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Ice climbing banks lake

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I do, I was there Sunday (yesterday)

See my post under the "local ice" thread, or contact me directly at recompense@hotmail.com

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just got back back from banks and soap lakes. don't waste the four hours to get there. not much in the way of ice, and what is still standing is mostly of the white, old and crappy species. there were a couple of climbable 1/2 pitch routes if you really are desperate. the punch bowl is in if you want to travel 250 miles for a short grade 2 climb. the lower half of the a m professor has fallen down, cowgirls is garbage, the cable was climbable at what looked like pretty technical 5 with weak gear. it's definitely cold enough for some good forming, there just isn't enough precip. such is life for the washington ice climber. better to head over to drury falls, its HUGE!!!!!!!!all pitches climbable at hard 4. ENJOY!!

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brad m

Did you climb Drury?? Or did you determine the grade of it from 3000' and a 1/2 mile below??

Dale

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daler,

i wouldn't eyeball a climb from 3000ft and MORE than a half mile below and then go ahead and tell other climbers that it was in. after having drove to almost leavenworth and then realizing i had forgotten my boots(i know, what an ass), driving back to the seattle area and then back again, it was all we could do to get our 15 dollar fred meyer kiddie raft accross the wenatchee,four times, by dark. the following morning we started up the gully, in which we found stable snow conditions. i wouldn't dare set foot in there with anything but good snow conditions. looks like a trap to me. upon reaching the lower falls we found fat, blue and mostly plastic ice. after topping out on the lower falls(easy grade 3), i was staring at a WAY IN drury falls. unfortunately for us, my irresponsibility concerning my boots directly lead to our not having enough time to complete the upper falls. so, tails between our legs, we descended, crossed back over the river and went home. to answer your question, no i did not climb drury. not the whole thing anyway. but i was as close as you can get without doing so and i have been climbing ice long enough to tell you with confidence that on jan. 9 all pitches were in with a crux looking to be hard 4. since i'm here, does anyone know if there is any other climbable ice in the leavenworth area

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actually if you go to www.druryice.com you don't even have to drive to Leavenworth as I have set up a camera to scope the route for real time conditions. I also run an algorithm which calculates the average specularity of the ice, taking into account the angle of the sun of course, and this can be worked into a WI grade.

 

quote:

Originally posted by daler:

brad m

Did you climb Drury?? Or did you determine the grade of it from 3000' and a 1/2 mile below??

Dale

 

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since none of these posts have anything to do with Banks Lake other than say "Banks Lake sucks", I'd like to refute that.

Banks Lake currently has the best ice around, except Drury. I have no idea what others are accustomed to climbing in Washinton, but there were plenty of technical full pitch things to climb at Banks. From the Cable to the boat launch past the State Park, there are up to 20 lines formed.

Routes on the other side of the lake may be in, but the lake is not frozen.

Also Miller Time and Kickapoo Joy Juice look in, and that lake *is* frozen.

Locals have said this is a very strange year, with some things not in and some uncommon lines formed. We are feeling the affects of a dry fall, dry winter, and not enough cold, but Banks Lake will keep you busy even beyond Devils Punchbowl.

Worth the drive in my opinion. Alex

 

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I've spent the last two weekends at Banks Lake and environs and here's my take: Alex is right in saying that Banks has the best ice in Washington other than Drury, but that's not a ringing endorsement when the other ice in Washington is basically nil. With the exception of Devils PB and Guinness, the more classic, named climbs are either non-existant (AM Professor, Zenith) in in very thin, dangerous shape (H2O2, Cable, some of the West-facing beer climbs). That being said, there are scads of other lines, but they tend to possess some combination of being thin, rotten, incomplete and/or heinous topouts. The latter is particularly unappealing. I've had several memorable experiences on lines that looked fine from below which ended in hollow cones detached from the rock, followed by vertical mud and huge prickerbushes. Fighting your way through overhanging pricker bushes with your last questionable pro 15 feet below is more excitement than many people are looking for. Top roping has it's own exquisite challenges (and in my opinion would be better practiced somewhere else where you would not be knocking down someone else's potential lead). All that being said, there's stuff to do out there if you've got the inclination, but it appears to me the agenda for 90% of the visitors is Day One: join the crowds at the Devils Shooting Gallery, Day Two: have a minor epic setting up a toprope on some marginal thing or another. Just make sure you've set your expectations accordingly before you make the drive.

[This message has been edited by J Fisher (edited 01-16-2001).]

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512dude,

I think you missed my point. Brad M thanks for the clarification. My point is that Ice Climbing is becoming super popular ( much to my dismay, but hey, can't be selfish ) There are still lots of folks that can't judge the Grade of a climb from 10 feet away and until they can a false report may get somebody hurt. I know that everybody needs to be responsible for themselves, but lets keep the reports just to the facts. I've looked up at a climb many times and thought no problem but 50 feet into it I wished I was at the pub drinking a cold one.

Dale

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I also spent the weekend at Banks lake and found very good thick ice. It was a bit warm on Saturday, where we witnessed a party nearly get pummled by monsterous icicles falling off the cliffs above Devil's Punch bowl (and you thought it was just a cute name!). Trotsky's folly at the bottom there wasn't leadable for the last bit thinned out befopre the top, but the first 30 feet were fun bouldering.

Also there are many 1-2 pitch climbs in farther down towards H202. We even came upon some people who rock climbed up to the upper pitch of a hugely fat climb that was missing its base. Sunday was much colder and the ice was more solid. Looks like cold temps will continue out there as well, so I don't think much will melt out. Best bet is to climb north facing stuff, as the Absent minded prof. was only wet rock.

Dave

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I agree with Dale.

If there is one thing I have learned in my short ice climbing experience, it is that it is almost always harder when you are on it then standing under it, and second that you should take what others say the rating/grade is with a very large grain of salt....enough salt to melt out the climb.

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In case you use Jim Nelson's second guidebook, there are some faults in his section on Banks Lake ice. The pictures on pages 98 and 99 are said to be of "Absent Minded Professor" and "The Cable," but if you look closely you will notice that the pictures are of the same climb. After looking in the old "Washington Desert" guidebook, I think that both pictures are of a climb called "Zenith," but I am not sure. Just a clarification to those headed that way.

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Yes, Colin is correct. I believe both pictures are of Zenith. Sorry for the confusion, we should have it corrected with future printings.

 

Also, the picture of 3'Oclock Rock on page 240 is labeled wrong. (B) should be labeled Total Soul, and (A) should be labeled Silent Running.

Again sorry for the confusion. Peter and I are allways updating, so please let us know how we can improve route descriptions, and especially if you find mistakes. We can be reached at info@ProMountainSports.com

Jim Nelson/Peter Potterfield

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All I know is that there is ice to climb and I am all over that. I have been there two weekends in a row and I have done some excellent climbs (see the "local ice" topic for details). Sure the ice that's formed is not for everyone and Devil's is scary, but there are good climbs to be found. I do agree with one point J. Fisher made in that considering the quality of the ice, it's best to avoid top-roping the climbs that are not well formed, especially the classics.

[This message has been edited by dane (edited 01-22-2001).]

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The shotgun approach has been tried before on the Punch Bowl -- by Bruce White of Wenatchee, I believe -- with no success. Maybe you can get a hold of that gun the Makah used for whale hunting... tongue.gif

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