climbs to the anchor. To descend we did one single rope rappel down a cut in the trees to the left of the climb and then one double rope rappel down the last bit of trees. These two rappels bring you to a little slope 25m left of the base of the route. We then bushwacked straight down through the forest back to the car. If this is an FA I dont really know what to name the route..suggestions would be cool.. I was thinking of calling it Stairway to Heaven because the route reminded me of three big steps.. but I'm pretty sure that that name has been used a million times before.
  17. Some ice/mixed stoke for some of you. 3sEm_j5fqqw Story at http://www.climbing.com/news/hotflashes/winterdance07
  18. Trip: Abiel Peak - Spindrift Daze (FA) Date: 2/3/2007 Trip Report: Matt (NYC007), Bob (Tazman) and I established a new route on the north face of Abiel Peak yesterday. Thanks for making the slog guys, it was worth it. We were indecisive about where to go and what to climb, but Abiel held that "I have lots of unclimbed lines" appeal for us. We had also heard that lots of people were interested in Kent, so that added to our decision. The road to the trailhead was slicker than a skating rink, so we had to bivy in Bob's sweet camper at the Granite Mountain parking lot across I-90. Beers were swilled until too late in the night. A short night with inadequate sleep later found us tromping up the trail, sliding all over the place and falling on our asses, until we got to the valley. We reached the base around 10:00 and scoped out our options. Compared to last year, routes are very thin, but most will go with some work. approaching the route (with hanging daggers below the slab) we picked a line left of the North Face Direct, but right of the 1984 route. We tried the direct line up the hanging daggers, but it was unprotectable and just out of reach. ultimately, we went right a little ways and I took us up the first pitch (AI3X) to a semi-hanging belay under an overhang at about 30M. I think I used a couple of my nine lives on that pitch. it is one of the few where I almost puked upon reaching the belay. two more pitches of ice took us up to a steep snow couloir filled with mostly great neve. starting up the first pitch Somewhere in there it started snowing, then it turned into a freezing mist...Then the spindrift started. Bob cresting the difficulties into the couloir...happy to be out of the firing line Matt took us on a long simul pitch up the couloir; after which I took us up to the top. we gained the 1984 route for about 50' at the top of our route. Matt finishing up We skipped the half ropelength walk to the summit and walked off down the west ridge to the descent gully since it was getting dark and we were soaking wet. A long and dreamlike trudge out the valley brought us back to more beers in the early evening. FA: Abiel Peak, "Spindrift Daze" III, AI3+ Kurt Hicks, Matt Cusack, Bob Masasi blue - 1984 route orange - Spindrift Daze yellow - North Face Direct Green - North Face Couloir Only the lower half of the routes are visible. Gear Notes: Gear to 2" pins (mostly LAs, Angles) 10 screws Approach Notes: I-90, exit 47. Annette Lake Trailhead, go up the valley bottom to the face. 3 hours. no flotation needed.
  19. Trip: Highway 270, WA - "Death by Chocolate" WI 5+ M7 Date: 2/4/2007 Trip Report: Finally I got a first ascent!!! After getting kicked off the 'bouldering curtain' behind Shop-ko in Pullman, we (Lee Neer and I)found these two pieces of Ice hidden behind a new, (6 months old) Rock pit on the way back to Moscow. The climb on the left is for tomorrow morning as early as light will allow, and hopefully will be another successful F.A. The one on the right was option 'B', but looked safer, (relatively, lol), because it was not quite as overhanging as the left one. I'm just excited, sorry. . . .. . .pulling out of the cave scared the shit out of me, and the whole 'climbing on very brown ice' was totally foreign. The one nice thing about the beginning was the amount of 'hooking' available due to the heinously thin/new/overhanging ice, but it meant the burn held off till the end. . . .. . .now to work on some endurance. . . Going to get a couple of second opinions tomorrow, but as far as Big John (hyperspud sports), and I have figured it would go around WI 5+ // or M7-8 and I named it "Death by Chocolate", approx. 60-70ft. short, but oh so sweet. Pun intended. Going to pull a repeat and then a couple second ascents tomorrow morning and hopefully the left climb. . .hopefully. . . (Photos by Amanda Wiebush) CRAIGMAN Gear Notes: short screws approx. 5 and a BD spectre, (or 2), a couple small nuts, and a Trango 'ballnutz' size 3 if you care. Approach Notes: tomorrow
  20. Today my girlfriend, suckbm, and I decided to find some ice. The approach was a five minute uphill walk wich left me gasping for air, seriously. The crux was getting through a barb wire fence while suckbm tried to grop me. We found some undocumented ice to the right of the "Beer" routes. We first climbed the middle route, which we named "Pink Panty Dropper," 35 feet tall, WI 3. Then the route to the right, which we named "Gummy Bear Martini." 25 feet tall, WI 3. We were going to climb the far left one as well, but I walked to the base and the top out was only 6 feet above my head. Perhaps Capallini would find it a significantly tall climb. The FA is up for grabs. We then trecked over to the far left of the Beer routes and found a climb wich to our knowledge had not been climbed. We followed foot prints to the base of the climb and topped out to some fresh webbing. It was an excellent climb though. I really wanted to do Bavarian Dark, but it was to chandeliered for me. Lastly, we climbed Sody Pop which was in great condition, Rainier Light was not in, it could be climbed but you would just bash your picks up. My little darling.
  21. Trip: Snake River - Higher Learning (FA) Date: 1/18/2007 Trip Report: Justin and I decided to skip our formal coursework and take our education outdoors today. We climbed what we believe to be a new route along the Snake River, about 3 miles east of Granite Point. "Higher Learning" WI4+/5-, 65' of ice. Side view of higher learning About 2/3 up the route. The pillar above was fully detached and shook throughout whenever I swung into it. We decided to walk off to the right (which included horrendous berrybrush bushwacking and a crotch deep creek fording). It is better to rap the route with 2 ropes from the bush we slung. Justin post climb. It is the hardest route he's ever done. FA: Kurt Hicks, Justin Hougham Higher Learning WI4+/5-, 65' Gear Notes: A half dozen screws Gear to .75", mostly stoppers and pitons 2 ropes to rappel Approach Notes: At milepost 19 on Wawawai River Road, a couple miles toward Lewiston from Granite Point.
  22. One week ago my partner and I attempted the unnamed and unclimbed Strobach D on page 220 of the WA Ice book. The begining of the climb begins with a 25 foot free hanging ice curtin, aprroximatly 95 degrees. While attempting the route a loud bang, like a gunshot came from the curtin and a fracture line appeared. I bailed. We returned one week later (12/29/06) to find the hanging ice in a little better condition, resulting in the FA of a fine route. Name/Difficulty: Tower of Power - WI 5 FA: 12/29/06 Length: 50 meters Avalanche Danger: Moderate Approach: The right most flow in the Motherlode Area Route: Ascend the 25 foot 95 degree free hanging curtin leading to moderate ice climbing above Descent: Rappel the route
  23. Trip: Banks Lake - Brush Master II, WI4+, 5.7 (FA) Date: 12/28/2006 Trip Report: What do you do at Banks when it's not "in"? You go mixed climbing. Today Matt (NYC007) and I established a new route that is mentioned as a "rumor of ice" in the Washington Ice Guide. It is located between "The Cable" and "H202". We named the route "Brush Master" after it's slight resemblance to Mixed Master (which we just climbed last week). We found no traces of prior ascents. The route starts on fractured basalt, by the road, left of the ice runnel to gain a snowy ledge. Traverse out right to the icicles and ascend the brushy ramp, protected with many many crappy knifeblades, to thicker ice above. I belayed after about 50m, just after the first ice step (yellow/gray aliens helpful). The last 50' of ice were sunbaked and partially detached, but the sun was shining and it was a great, although quite technical, pitch. After that, one double rope rappel from the now slung bush brought us back to the ground. A nice little mixed route. Brush Master (click for topo) Me leading the first mixed crux Higher up on the sun baked and detached pillar. A good day out "Brush Master" II, 65M WI4+, 5.7 FA: Kurt Hicks, Matt Cusack Gear Notes: An arsenal of knifeblades (8 or so) small cams #1 or 2 camalot (optional for last pitch) a couple screws & screamers slings double ropes to rappel Approach Notes: Park about 100m south of H202.
  24. Trip: Hedley Ice - Private Reserve WI3+ 45m FA Date: 12/9/2006 Trip Report: There are some advantages to knowing a meteorologist. Jmace is a meteorologist. On Friday night he told us that a 200 foot thick layer of freezing air would persist in the Hedley area through Saturday when it was +5C and raining in Lillooet and Pemberton. Fuck ya! So Jordan and Steve and Jesse actually woke up at 4 AM and picked me up at 6. Off to Princeton. Somebody said that they emailed Serl about ice climbing this weekend and that he told them a lobotomy would help if you wanted to find climbable ice with this weather Surprisingly enough, we got to Princeton and it was still cold. Actually Landmark Gully was even in at Sumallo Bluffs albeit a bit gray and melted looking. Drove from Princeton to Keremeos scoping for ice. When driving to Rossland to visit snoboy last year, I remembered seeing some ice on the wrong side of the river. We even brought hip waders in case we had to cross the river. But we saw the ice, looked in the Backroads Mapbook, and it turned out that there was a road to the base. Fuckin' A! It turned out that the road crossed native reserve lands. Well, I'm 1/32nd First Nations so I figured it would be Ok if we drove up the the "Private Keep Out" signed road. We did. We did run into a truck with two native guys in it while racking up. They smiled and waved. We smiled and waved. They didn't stop. End of access worry for the day. The hike up Larcan Creek to the route sucks. Jordan, Steve and I got covered in tiny burrs. Jesse dodged it somehow. It took us about an hour to make it to the ice. We roped up. Jesse got the sharp end. 45m of blue plastic goodness. Knowing that it was +7 and raining in Vancouver made it all the sweeter We ended up taking two laps apiece to fill out the day. You could climb this rig at WI3/3+ on the left or chandeliered WI4 on the right, good stuff. I forgot my camera but everyone else remembered theirs. Pics will come. Hiking out we found a better way out via game trails on the north side. No prickle bushes but "approach crampons" might help. Ate dinner at the Greek place in Princeton and drove home. Steve went to some party and got hungover. End of story The name of this thing is "Private Reserve". Seemed appropriate somehow. It went up to +2 in Princeton today Gear Notes: Fat ice takes good screws. Approach Notes: Drive to Keremeos. Take Ashnola Rd. Just before pavement ends go right and follow dirt road through reserve to Larcan Creek. Park and gain 300m on slopes right (north) of drainage then contour on game trails to the ice. 45 minutes to an hour from vehicle. Ice cannot be seen from parking area or most of approach but can be scoped from Hwy 3 about 8 km east of Hedley. LENGTH OF DRIVING: ~600 km LENGTH OF ICE CLIMBED: ~2 laps @ 45m per person
  25. Trip: Hope - Frost Heave (WI2+ R) - F.A Date: Today Trip Report: So I drove out to Hope today to meet my friend Justin Brown. Justin has done rock and alpine climbing but never water ice. He showed up with a pair of old straight-shafted Grivels with tied webbing leashes. "Ok, let's climb something easy. Warm up, first route of the season, yup!" So pretty much everything in Hope is in and fat right now except for Rickets. JLTR is quite big. Moustrap is solid. But we headed over to the gas pipeline crag on the north side where there is this big low-angle flow set up that I had only seen formed once before. On close examination the big flow does not really touch down, it vanishes into some turf about a pitch up. But a subsidiary flow on the left ran up to more or less the same height so we thought maybe we could climb that and traverse over. JB at the bottom This thing had a short steep start (WI2+) and then a long slabby section with some turf and scary thin ice (WI2R). I had a couple of 10 and 13cm screws mostly in and one tied off 16cm halfway in . At the top there was a comical mantle onto a huge moss blob and then a traverse left to a belay tree (40m). Justin finishing the pitch into the bushes. Getting across to the rest of the ice looked kind of sketchy with some snow-covered prickle bushes and bare slabby granite to contend with, also Justin had just bent the tip of his Grivel at 45 degrees So we decided to call it a day. Descent was a walkoff to climbers left down a ramp. Fun fun Hope might not be in by this weekend because of this warm front coming in but it should still be in tomorrow if you need an ice fix cxlose to Bellingham or Vancouver. Like I said, pretty much everything is in and climbable at Hope*. Bridal Falls area is still forming, only Never a Bridge and the Fox/Webb looked climbable. Bridal Falls itself was running in the middle, Decent Divorce was not touching down on the middle pillar, and White Wedding had 2 or 3 icicles waiting to touchdown. Easy Intro was in but really chandeliered. There was some unclimbed stuff in and fat by the Diviner and Hunter Creek looked fat and sassy except Medusa looked a bit thin at the bottom (maybe harder than 4 right now?) Seabird is in. Tailwind is in. * Hells Lake Falls is forming, looked too thin to lead but could be toproped? Gear Notes: Stubbies Warthogs for turf if you have them Strong rated picks (I can never remember if B or T are the thicker ones) Approach Notes: Drive Highway 7 east from Hope and park at the gas pipeline. Walk back on the gated road on the north side of the slough about 200m to the obvious roadside ice.
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