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first ascent [TR] Coquihalla Ice- FA - The Drool In The Lotus (100m WI3) 2/18/2006

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Climb: Coquihalla Ice-FA - The Drool In The Lotus (100m WI3)


Date of Climb: 2/18/2006


Trip Report:

After driving out to Hope yesterday and scoping the available ice I spent last night hunting for a partner. One friend was flying in from Edmonton for the weekend but I thought it would be cool to go as a party of 3... many partners had other plans. Finally my friend got off the plane and called me

"Uh, yeah... I looked at the temps online and thought it was too warm so I didn't bring my ice gear." crazy.gif


So this morning I woke up late grabbed some tools and drove out to checkacheckacheck it out and maybe find something I could solo. There were a couple lines out by Sowaqua Creek I had been eying for a while.




This thing is still unclimbed. It is what I had hoped to climb. It catches a lot of sun and might be rotten but it looks real purty. Seemed too hard to solo.


Hidden in the gully north of the next buttress north there is more ice. I parked and walked to where I could see it. It looked pretty thin. I decided to bail. However, while I was driving to the turnaround I got a better view and saw more ice. OK, I'll go take a look.



The route from the highway. red dots are bottom and top of the ice.


The approach was the usual one hour plod uphill through talus and vine maple. I saw quite a few deer and coyote tracks and one set of what might be bobcat. Seems like a popular spot for the wildlife. snaf.gif


When I got to the base of the ice it seemed climbable so I racked up. I had carried two ropes up in case it might be a rap descent but it seemed like I could walk off or downclimb so I left the ropes at the base.


There was a WI2 start on the left but some fun mixed bouldering straight up so I climbed that. Thin ice and good turf sticks, probably M3 or so.



Route from the base with mixed boulder start visible, before I knocked half of it down.


Once above the bottom mixed step I climbed onto the ice. There was 30m or so of thin WI2 with some snow and running water, then a terrace. Above the terrace was a fun, narrow WI3 corner with some good stemming off the rock behind and generally thin shitty ice. I was glad I was climbing solo because there weren't many spots where the ice would have taken screws.


The last section was about 35m and was a wider curtain with options ranging from a WI4 looking pillar to a soaking wet WI2 gully. I picked a dry line between the two extremes that featured a body length vertical step and some thin ice bulges, good WI3 with nice rests. The ice emerged from some munge at the top so I turf-tooled and bushwacked through the prickle bushes into the forest above.


I figured I could walk off climbers' right. So, I wandered over that way with my crampons still on. After traversing a bunch of ledges I got into another gully system that had a beautiful, overhanging black-and white streaked basalt rock wall covered with wind-whipped icicles growing out in crazy directions. It was also catching sun and running with water and ice was falling off regularly. It had been -6C when I left the car but was considerably warmer in the sun.


I stuck to the base of the overhanging wall and all the ice fell away from me instead of on me. Downclimbed a rubble chute and traversed back to my pack, then headed down. As soon as I took my crampons off for the descent I took a good fall and slid about 50m down frozen talus on my ass moon.gif before stopping in a snowdrift fortunately with no holes in my new pants cantfocus.gif




Red line shows ascent and descent.


After getting back to the car I decided to call the route "The Drool In The Lotus" which is a pun on one of the names for Buddhism. Unlike Muslims I don't think Buddhists are going to hunt me down for joking about their religion?


This was a fun little climb that seemed a lot like Rambles Centre in terms of overall difficulty and style of climbing. and best of all I was back in time to meet some hiking friends in da Wack for beer bigdrink.gif


Gear Notes:

two tools



Approach Notes:

Park at Sowaqua Creek exit, route is visible from north end of onramp. walk across highway bridge then follow pipeline road for 200m then straight uphill thru vine maples for one hour.

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