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[TR] Lillooet, B.C. - Deeping Wall / Loose Lady 2/11/2012

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Trip: Lillooet, B.C. - Deeping Wall / Loose Lady

 

Date: 2/11/2012

 

Trip Report:

Lillooet Waterfall Ice climbing trip 2012 (Feb 11-12)

 

Friday:

Jason and I got in to Lillooet, B.C. just before 5 PM on Friday night after the long drive up from Seattle (~6 hrs). Most of our group had come up on Thursday night to get some climbing in on Friday, but after talking to them about their days it sounded like there was a lot more hiking than climbing to be had. This made us unsure about the prospects for the weekend, but we were here so we had to hope to find some good ice. After some beers and dinner we hit the sack at the Reynolds hotel.

 

Saturday:

At 7 AM I headed out to Marble Canyon with Micah, Jeff, and Joe V. The approach to the wall is short, but requires straight across a frozen lake. We were all a little aprehensive about this since the weather had been unseasonably warm and was already 34°. On the drive out we passed a group of about 12 ice-fishermen situated near the middle of another lake, so we thought this was a good sign for the integrity of the ice. Strapping on our crampons from the car we headed out to cross the lake. There were pools of standing water on the surface which further concerned us. Micah hopped on the ice a bit and it appeared solid, but we still took a little longer approach so as to avaoid the deeper sections of the lake.

 

We got to the wall and the ice looked awesome. There were some wet sections, but overall the ice looked thick and plastic. Micah and Joe put up a TR on Deeping Wall and Jeff and I started taking runs at it. I made it up the 50m wall on my first go, but due to bad form my hands were locked into claws by the time I was lowered down. The tools sunk in with little effort and there were great feet which made a route that went at WI4+ / WI5- feel easier. After Jeff, Joe, and Micah all got a run on the wall I took another go, this time focusing more on my form. It made a huge difference and I felt like I was able to pick up where I had left off from last year. I got up the wall quicker, didn’t need to stand to rest, and my hands were not fatigued. Next we went over to Waite for Spring. This was classified as an ice route in the guide book, but had only a small patch of ice making it more of a mixed route, but really just a dry tool route on this day. Climbing on rock with crampons and ice tools felt very awkward at first. You could get small holds with them, but learning how to position them took a little tinkering. We all made it up about half way, one smooth section restricing passage for each of us. On Jeff’s second go he slipped and dropped a tool. It came pinwheeling down and bounced a good 5 feet in the air, luckily missing us. We spent the rest of our time practicing placing screws, heading out around 3:30 PM.

 

While we were climbing we had the pleasure of watching the man (now 65 years old) who had done the FA of Icy BC successfully lead a mixed route rated M9. This routes bit on rock was an overhanging dihedral – Burley. Later, Gary was climbing Deeping Wall when a chunk of ice hit him in the forehead. He got himself together and began to climb again, but then had to be lowered because he couldn’t see through the blood running into his eyes. In true hard-ass form he got right back on the route after getting the bleeding under control.

 

MarbleCanyonLake.JPG

 

IcyBC1.JPG

Climbers on Icy BC

 

DeepingWall.JPG

 

OnDeepingWall.JPG

Jeff on Deeping Wall

 

Sunday:

Again up and headed to the falls by 7 AM. For today I would be climbing with Tom R, Rick S, and Allison. Our destination was Loose Lady, a multi-pitch route with some steep ice. I climbed with Rick who started up the first pitch of some steppy WI3/4. When we were up at the belay I took the lead, again over steppy WI2 with some short WI3 sections. The next section was a bit steeper so Rick took the lead again. The ice was plastic and the tools sunk in usually in one swing. It was a little cooler this morning, but still felt pretty warm for a place with hanging ice. The next section had a shallower grade so I ran it out to a cruxy bit. After moving up and through a narrow slot past a boulder with thin ice we came to the base of the money pitch of our day. The pitch started at WI4- for about 30 feet, eased off to a roughly 50 foot section of WI3, and then pitched up for the final 35-40 feet of serious WI5. It looked awesome. Tom took the first lead and did it with impecable style, including clearing out some chandalery rotton ice in order to place a screw near the toughest part of the climb. Allison followed up in suit, then Rick began his lead, again very adroitly. When I got to the last 10 feet where the ice was vertical, placing tools was more of a blind objective. Swinging the tool, I heard a good thud as the pick sunk in. A delacate traverse right gave footing for placing the second tool and I pulled myself up over the top. Up and to the right were the final two curtains. Tom and Allison were already on the left, which looked fatter; so we went right, which looked good down low, but thin up high. Rick led up this about 50 feet and set an anchor to bring me up. We built a couple V-threads to begin our rappells. Because of the short pitch, this rappell brought us all the way back to the top of the 50 meter pitch. A bouncy double rope rappell took us to the base of this pitch. Some down climbing and three more rappells and we were back at the base of the route. We were back at the hotel by 4 PM to start our long drive back to Seattle.

 

LooseLady.JPG

Tom at the base of the money pitchof Loose Lady

 

LooseLadyUpper.JPG

Rick & the upper tier of Loose Lady

 

Although the warm forecast was concerning, it turned out to be a perfect weekend with lots of great ice climbing. Thanks again to Tom for setting the trip up.

 

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Man Loose Lady looks completely different then when I got on it about three years ago. The upper pitch was all wind blown mushrooms to the upper section where it was solid WI5. The mushrooms was by far the "headiest" lead I had ever been on cause I had to keep looking for pro and always thought about the mushrooms exploding.

 

I can also see why you were concerned about the lake.

 

Great TR and pics!

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I had the same experience on Loose Lady when I did it. I scared to poop out of me. More like Wicked Wanda. I guess that's why ice is so darn cool.

Edited by upzmtn

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Man Loose Lady looks completely different then when I got on it about three years ago. The upper pitch was all wind blown mushrooms to the upper section where it was solid WI5.

 

+1

 

Here's what it looked like when I was there in late 2010:

IMG_04362.JPG

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Wow. The lower section looks similar, but that upper section is certainly a lot thicker. Taking the line to the right looks like some nice steps, whereas the left is a vertical shot to the top. The very top still isn't too fat, but at least it could be climbed. Great pic!

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That even looks a little more sensible. When I got on it, was completely formed like the mushrooms that are on the right side 3/4 the way up. Then the upper curtain looked fairly similar, vertical and solid 5. Believe it all depends on if the flow on the right that forms the mushrooms is frozen quickly or keeps spraying. There was some partial spray. Good fun to make it to that portion of the climb, turn the corner and that is what you see. Such a great climb.

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Taking the line to the right looks like some nice steps, whereas the left is a vertical shot to the top.

 

Lol, the foreshortening is quite deceiving in the photo. the mushrooms (especially on the right) were freaking huge and very challenging to get through with discontinuous and chandeliered ice everywhere. I bailed halfway up...

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