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catbirdseat

Nisqually Ice Cliff Beta

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We had one TR for Nisqually Ice Fall this year. I got a look at the Ice Cliff route from Gib Ledges, and it looked pretty doable. Has anyone here done that route before? Would you care to tell us about it?

 

I'd be interested in trying it at the next available opportunity if suitable conditions of snow and weather could be had.

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I've got a good photo of the route...how do ya upload a photo without linking it from a website...so it's visible on the thread?

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or attach as file attachment to post, but its gotta be under 100 kb then.

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hey tomcat,

why's your squirrel got a big hole in his chest? my squirrel doesn't like the looks of that... shocked.gif

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Duchess said:

hey tomcat,

why's your squirrel got a big hole in his chest? my squirrel doesn't like the looks of that... shocked.gif

 

no spraying on serious Rainier threads!!! rolleyes.gif

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I glissaded down that route, much to the "shock and awe" of the gapers with binocs who thought I fell off the mountain. bigdrink.gif

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Distant view of the Nisqually Ice Clif Area.

 

2196nisqually-ice-clif-distant--med.jpg

 

Closer view (slow to load: sorry 'bout that).

 

2196nisqually-ice-cliff-close.jpg

 

For all routes: Best to show up at the base of the cliff at first light for crossing under ice cliff. "Think" about short roping when making the move under the ice cliff to minimize rope snags.

 

Nisqually Ice Cliff: Worth doing. Watch for icefall (duh). Approach like doing Gib Chute (almost to the base of the chute itself). Scurry across under ice cliff without much elevation gain if possible. Once on route and up chute, slowly traverse upward & right. Try not to stop until out of serac danger.

 

Nisqually Cleaver: Climbed less often. A bit steeper and more continous than regular route. Soft snow conditions can make it a little less airy. A reasonable route as long as there's enough snow to connect slopes.

 

Nisqually Cleaver Direct: Not sure if it's seen a repeat, after the first ascent by local climbers around '99. Route is steeper up near the top of the cleaver (depends on cornice). Was done as a 'dayer from Paradise on first ascent.

 

Gear: Two tools nice, or at least 3 tools per 2 climbers for lightweight ascents. Pickets 3-4. Helmet for safety, and khata for good luck.

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Word of caution.

When we did the Gib Chute I fell into a nice BIG crevasse. It was absolutely hidden since an avalanch had covered any traces of this gapping monster. I'm sure the area at the base of the Ice Cliffs have the same problem. I'd recommend at least 30' of rope out to give your partner a chance of arresting your fall.

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catbirdseat said:

We'd probably go as a team of three on a 50 m rope.

 

with a whole bunch of knots tied between you yellaf.gif

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Climbed the middle route last weekend. One of the best routes I climbed on Rainier. In prime condition!

Hurry, won't last long. Mostly hard snow 50 - >60 deg, very sustained ~10 pitches, about 30 ft of black ice on first

or second pitch and small (5ft) cornice on the last. Approach under icefall is scary, do not follow the picture,

come much lower - traverse at the same altitude all the way to the left under the shute and then straight up

(some zigzaging arount the berg). The sh** starts falling with sunrise, around 4a.m. - get really early start.

We started from Muir at 2:30 but better even earlier. We saw some stuff fell on our path as we were on

the second pitch. Met very nice ranger at Muir, Paul - lot's of beta, updated weather - all you possibly need!

Looks, like we were first in the season - the worst part was potholing above the steep part to the crater rim -

took us 3 hours and completely took any desire to cross it to the summit with RMI hordes - turned and

descended via std boottrack.

Enjoy!

Oleg

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