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AlpineMonkey

Banks Lake Ice

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My girlfriend and I and one other self belay soloist were the only ones out at Banks today. We found perfect conditions. Climbed Devils Punch Bowl and Trotsky's Revenge. There was a bunch of other climbable stuff as well. Saturday we climbed Fuggs Falls, but I doubt its still climbable. If anyone else got out around the state I would appreciate hearing about it. Thanks in advance.

 

Trotsky's Revenge (Left), Devil Punch Bowl (Right)

DSCN3820.jpg

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Ypu think there's enough other stuff in to make worth the drive from seattle this weekend? How fat or thin was the other stuff?

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H202 was in but not fat, cable had not touched down yet. Nothing in the lower canyon is in. Some lines are close to being ready, but we keep getting one or two warm days a week thats hurting the forming. Lots of snow the last two days. Don't know if I would make the drive for the punchbowl, depends on how bad you want to get on ice. Maybe the last two days will help from mre up.

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I thought I could climb up some of the little crap with brushy topouts lower in the canyon last week. As said, some of the big stuff keeps forming, but hasen't really come in.

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Anyone wanna climb in Banks on Thursday? I am driving through and would be willing to tie into the sharp end for just about anything under WI5+. Pm me tonight or I won't get up early. Or better yet call me at 503 550 3373

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Went to Banks today and got shut down on all fronts.

 

1st: Coulee Police stopped me and gave me a ticket for speeding and then brought out the drug dog and took my grass, and pipe and bent me over.

 

2nd: Ice around devils sucks. daggers above drop down randomly and crash all over the lower pitchs. Zenith is getting close needs another cold snap. Cable isn't touching but close. Salt n Pepper looks in. The Pee wee climbs are wet and the top outs look a little bit to be desired. All in all we didn't climb any ice and got f'ck by the GD pinkertons.

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Sad to hear about the cops.

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

cascadeclimber & I hit banks for a little bit also yestertday. It certainly needs another week of cold.

We soloed the punchbowl and then later I led phase transition. The ice was good on both routes. There was a party TR'ing the Trotsky's Folly down low in the trees. We then walked in to go try Zenith but it was spraying way to much for us. A lot of the routes are really close but are exfoliating away from the tops of the cliffs.

We saw a group of TR'ers that had set up a rope on the Cable.

H202 is leadable but in 5+ or 6- shape but bogus screws. Salt & pepper looks in with the rock start. Shitting razorblades is not getting hardly any water this year. The PeeWees Playhouse area climbs looked to be coming along.

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

It is really sad to think that the weather people say we are having a slightly colder than normal winter with way more snow then normal and it is already late January and the Washington ice hasn't really kicked in yet. As I get older, The Washington ice season gets shorter and shorter and sometimes only prime for 2 weeks or less.

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Nozel and I climbed at Banks on Friday and Banks/Frenchmans on Saturday and concur with Jens - decent ice is close but still needs a lot more cold. If anything, especially in Leavenworth, the ice has been deteriorating over the past few days. Now, I'll basically repeat everything Jens said with some photo documentation.

 

Pic of Trotsky's and Devil's Punchbowl from Friday (1-18-08) which is good:

 

Trotsky_s_and_Devil_s_Punchbowl_1-18-08.jpg

 

Those deathcicles are not to be taken lightly! While waiting for Michael, I decided to quickly solo the Punchbowl. I was about 10 feet from the start and a few tons of ice few all over the route. We decided that Trotsky's was much "safer." After climbing it, we discussed decent options - either a v-thread rap of the route or the standard walk off below the deathcicles - I won the discussion and started to walk off just when another ton of ice rained over Trotsky's right where we would have rapped (a little right) of the climb. Great beginner's area except for the nearly constant threat of the ice dagger in the head...

 

The most-in classic looked like Zenith which is touched down:

 

Zenith_1-18-08.jpg

 

Yesterday, we were the party that TR'ed the Cable which is about 20 feet from fully touching down (can't see the bottom in this pic):

 

Cable_1-19-08.jpg

 

At about 200 feet of sustained WI5, that would be one proud lead!

 

Since we climbed out Banks, we drove over to Frenchman's Fugs later in the day and had a great time climbing this fun route.

 

Fugs_Overview_1-19-08.jpg

 

The first pitch was plastic, hero ice:

 

Doug_on_Fugs_1-19-08.jpg

 

The second pitch was really cool - mushroomlined ice chimneys with stemming and hooking and good screws on top on the 'shrooms. The last five feet is running water so Michael built a three pin anchor at his belay.

 

Nozel_on_Fugs_1-19-08.jpg

 

You can rap from this anchor to the base with two 60 ropes.

 

Hopefully, with the looming artic system, someone will start a thread next week about how great the ice is everywhere but I think we climbed all the current worthy ice in WA Friday and Saturday. Has anyone mentioned lately how awesome the skiing has been this year?

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i drove up from portland to meet my friend from couer d'alene in banks over the weekend. we hit pee wee's for a day 'cause the deathcicles didn't impress us. had some interesting times fightin' the brush, but overall made a full day's adventure out of the day. ice was peelin' off the headwalls a bit, but there was enough solid ice to make it fun. needs some more cold. can't believe the access there...will definitely be back to try the climbs that weren't formed.

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1/23 Update-

 

Fuggs in but wet. Get on it early

 

Top part of Frenchman's looks like it fell off.

 

Soap Lake B looks in (or whatever that skinny pillar is)

Lots of other ice at Soap lake, but not totally formed. maybe by the weekend

 

Guinness - nope

 

Champange looked good to go, but thinner than last year.

 

scotch on the rocks - nope

 

Children of the Sun is phycho wet. wouldn't be surprised to see it fall down in the next couple days.

 

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Nice work on Champagne Craig. Was it wet in the middle?

 

As of today:

 

Lenore: Beer climbs along the East side of the road looked in. mostly

 

Champange in

 

Children of the Sun - still too soft (talked to some folks who tried)

 

Absent Minded professor - forming, but not in

 

Brush Bash looks to be in WI3 shape. Not as brushy as the name implies. The other short climbs nearby are also in.

 

Salt N Pepper was climbed today

 

Zenith p1 looked like WI5+/6 but it's all there

 

Cable - kinda thin, but in

 

H202 - still lean

 

PeeWees playhouse - the easier climbs look to be in. looks wet

 

Emerald - in WI5 shape

 

Agent Orange looked mostly in. maybe weird at the top

 

Trotsky's Folly - in but very wet. think Wild Waves

 

Trotsky's Revenge - in, less wet

 

Punch Bowl - in with biggest "dagger" ever. more like a pillar

 

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There are many climbs formed between Euphrata and Coulee, well worth the drive. Easy or hard, many top-ropable, short approaches. Today's conditions were cold and hard, brittle ice.

 

Amazingly, Zenith by 11AM was flowing like a downpour at the middle section yet temps were so low that all our gear - draws, tools, hood - was encrusted in ice. The ice was semi-plastic, depending on wetness. At the same time Salt And Pepper was dry and very hard, brittle but not "a horror show".

 

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Champagne was wet in the middle.

 

My partner got sick today. If anyone would want to climb with me or need a partner, please give me a call today. I live in quincy and can get to banks in 1 hour 10 min or so. I can get to Frenchma coulee in 10 minutes.

Edited by AlpineMonkey

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craig,

 

I cant go until after 7 tonight but if you are still feeling the need I could meet you at the coulle after for some night climbing.

 

Andrew

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I doubt a .22 would do much, but a 12 gauge with buckshot might work. I plan to give it a shot next week.

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Of the big climbs from Ephrata to Electric City:

 

Champagne - in

 

Scotch on the Rocks - not even close for the upper bit

 

Clockwork Orange - nope

 

Children of the Sun - looks in from the road but as Dave says sounds wet.

 

Cable - touching down, but super chandeliers

 

H202 - leadable I guess. It was our backup plan if Salt and Pepper sucked.

 

Salt and Pepper - Very pleasant outing. The upper pillars are very-hard-but-not-brittle ice that takes a very long time to place a screw in. Double v-threads in place. Use 60s.

 

Shitting Razorblades - as someone else said ealier, no where near the shape it was in last year! Not in.

 

Zenith is in 5 shape, but its a complete drenching shower even yesterday when it was pretty cold. There is a bail sling just below the few crux moves on the left (not ours) and lower down in the mushrooms on the right (that's ours). The ice is pretty good, though. It needs some real extended cold to not be so wet. (I know that Weekend_Climberz has scrambled around to the top of Zenith before, so if you do have to bail off a screw you can always retrieve it.)

 

Punchbowl/Trotsky's/Folly - all in, with lots of traffic Saturday

 

Don't know about Electric Avenue, didnt drive that far.

 

Driving conditions in Eastern Wa are pretty challenging right now.

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