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Farrgo

Ice Stoke Thread 2010

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Can't take it anymore... my personal 2010 ice stoke is boiling over in a picture frenzy...

 

73.jpg

Hydrophobia

64.jpg

Suffer Machine

46.jpg

Cryophobia

212.jpg

Haffner Creek

127.jpg

Upper Weeping Wall

39.jpg

Cryophobia Pitch 2 or 3

56.jpg

Suffer Machine Pitch 1

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murchison.jpg

Murchison Falls

elevatorshaft.JPG

Elevator Shaft

magicallydel.jpg

Magically Delicious

moonlight.jpg

Moonlight

 

Look at that fat bastard in flight at Haffner! Hopefully he'll learn to hold onto his tools this year...

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I'm stoked because my wife decided to start ice climbing again and I got new leashlesstools for my birthday. I'm finally joining the 21 century, already in progress.

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I am stoked about the new location of the gates on Hwy 20 and what it means for ice climbing along Hwy 20 :rawk:

 

Are you sure the new gates will affect winter access? By my reading the highway will still be gated at the same spots in the winter:

 

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

 

 

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

 

From: WSDOT

Date: Fri, 8 Oct 2010 18:39:11 -0500 (CDT)

To:

Subject: WSDOT North Cascades Highway Update

 

 

 

 

Hi all,

 

We just finished up installation of two new closure gates on the North Cascades Highway. They’re not for use during the winter – those gate locations are determined by elevation, roadway design and lots of other things. The new gates are there for dealing with a mud or rock slide or possibly even a forest fire during the months the NCH isn’t closed by snow. (We’ve had several such events over the past few years.)

 

The rub has been that using the winter closure gates to close the highway in the summer cuts off access to lots of trailheads and campgrounds.

 

The new gates are on either side of the area west of Rainy Pass where we’ve had those “summer” slides.

 

The new eastbound gate is at MP 146.75, about 13 miles further east than the winter closure gate at MP 134. It means that from the west side, you will have access to trailheads at East Creek, Canyon Creek, Panther Creek, Eastbank and Happy Creek.

 

The new westbound gate is at MP 156.7, just west of Rainy Pass. From the east side, that opens 14 miles of highway and access to the Washington Pass Overlook and trailheads or campgrounds at Lone Fir, Cutthroat Creek, Blue Lake, Bridge Creek and Rainy Pass.

 

This has been kind of an “under the radar” effort. Winthrop city officials wanted it and so did the Forest Service, but they didn’t have any available funding. WSDOT’s NW region and NC region maintenance administrators scraped together $13,000, which would cover the costs, if we did everything ourselves.

 

Over the last few weeks, our bridge crew got the materials and built the bases and gates and signs at our shop in Wenatchee. They installed the bases a couple weeks ago (some of you e mailed asking me what we were doing) and they spent Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, installing the gates and signs. (It takes some time, even in the summer, for the concrete bases to cure, before they’ll support the weight of the gates.)

 

Here’s the link to the FlickR page where some pictures of the new gates will be posted soon: www.flickr.com/photos/wsdot/

 

There’s also another new feature on the North Cascades web page – A “Frequently Asked Questions” FAQ page. (Dustin dug through the last couple year’s worth of e-mail that we’ve gotten and produced a page with all the information in one place.) Check it out – I’ll bet there are questions there that you hadn’t even thought of yet! www.wsdot.wa.gov/Traffic/Passes/NorthCascades/FAQ.htm

 

Jeff Adamson adamsoj@wsdot.wa.gov (509) 667-2815

 

PS: Thank you for the many kind e mails regarding the award WSDOT won for this newsletter.

 

 

 

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Serious question.... if an ice coaster like myself were to happen to plop down in the PNW for a couple weeks this winter - how hard would it be to find consistent partners? NH is nice but the Cascades are calling my name!

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If the ice is in...it would be easy because everyone will be wanting to get on the WI in WA for the short time it is here.

 

Just so you know, I think only one of these pictures are from WA. The rest are in MT and AB (I think).

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Serious question.... if an ice coaster like myself were to happen to plop down in the PNW for a couple weeks this winter - how hard would it be to find consistent partners? NH is nice but the Cascades are calling my name!

 

Finding partners would not be your biggest obstacle.

 

If you want to climb water ice, well we have that, sometimes, but if water ice is your game you are better off going to the Canadian Rockies or Ouray or Hyalite, or Cody or really anywhere else but the Cascades. Except maybe Florida. The ice season here is so fickle and some years only lasts a few weeks. If you are interested in winter alpine climbing then you stand a better chance of finding something climbable.

 

But then there is the weather which during the winter in any given two week stretch has a 98.3% chance of sucking ass. That said we consistently get a ridge of high pressure right around the President's Day weekend and can last a few days or a couple of weeks.

 

So, my $0.02: If you really want to come during the winter plan to come mid-late February, investigate potential winter alpine routes in addition to water ice, and be flexible; if you ski then bring skis so you can at least hit the lifts if the avalanche danger keeps you out of the 'pine and the water ice is more water than ice. Bring rock shoes and a harness and hit one of the many climbing gyms if the weather is completely miserable.

 

That said, winter is my favorite season for alpine climbing.

Edited by danielpatricksmith

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JonH, as a former eastcoaster, westcoaster and in-the-rockies-er, you'd be a mad fool to leave the east coast to go ice climbing. The ice climbing is absolute world class - you NEVER have to worry about avalanches, about thermal inversions, chinooks, whatever. the concentration and quality of routes in the east is absolutely phenomenal. I'm actually going to be flying from Canmore to NY just to get a week of ice in this winter. Poko, Smuggs, the Lake, Pont Rouge the list goes on. You want some big routes on granite? How about Parc des Grand Jardins (Quebec)? Mont Saint Pierre? Fuckin' A.

I spent last winter in the rockies - yeah it's awesome, but the amount of climbing you do is going to be limited by ALL the other factors that are eliminated on the east coast, with the exception of Mt. Washington - "Can't do PC or Mixed Master today 'cause the avy hazard is too high, let's go to Haffner again" "Oh the Parkway's closed today, let's go to Whiteman's (a 2 hour ski)" How far do you have to walk to get to the base of positive thinking? Maybe 10 minutes. Last call? maybe 10 minutes. Ragnarock? maybe an hour. Remission? 10 minutes..

Do you like walking? Or climbing? Do you like high quality ice on bomber rock (Pont Rouge excluded)? Do you like wasting bluebird days because the avy danger is too high to climb the route you want?

If you want to climb ice - stay on the east coast man, if you want to climb peaks, well that's a different story.

 

Graham

Edited by EastCoastBastard

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Serious question.... if an ice coaster like myself were to happen to plop down in the PNW for a couple weeks this winter - how hard would it be to find consistent partners? NH is nice but the Cascades are calling my name!

 

Dude! Tell them to call back in late July!

 

Partners aren't hard to come by. But good climbing is. Weather and avi dependant and way worse than Canmore generally...and Canmore can be bad enough. But when stuff is in, it is amazing. Lived in Canmore and the cascades and when it is good they are every bit the equal. It just aint in very often around here. But you have to walk/ski some..most times for hrs to anything worthwhile. And the skiing can really suck here as well in comparison.

 

Montana, Bozeman or Cody are good bets. Canmore or Cham as well. World class locations but the Cascades aren't, for ice in the winter imo. I make do 'cuz I live here. And then spend a lot of time driving to the Parkway. I'll be in Cham the entire month of March this year if that tells you anything.

 

Photo courtesy of Jon Griffith:

MG_6438.jpg

 

More here:

http://www.alpineexposures.com/blogs/chamonix-conditions/1529242-late-to-say-im-sorry-aiguille-verte

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Dry tooling and Ice climbing in Gressoney, Aosta valley, Italy

 

 

 

[video:vimeo]8978565

Edited by Zoran

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Thanks for the replies everyone. Got so stoked I posted without Googling first. It seems the Cascades aren't the way to go.

 

I've got a free flight voucher courtesy of Airtran. I was gonna use it on ice this season, but ECB had some wise words... I really don't need to go anywhere at all to climb ice. I think I'll save it for Seattle to do Liberty Ridge next year. Anybody looking for a partner?

Edited by Jon H

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Jon H, please take everything you read here with a grain of salt!

 

Sorry guys but it's called "Cascade Whiners" for a reason!

 

I am a former 'wrong' coast climber (NH Native) and yes in many ways it's better to be back east as an ice climber, but mainly if you are a weekend warrior. I honestly really only miss the Lake, but I can go to the CDN rockies and have way more routes to choose from at the same grade.

 

As for WA, yes ice is fickle here, really depends on the year. Even in a bad season you will get on some quality ice and when the ice is in there many excellent routes to be had. Still, to be happy as an ice climber you must be able to travel and take long trips (Bozeman, Cody, BC and the CDN Rockies).

 

This is my 2nd time living in WA (as a die hard ice climber) and I am loving it. I've learned to adapt to the conditions and most importantly always have a back up plan!

 

Good luck and all that being said I think it's wise that you wait and come out to do Liberty Ridge. It's a fantastic route and we generally have very long stretches of good weather in the summer.

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Local stokage:

 

a8.jpg

 

Who Needs Ice?

 

a6.jpg

 

2hr approach

 

a31.jpg

 

Unclimbed and 200+ ft

 

a51.jpg

 

In from December to April

 

a11.jpg

 

Solid rock and bomber cams.

 

a41.jpg

 

Shouldn't be long...

 

a21.jpg

 

Has been in each year, for the past few years (at least).

 

Hard to argue about PNW versus New England ice. You can climb ice the vast majority of days from mid-November to early-March in New England. Also, it is rad.

 

There is way more ice in the PNW than conventional wisdom would have, but you have to work for it. There are only a handful days when you can get on the low hanging fruit.

 

The PNW is not the place to come, or live for ice cragging. But then again, when its good, the PNW is AMAZING. And its good more than people think. Just be ready to walk, get shut down, get psyched and do it again next week.

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Thanks for the stokage! The pic of Moonlight is as fat as I have ever seen. Murchison still gives me goose bumps every time I see it, love that one! Way to represent Strobach!

 

I think the key to being happy here is to be a "PNW-based climber", which means you make regular trips to Banff, Lillooet, and other points during the times when ice is not in session within a few hours of home. Multiple trips to Banff before the new year, followed by mass AT skiing and local ice climbing, then once March rolls around shifting slowly to more skiiing, is just all goodness

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Fat enough in the Ghost already 11/14/10.

 

Tiny helmet head on the rope line from 60m off the ground on a nice plumb line of soft water ice.

 

PB140184.JPG

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Withering Heights, the Ghost, 11/14/10

aab.sized.jpg

 

and Daniel pulling the bulge on the left at half height, 30m+ off the deck.

 

aae.sized.jpg

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