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kevino

2011/12 Washington Ice Conditions

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Saw an ice climb above the end of Snow Lake on my various foray's out there to ski and ice climb over the past few weeks. Headed out there on Sunday and climbed it with John. It's a very nice 2 pitch WI-3... and the ice was darn good... definitely worth the walk....looks like "tvashtarkatena" and company climbed this route in 2009 and dubbed it "Oompa Loompa"...

see their TR on CC.com at http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/865079#Post865079

 

Here are some photos...

 

The route

PC100408.JPG

 

Near the base of the route

P7060054.JPG

 

Looking directly up the route...

P7060052.JPG

 

John leads up the 1st pitch

P7060058.JPG

 

John on the hanging belay for pitch #2

P7060062.JPG

 

John leading up the 2nd pitch

P7060066.JPG

 

Looking down at the lake from the top of the climb

P7060073.JPG

 

 

 

 

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Headed up to Lillooet, BC (I know it's not WA but close enough) based on a weatherunderground.com weather report that said temps would be in the 30-32 range. It was 53 in Lillooet so needless to say not a lot of climbing was done. I've included a couple of pictures so you can take a look. Most of the stuff, outside of IcyBC, probably won't be in climbable conditions for at least another week/two weeks (cold weather provided) Moral of the story: Weatherunderground sucks for temps.

IcyBC. It was 40 degrees.

icybc.jpg

Weeping Wall. There was stuff falling off this all afternoon.

 

weep.jpg

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Icicle Canyon:

 

saw a party on the Funnel on 12/16; not fat, but doable

 

Shipman and I climbed two lines in Rainbow Gully today - very thin, - hook, don't swing... also found two high-quality pitches of WI3 in the tight drainage just upstream of Icicle Buttrest - not a flow I was familiar with, but we followed tracks, so obviously somebody knows it -- much better formed than Rainbow

 

"Careno" Right & Left (local old fart purists note that these climbs form on a section of cliff that the original Beckey guidebook to the Icicle calls "Candlestein Cliff", so we persist in calling them "Candlestein Right & Left" since they're really not very close to Careno Crag...) are both sufficiently formed to maybe climb, but the right-hand line looks very minimal

 

will continue to update as conditions evolve...

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^What DPS said. In a good year there will be a little pillar/steep section to the trees instead of rock.

Edited by kevino

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Hubba Hubba from Sunday 12/18:

 

IMG_05292.JPG

 

Too wet and thin for us ice leading noobs so we turned our attention to the easy fun-looking flow off to the left. Geared up and headed over, but it too had lots of surface water running down the whole thing so we bailed.

 

IMG_0530.JPG

 

Temps were probably in the low 40s up there on Sunday.

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Went up to lake angeles in the olympics today, ice was good, there are several lines that are in and good to go. Unfortunately I did not have a camera. I did have my head camera and am working on uploading some footage.

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Climbed the north face of chair yesterday. The first pitch was thin but made for fun climbing. After that it was just a steep snow cruise until the small bulge towards the top.

 

We also did the north face of Bryant peak last Monday. We found the first pitch to be steep thin ice followed by about 50' of sweet mixed ground. After that it was steep snow all the way to the top. I have to say it was a very cool route though. I think it is at least as good as the routes on chair peak.

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Drove out to Vantage yesterday. Frenchman's was the closest to being in, but not quite.

IMG_00253.JPG

 

Continued along the road to Ancient Lake. Mostly found some futuristic looking sh*t.

IMG_00414.JPG

 

Tears of a Clown was in shape but too steep/chandeliered/mushroomed/sloppy for me to get on the sharp end. We decided to hang a TR and ran a couple laps.

IMG_00522.JPG

 

All in all a pretty sweet day.

IMG_00591.JPG

 

...but be sure to protect your beaver. Ours didn't make it.

IMG_00493.JPG

Edited by yikes

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Strobach Dec 23-24

 

All pictures: http://www.flickr.com/photos/laurelfan/sets/72157628571844095/with/6573910165/

 

Approach: Low snow makes the roads decent (got up to about 1/2 mile before the 1201/609 intersection, 2wd, no chains, just a bit of sliding around and scraping ice chunks with the bottom), the forest easy going, and the talus field and separation gully very annoying.

 

Conditions: It was kind of warm: mid to high 30s day and night (was 23 and raining (?!) when we drove through Easton on Friday so it looks like our friend the inversion got us again). Anything facing west-ish was falling down in the afternoon. Stuff facing north-ish and hidden in deeper chimneys looked better. We saw puncture marks in Ice Dreams and First on the Left.

 

6573909887_06750b25c8_m.jpg

Dropline

 

6573910165_ef6e3437aa_m.jpg

Sudden Change of Plan and Sad Ce'Bu

 

We ended up toproping First on the Left, which currently has a fun pillar and a short mossy mixed section at the bottom and then is relatively thick and low angle -- probably fine for leading (just not by me on the first ice route of the season).

 

6573911467_fdd3194991_m.jpg

First On The Left

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James and I skied in to Snow Lake on 12/22. We were looking for some ice that had been reported here, but didn't see anything that looked great, so we skied almost to the end of the lake. These routes are in the last big gully that comes down to the lake on the South side.

Looking up to climbers right you can see three good lines. we climbed a mixed line about 300-400 ft. vertically up the gully. We had to bail before reaching the top due to darkness. The line might be longer than 2 pitches. It's at least two rope-stretchers, though.

 

routes2.jpg

We climbed the line on the right of the pic. The line higher up is probably harder than it looks in the pic. both are 2 pitches. The other line is at the base of the rock, climbers right of the gully

 

climb8.jpg

At the bottom

 

belay4.jpg

Top of the first pitch.

Edited by coldiron

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Hiked up to Millennium Wall today. Its about 40% in, with one line that looked like a thin 3+ lead. 3 guys were already TRing it. After a few laps, the crux lower section probably got scarier. I moved on to the Goatee and found the best ice I have yet seen in the L-town area! Very fat! About 80% in. Soloed the whole thing, with about 25ft of 3 and lots of low angle stuff. Not for the hardman, but it was nice to be on some fat ice with no chandeliers or running water!

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Anyone have any idea what Alpental is going to look like after this warm spell? Is it worth going to have a look-see tomorrow?

 

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I disagree. There has been some stuff in around Source Lake which is pretty high, so that probably survived the warmth. That said it's supposed to be pretty stormy with bad avy conditions up there tomorrow, so it probably wont be the best time to go up there. Sounds like ski season has returned, but I'll admit to being a little bummed out about the lack of roadside ice so far this year. The Source Lake line sure is a long walk for a couple of pitches. They're calling for some pretty warm temps in Ltown next week.

 

http://www.nwac.us/weatherdata/alpental/10day/

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My buddy Jonah and I attempted New York Gully on Snoqualmie Pk. yesterday (12/31/11). We made a bad route-finding decision and wasted hours on the approach, Then started the climb off-route and had to bail after our ramp petered out and it became certain that we would have to finish in the dark if we pushed through. I think we were above the proper ramp system. The one we chose was pretty sketchy in spots, and very hard to protect.

I thought it would be obvious which was the proper starting point but it was not.

 

Avalanche conditions were overall very stable with the exception of localized wind slab, which we found in a couple spots. We found a 14" slab just below the notch dropping into Thunder Creek Basin. On lower elevation, open slopes north of Phantom slide path, we also found a weak layer 9" down. We did ski both of the spots that showed instability (after careful analysis and with judicious route selection). Everything felt really solid, no fracturing settling etc... The skiing was awesome. Avie conditions were expected to stabilize further today. The current NWAC avie forecast was quite accurate when compared with our observations, so reading it should give you a good idea of conditions.

There is quite a bit of ice forming up on Snoqualmie Peak. Just a bit more and the routes should get really good!

 

 

 

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