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WA/OR Ice Conditions 2022-2023


fran_sanity
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With this weeks cold temps down low I figured it could be worthwhile to get this years forum started! Also if anyone has any pictures or information about the current status of routes, put it here! Happy exploring :)

Edited by fran_sanity
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Some friends went up to Heliotrope last weekend (Nov 12-13) and reported good water ice above the trail like in years past. I think with the road washout and the extra hiking it was 4200 ft gain. They used the map I made of various climbs: https://caltopo.com/m/06CB. The early waterfall on the trail was not quite in.

Saw a pic of Colfax, Cosley Houston had basically no ice. Perhaps it was too warm most October, and then just suddenly got cold so no freeze thaw. We also didn't get our first snowfall until late October.

A friend went up to New York Gully this week, no ice.

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Went up to the Damon Mine to check out the climbs there. The road was blocked by a small landslide that added 3 miles of road walking.

The climbs were not quite in. I'm not sure if it was slightly too warm or too dry, or a combination of both. The snow on the road was still low density, preserved powder even two weeks after the last snowfall. It has been cold and incredibly low humidity. After a dry fall, it seems there isn't much moisture moving in the ground to form the climbs.

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We went to the far right climb and played around on the first 50m pitch, which had some easy WI1 to some highly featured, interesting WI2+ topout. The next pitch looked too thin and wet to continue.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Climbed Death Picnic yesterday with @PorterM. Found deceivingly steep climbing and sorta tricky pro (lotsa hollow bits). Wanna say WI5+ conditions, but it was my first day on ice this season so IDK. IMG_5592.jpg.2e38aa0490105407438edf8b5660f073.jpg

Looking up on the way out. Mickey and Jeff rolled up as we rapped. Perfect timing!

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Porter following the steep and blobby first pitch.

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Myself leading P2. It started out with this vertical pillar then rounded off to WI 3/4 

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I was at Banks lake earlier this week (we climbed Peewees 3, 4, and 5).  I didn't get out to Moses Coulee or south towards Park/Blue/Lenore Lakes so unknown out there.  The weather is looking good for continued ice formation.  There was snow on the ground and plenty of running water everywhere so just need time at freezing temperatures.  Oh and the lake hasn't even started to freeze over really.

Absent Professor - Trying but not much ice
The Cable - top half is forming up nicely but needs a lot more to be "in".
H2O2 - looked climbable although probably full value in its current shape
Salt and Pepper - nothing
More Banks Ice Climbs (MP 9) - several of these climbs are formed but with horrible or nonexistent top outs.  The one exception is the longer WI4 "corner route" which is the right hand climb of the bunch.  It looked good to go.
Brush Climbs - Getting close
Razorblades - no ice
The Emerald - no ice
MP 14 climbs - several climbs are trying but still need time, nothing really close
Zenith - fully formed but the bottom connection point looks very thin and could be quick spicy.  Another couple weeks and it should be great!
Peewees - Most of them aren't really that good yet.  The exception was #3 which we climbed and found really good quality and plenty of ice.  We also climbed #4 and #5, both of which had quite a bit of thin shell and then ended in very desperate rock or grass pulling above where the ice ended but before any kind of tree/bush anchor.
Trotsky's - Folly is in but looks sun affected.  Revenge is in with some overhead hazard.
Punchbowl - in but very nasty overhead hazard currently.  

 

Last Lap of the day on Peewees #3!

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Zenith current as of 12/12/2022.

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Edited by mthorman
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On 12/14/2022 at 2:23 PM, bedellympian said:

Anyone taken a look at Mt. Index? Seems like potentially favorable conditions to me but I'm no local.

I'm always watching that thing. I think it's been too cold and snowy still. IMO you want a solid warmup and refreeze to form good neve for most of those routes. Wait for a bulletproof crust and go for it!

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@Kyle M the NE Buttress of Chair is one of my favorites.   It climbs well (at AI3 / M4) in most conditions with good pro on the rock.  The mental crux for me is usually the ice step towards the top -- usually thin with marginal ice pro.   So, if you don't like the N. Face -- jump on the NE Buttress since you are right there!

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Drove out to Vantage today, but things aren't looking too good there. Frenchman is flowing hard, not even close. A little bit of climbable stuff to the right. Think it needs to be colder. Heard Soap Lake and Banks are doing well, but did not have time to make it out there.

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Put in a snowshoe track to access this buttress at the head of seymour creek under north face of north twin sister, this zone is pretty legit. Ice was better than average for washington. Approach took longer than expected and we only did a couple lines on the lower tier at wi3 and wi4. Whole thing probably goes at wi4, maybe 70m tall? Somebody should get out there while they don't have to break fresh trail! 2.5-3 hrs with a trail in place from the gate closure. 4-5 hrs if breaking trail. Looked like decent snow camping next to the creek under the crag. 

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