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DPS

Local Ice

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Does anyone have information on how the local ice (Banks Lake, Snoqualmie Pass, B.C., etc)is forming up? With this cold weather I am guessing we may have an early season.

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There was about one inch of wet ice on a falls ~4000 ft on the N side baker trail, and another flow higher up ~5,500 feet that was almost in condition, though only 10 feet high. Might be indicitive of the level of freezing at that elevation though. One difference is the good looking flow was freezing out of a direct snow pack melt. I think in most places there isn't sufficient snowfield melt to form thick climbs.

dave

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None of the ice over 5000' by the hiking trail on Mt Dickerman was well bonded either. The snow that had falled up there was still light powder and hadn't melted at all.

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Brooks B and I went up early Saturday morning for a crack at this. The main pillar was in although fairly hollow - no need to use the sling on the right. The ice was very wet and poorly bonded so getting good pro was pretty hard, screws and some rock gear.

We also did the top pitch, seeing as we were there and all.

Thanks to Daniel Patrick Smith for retrieving the screw I dropped - what a gent! And Mike and Alex for doing the legwork and letting the rest of us know about it.

Five days on ice and it's not even December yet!

Cheers,

Ade

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Seeing as it seems to be warming up in the West does anyone have any idea if ice has formed at Columbia River (mentioned in the second Nelson guide)?

I'm doubtful as the falls there are bigger and steeper but of course it has been a lot colder there.

Ade

[This message has been edited by Ade (edited 11-22-2000).]

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Someone sent me this. I'm not sure that foam is anything like real ice but it might be worth checking out:

"I went to Cascade Crags last night to visit with one of my buddies that works there. While there they proudly showed me their new indoor ice climbing set up. It is way cool. Not literally cool though. It is sheets of high density foam. They have them fastened to a wall. There is also an

overhang about three quarters of the way up. If you are interested in checking it out, now would be a good time. They are allowing folks to try it out for free right now. I tried it. It was way fun and pretty dam close to the real thing.

If it proves popular they are planning on expanding it. They want to have a corner and some additional realistic situations. I think that they are only one of three places in the country that have this set up. I don't think any of the other places in this area have an ice climbing wall as yet.

This is about the best innovation I have seen at an indoor climbing gym in a while. I highly recommend it. Cascade Crags is in Everett on Rucker Ave."

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I'm not sure what it's called but we did something a short hike from the Alpental parking lot on Saturday. Hiking up the trail towards Source Lake, it rose immediately from the left side of the trail shortly before you get to the lake. A short steep section leads to a snow gully and then a longer vertical section. I led it with 5 screws and two runners wrapped around shubbery. The bottom was fat but the top thin and sketchy. To top out I had to shovel a path with my tools through two feet of snow for about 20'. I belayed my partner up using a small tree and we easily walked off to the skiers left.

It was fun.

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skookum falls heading up to crystal mtn is frozen and in rare form. there are also some other rarities in the area. better get them while their cold.

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Went up to Pemberton on Sunday and Monday to look for ice. There isn't anything worth climbing there. Even though it has been cold, it has been dry and nothing is in shape to climb. Got a report on Banff, from the Ghost. The ice is in, but very technical. Everything is about a grade harder than normal, and things were very brittle because of temps from -10 F to -25 F. Sounds like there is plenty to climb.

Mike Palmer

Cascade Crags

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I was in Whistler on Wed & Thurs (12/12-13) and We climbed a one pitch WI 3 at Calchek, not the the correct spelling, campgrounds about 10 km south of Whistler, take the right turn beofre the the basalt bluffs and Mad River Rd. The Ice was thin but very climbable.

We also climbed Entropy on the Sous Bluffs in thin conditions. We climbed it in two pitches, 1st in 60 meters, 2nd in 30-40 meters. take nothing longer than 17 cm screws.

We drove up Rutherford Creek and looked at the Glimmer twins but nothing looked thick enough to support body weight. Cheers

------------------

Matt S.

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We drove HWY 2 to Banks Lake over the weekend (12/16-17) and there is lots of climbable ice there. Some grade 5s top out and are completely formed. We did lots of 3s and 4s that were the first pitch of harder routes. The drive is pretty long, so make sure it is gonna be cold. Luckily, we made it while it was, and had a great weekend there with lots of options.

If you are not up for the drive, there is some stuff along Hwy 2 if you look hard enough. From the road it looked as though Drury was in, plus 3 or 4 other pillars and gullies along the road. Hubba Hubba is NOT in, or anything else to speak of in Icicle Canyon.

I'll have an up to date report on Banks from a friend who will be returning on 12/21.

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Does anyone have more details on Banks Lake? Where the routes are etc (I've not seen this in any books).

Ade

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1st a sense of adventure and the willingness to make the drive on possibilies is always good to find ice in washington. you gotta try. next in an old climbing magizine- there was an article outlinging several desert ice climbs. no 106 febuary 1988, i also have the washington desert: a climbers guide that gives good beta and nelson's 2nd guide book has outlined quite of fex of the routes over there. most of them are right next to the road along the hwy that parralels banks lake on the east side.

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I believe if you can find the old (late 70s/early 80s?) Albe Sole guidebook (has a bluish cover), it covers several of the older classics at Banks, including most of the ones on the far (west) side of the lake. Those routes are tough to approach, tho, without a "boat belay" in sketchy conditions...

------------------

 

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There are tons of climbs right next to the road. A guide book will help you find the areas to look, but you don't really need one. The 2nd edition of the Potterfield/Nelson is enough to get you around. Scouting from the road is easy as hell, and it is what you will be doing whether or not you are toting a guidebook.

The stuff on the west side of the lake looks killer from far away, and one would need a boat to approach those climbs from the bottom. But in no means will you need a boat belay to be able to fill a weekend with some ice bashing.

Matt S.- - Get the latest info from Mr. Leahy, he is returning today from Banks. I'm going to Tennessee for Xmas, see ya when I get back. We should make it back up to Lil' Wet sometime! Couple of us are going end of Jan.

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Climbed Pandome falls today. Led up right center and used only 11 and 13 cm screws. Hopefully it will cool down or it will soon fall.

Dale

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Regarding the Snoqualmie Pass area, I met a party of two on Sat. afternoon who had just climbed the South Gully of Guye Peak. They said they sunk a few not-so-great pickets but didn't need the ice screws -- no ice.

Doug Walker and I climbed the South Rib of Guye yesterday (4 hrs., 45 mins. car-to-car; fun climb). Conditions were mixed hard and soft snow and rock, with plenty of rock showing, but no ice to speak of. We looked down the East Gully on our descent and it looked like a nice safe snow climb right now. But hard to say from above if there's any ice in there. Obviously conditions and avalanche hazard will change if we get weather.

John Sharp

Bellevue

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Was out yesterday fooling around with my partner. We did the formation below Source lake. (Someone here was doing it mid Dec.? when it avalanched upon them) No fears about that as there has been no new snow in quite a while. The ice was plenty fat for leading but our 50 meter rope was to short for lowering or top ropeing. Thanks goes out to whoever left the nice fat orange rap cord on the tree.

Spoke with a few different parties that had been up to "look" at the N side of Chair. No ice to be had and no climbing of Chair from that side as far as I heard.

Smoker

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