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jfreeburg

Inspiration needed- where to go?

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My buddy and I find ourselves with 13 days off starting next week and a roadtrip/climbing trip to be had. Where would you go and why? We are open to anywhere in the west and have winter camping and extensive mountaineering experience. We may hit up Hood (Yocum?), Shasta, and then maybe 5-6 days in Yellowstone. But where would you go? Sierras? Banff? What route and why? We'd love some suggestions of high routes, link-ups, etc and we have some time and energy to get after it. We have skis, snowshoes, and whatever else it may take to get some summits in. Any recommendations would be appreciated. Anything within driving range (meaning western US & Canada is considered in). Thanks!

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To get better recommendations you need to provide more of details of your abilities - extensive mountaineering experience to me means lots of snow slogging but little technical alpine ice climbing.

There is a lack of snow and with warm temps the ice is not good in the Utah/Colorado Rockies. California is suffering as well. So If you want waterfall ice I would head to the great white north to Banff.

The Cascades seem to be doing well but also with warmer temps. I saw some posts from folks looking to head into Dragontail and Triple Couloirs. You mention Hood and Yocum Ridge, that is not really a mountaineering route but is a wee bit more of a serious adventure.

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We are looking for routes in the realm of 4th class, low fifth class. We are Seattle-based so we want to get away from the usual Cascade haunts like the Enchantments. Banff is an option though I think we'd rather be on the move rather than doing 5-6 days of straight ice climbing. Any particularly noteworthy traverses in Banff or Yosemite that would be a good 4 or 5 day trip? 

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given that the sierras are relatively snow free, i would think some traverse over there would be good.  especially if you are looking for low 5th routes.

 

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numerous options around Banff - not just waterfall ice.  get hold of a guidebook or do some online research.  the easy summer alpine routes can make great winter alpine challenges.

I grew up near the Tetons, and made winter ascents of both the Middle and South Tetons while in high school.  South Teton has a steep couloir on its north face that we climbed by mistake, in poor visibility, thinking it was the northwest couloir which is the easiest route.  current guidebook credits the FA of this couloir two years later than we climbed it -- just high school kids, we didn't know... and the Owen-Spalding route on the Grand is  fourth or low fifth class.  From a camp at Garnet Canyon Meadows, your could climb Cloudveil Dome, Nez Perce Peak, South Teton, Middle Teton, Grand Teton, and Disappointment Peak if you wanted to spend the time back there... but don't head up Garnet Canyon unless your avalanche assessment skills are solid...

or a winter traverse of the Stuart Range?

-Haireball

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If you go to Banff/Canmore, you had better be on your toes. Serious conditions up there right now. I'm heading up Sunday, but know some places out of the firing line and plan on being very cautious. If you're not familiar with the area I would be very hesitant to recommend going up there for a bit.

 

http://www.avalanche.ca/news/avalanche-canada-is-issuing-a-special-public-avalanche

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18 hours ago, montypiton said:

 

or a winter traverse of the Stuart Range?

-Haireball

Quiet you, some of us have tick lists you know.

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DPS - well excuse me! - happens to be on my ticklist too...  I have a nine-day window coming up 2/17 - 2/25, have numerous options, of which the Stuart Range is one...  final decision kinda depends on which partner commits...

-Haireball

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Well, that would be the best time frame.  Good luck and let us know how it goes. 

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If you're talking mountaineering, I'm going to second Gene and advocate for the Sierra in California. Lightweight winter this year, good weather forecasting, really great 4th & low 5th objectives. Oh, and beautiful too.

If I were going to go rock climbing I'd probably head to Tucson, lots of choices around there. San Diego County also has lots of lesser known gems and a good season going on.

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Thanks for all the ideas. We ended up doing Gib Ledges and a trip to Vancouver Island. We had always wanted to do a winter ascent of Rainier but didn't think the weather would cooperate when we had time available. Turns out everything lined up and we went for it. A fun, direct route. After that, we headed up to Strathcona on Vancouver Island. My friend has dreamed about sailing around the island for several years but hadn't actually seen it. We read about some alpine routes up there and thought an international climb was in order. We were shortchanged of ice so no major objectives scaled but we had a fun scramble up some no-one peak near Gold River. Lots and lots of mountains up there and the alpine starts pretty low - around 3500 feet in places. It feels a lot like SE Alaska. Definitely a place to return to. 

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