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2011/12 Washington Ice Conditions


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climbed in source lake basin today:

the telemetry from the past few days suggested pretty cold temps and very little precip. however, there was quite a bit of fresh snow on the ground. it snowed all day, and we could see accumulation at the end of the day. it was warmer in the morning and got colder as the day progressed. bring hardshell and synthetic insulation.





we approached without flotation (not recommended. at least bring gaiters for postholing). huge props to rachel for going all-terrain on the snow and breaking trail through some very wallowy sections.




it was REALLY overcast and disorienting this morning (and we knew exactly where to go). make sure you have your bearings.


we first approached source lake line. p2 was too thin for my flavor, thin and chopped up at the bottom. looks like it's gotten quite a bit of traffic, so i'm sure there are some awesome climbers getting on it. i took a few pictures on rappel:



we went right instead and went up the deceptively steep curtain. there were no pick holes, and it was fun and plenty challenging for a warm-up.




we rapped from the top and did a high traverse to flow reversal. very mushy ice on p1. we did a long p1 to the startof the crux curtain, i was able to place 3 screws the entire pitch, most just fell out in the mush.





the belay was a shower stall = i got soaked. the curtain was very mushy in places and sheared a lot. it also had some generous pick holes, which definitely made it easier. super fun moves, but the "ice" was very ...meh and scary in places.




this is my ultra-contrasted photo that's supposed to show how water-logged it is:






awesome day all-in-all!

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Climbed Hubba Hubba on Mon. and it was still good, although hollow or mushy in spots for screws. We climbed the left facing mixed corner on the right side of the main flow in two long pitches. Takes great gear... used KB's, lost arrow, cams, tricam, nuts, screws, even a Spectre. Easy climbing, but fun! Conditions should be better through the week, as temps are supposed to be dropping. Snow was stable for us but heavier snow over rain crust could be a problem later.


Drury Falls looks really fat from the road.


Drove by Banks, so checked on The Cable and H2O2 Mon. Morning, and they were there, but too rotten to climb. Colder weather this week could have them back in shape.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Has anybody been by Millennium Wall recently and got a look at the condition of ice?


What about Hubba Hubba? I'm assuming that Millennium usually has similar conditions to Hubba based on location, elevation, and aspect???



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  • 3 weeks later...


My two buddies went and did the NF of chair last Saturday, (while I had food poisoning from a funky enchiladas :sick: )

They told me it was mostly a steep snow climb, with a breakable crust and only VERY short sections of Ice. They had trouble placing decent protection for most of the route until they were in the trees. They did say however, that the NE Buttress looked beautiful and in the sun and they wished they had done that instead. I am heading up there tomorrow to do the NE Buttress, I will let you know how it goes!

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