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kurthicks

WA Sno-Parks wants to do Ouray in WA!

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Posted in access too, but I got this in my inbox... Any parking lots or roads that you want plowed in the winter? My take is to get them to plow stuff so we can access the existing ice and alpine easier. Imagine the road to strobach being plowed...

 

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The Washington State Winter Recreation Program is developing a strategic plan for the future. At the moment it does not include any climbing.

 

As a member of the Advisory Committee I believe we can have great ice climbing for our citizens in the winter. I have seen other states where water is sprayed on the sides of canyons to have ice climbing parks.

 

It needs your input to figure out where these could be. It needs your input as to where Sno-Parks would be needed for winter climbing.

 

Take a look at: http://www.parks.wa.gov/winter/strategy.asp and give them your comments.

 

Please let your members and other climbing interests know that now is the time for them to point the strategic planner in the direction of where their interests would be served.

 

Every May grants from the program are given for groups who wish to develop winter recreation in Washington. In the past these have included Nordic skiing clubs for grooming trails and building centers and snowmobile clubs for building extensive trails across the state. It has included dog sleders for special trails and Sno-Parks. I do not believe we have ever had a request from climbing interests. The grant forms will be online in March.

 

A coalition of climbing clubs who could mobilize volunteers and matching monies could do great things in the state.

 

If you have any questions or I can be of help please contact me at:

 

Michael Gruskin

MGruskin@hotmail.com

T: 206.612.2525

 

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Great post kurt!

Virtually nothing is plowed in the winter in WA. As a result, most of the best climbers in the cascades just go to Banff, Lillooet, or lift ski. I'd love to see a few more forest roads plowed. As for ice farming though, I've talked to a couple of "farmers" and as mild as our winters are it would have to be like at 7,000+ to be really good. Leavenworth is having an OK ice winter but it will proabably be shit for next 10 years like it usually is. What is everyones dream three roads to be plowed?

 

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Hwy 20 would be great, but kind of a death trap, eh?

 

My votes:

Glacier Creek Rd. (Heliotrope Ridge) cause I live in the 'Ham.

Cascade River Road (a lot farther than currently open)

Chiwawa or Teanaway River Rds.

 

Cheers.

Jimbo

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Don't know what roads you could plow that go up high enough for consistent freezing? But you could farm at some place like above Paradise at 7,000 ft or so and then hike up to it?

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Plowing the road to Hidden Lakes TH off of Cascade River Road would provide access for excellent water ice climbing, winter mountaineering, and epic skiing.

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my 3 would be

mountain loop

cascade river road

hwy 20

 

thats not very likely

 

but maybe

mountain loop

highway 20 to wa pass from the east

and one strobach road

would be more practical

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While getting some access roads plowed sounds admirable, my guess is you'd get pretty dismal results trying to farm ice in Washington. It just doesn't stay cold enough long enough most winters. With the regularity of our "pineapple express" warm fronts, I'm guessing you'd get wet rock for the greatest part of your efforts. Now, if you could develop a process that would guarantee temps below 20f for a month or more at a time, you might have something...

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WSDOT can't even keep the interstate plowed. To run a state plow truck for a 12hr shift costs around $3000. Most plow trucks are not set up for forest roads, gonna need a loader with a blade, bout $1500 for a shift. Prolly need a fleet of four to be effective, so that would put the weekend plowing of Strobach at about $12000. What a waste of money.

 

Hwy 20 year round is possible, and by no means more dangerous then alot of mountain roads in europe or canada for that matter. Again it comes down to budget and the cost of keeping hwy20 plowed comes nowhere close to the revenue earned from the communites directly effected.

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