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Snoqualmie Winter Conditions


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Hey all, 

I've climbed a lot in various areas around the NW in winter but not in Snoqualmonix. I would like to climb some of the classic routes like NY Gully next winter and just curious what experienced people look for in weather to produce good climbing conditions. 

Thanks, Sam

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until @rat and @Marko weigh in I would say your typical rain on snow event (FL 6-8k) followed by Fraser outflow cold snap (wait a couple days for it to firm up).  Seems like we get at least one or two of these a year.  But, I know those routes get climbed in all sorts of conditions.....

Full disclosure, I have never climbed hard routes up there!

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For me a good heuristic is just that it's good when nwac is greenish (sometimes their low yellows are clearly more like green based on probability/size info), and of course temps/sun exposure/intensity are such that nothing is melting or falling on your head. This doesn't really prioritize ensuring enough water ice to make steep climbing easy, but I at least find that that is not really practical to accurately predict (although I'd love for those ^ guys to contradict me). As long as things are consolidated enough that nwac is near green, rock will be bare enough that it's not too miserable to climb, and if nwac is issuing reports then you're in mid winter so there will be some ice, just hard to know how much. If ice conditions turn you back on something steep, have a backup low angle ridge scramble in mind. Maybe in another ten years we'll all be more relaxed about bolts and there'll be some cool steep routes on the many many many amazing features up there, but until then I think it's knifeblades and not falling, i.e. slab practice.

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