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Alex_Mineev

Ice conditions at Alpental?

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They were in good shape last Saturday. There were perhaps 30 climbers on Saturday all trying to climb 1/2 dozen lines. The term 'goat rodeo' came to mind. I would expect the same this weekend.

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Reports of waist deep snow on Sunday led me to thing that they might be buried or very Avie prone at the least. Anybody up there Sunday?

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Alpental Falls received several inches of new early Sunday, but the grovelling and point releases we made climbing it in sheer boredom that day left a nice trough...enjoy.

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Went up to the ice near the top of the big chair lift at alpental today (wed) it was very thin but sweet. Too thin for screws so we top roped it. It's about 50ft tall with the bottom half WI3 and the top 4-5.

 

the bottom half was thin ice over slab the top was chandeliers pillars and mushrooms with two small roofs. Never had so much fun on such an insignificant looking climb. We ran laps on different lines, you can really work on your technique when your not worried about pro. Did quite a bit of hooking, primarily at first to save the ice for multiple laps but toward the end of the day (and into night with headlamps) really noted how much energy it saves. You're all pumped out cranking a roof and you reach up and swing repeatedly to get a good stick, it's tiring, when hooking you just reach up and crank, sweet. The last headlamp pitch I think I hooked about half the placements.

 

weather report said winter storm advisory, never saw it. It was gusting a little and a little graupel snow but no storm.

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In condition but watch for avalanches. I am ashamed to admit it but I took some friends out to Alpental to climb the falls on Saturday and Tuesday. The ice is okay - thinish at the base - thicker towards the vertical step - and decent on the step itself. If you decide to climb the pointless pitch above like we did - it is rather hollow and rings like a drumhead in places, but was quite climbable.

 

Saturday was indeed insane. We showed up at about 6:30 and were the first ones on the ice, as a couple of other parties who showed up at the same time were heading for bigger and better objectives on Chair Peak. I expected 2-3 other desperate parties to show up throughout the day, but by the time my friend was seconding the first pitch a column with no less than 11 climbers rolled into the base - and they were apparently not part of an organized group. Amazing.

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I was there on Saturday...

We did Alpental #2,3,4...#2 was very thin, I took a nice long shower in a few spots, breaking through curtains, pounding pins into ice....it was fun mixed climbing..see pic in gallery. The other two routes were cruiser, and although thin and wet, they had solid pro and fun climbing.

We drove all the way to Washington to do Chair North Face, but avy danger even last saturday seemed to high to risk bigdrink.gif

Narada falls at Mt. Rainier was close to being in, and pillars are touching down... but it was still to thin to be safe. So we went and did the castle on sunday, which was a nice, and fun relaxing ski with a stimulating mixed pitch at the top! probably would have been safer if we used a rope...

Hope this helps wave.gif

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