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keenwesh

Hyalite Ice Conditions

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thanks for the update...bit depressed to be honest ...coming out from Amsterdam in Europe on the 9th Dec and had hoped the canyon to be fat and ready. Winter climbing in the Tetons then....

 

Or a 9 hour drive to Canmore? Anyone know if the 89 road stays open and the trip to Calgary is easy enough in winter?

Edited by Uksteve

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Driving should be fine but weather dependent.

 

If you're willing to drive to Canmore, other areas in the U.S. within that distance may have better conditions. Consider areas like Cody Wyoming and Rocky Mountain National Park Colorado.

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thanks..only willing to if (really, really) really must. I have 4 weeks off work so surely will come good! Have all my annual leave for 18 months in one go and want to make the most of it so going to bring mountain gear (tent etc) so can head into backcountry first if needs be - beartooths? glacier np? tetons, whatever..dont care..except with with 84 kg of gear between me and the mrs we can only bring snowshoes ..no room in our baggage allowance for skis! and we want to climb ice not dxck about on snow plods ..oh I dont want to get squished by an avalanche :)

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It sounds like the New York Marathon cancellation due to Sandy. People spent lots of time and money to participate.

 

Just come prepared to meet some great people at the Icefest, ask a lot of question, drink some beer, but be willing to go where the conditions are best.

 

I would not recommend Glacier NP or Yellowstone NP for your goals. Beartoths and Tetons are possible.

 

Come over, have fun, and adaptable.

 

Expect a response from keenwesh, and seek him out at the Festival. I am more of a rock climber with some peripheral knowledge of ice.

 

 

Edited by matt_warfield

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sure..no issue.. rental 4x4's are made for thrashing... colorado is dry .. canada if I must.

 

Sadly will miss the ice(less) fest..arrive on the last Sunday.

 

Anyway thanks for replying..will keep an eye on here and montanaice.com if you or anyone has beta. Enjoy the mixed routes in the meantime.

Edited by Uksteve

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I hope you guys have a good trip.

 

I had a friend from there who moved to the U.S. and he said both countries got smarter in the process.

Edited by matt_warfield

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I wouldn't be too bummed about ice conditions out here, and certainly wouldn't cancel a trip if you already had it planned.

 

Over the last 3 days I have climbed the Scepter, Mummy II, The Matrix, Responsible Family Man, and the Dribbles. All were in great condition. Over by Emerald Lake Sleight of Hand, High Fidelity, and Comet/Asteroid are all in. Flanders: Champagne Sherb/Slot and High Crimes are in, looked like Killer Pillar was very close to touching about 5 days ago. Main Fork: All the climbs mentioned above, plus G1 and 2, Hangover, Greensleeves, Twin Falls, Elevator Shaft, the Thrill, drytool routes on the Unnamed Wall, Feeding the Cat, Climb Above Dribbles... all are in. Looks like things are going to stay warm for a few days but overall ice season is in full swing over here!

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Anyone want to put me out my misery with an update .. ice fallen down in all the tropical sunshine? :) See its a little colder today - but was chatting to a ranger at Waterton Park and their main two ice climbs just fell down yesterday and are unlikely to reform. So wont be going there for a mini-vacation within a vacation. No ice and 100mph winds put me off :)

Edited by Uksteve

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it's colder in town today, with forecasted cool temps for the next few days. check out this http://winter.junkfunnel.com/

 

I'd say this weekend is shaping up to be pretty good. Not as fat as it might have been, but good dry ice in fun conditions. Worth the drive in my opinion.

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Anyone want to put me out my misery with an update .. ice fallen down in all the tropical sunshine? :) See its a little colder today - but was chatting to a ranger at Waterton Park and their main two ice climbs just fell down yesterday and are unlikely to reform. So wont be going there for a mini-vacation within a vacation. No ice and 100mph winds put me off :)

 

Go north:

 

http://www.gravsports-ice.com/icethreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=12860#Post12860

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yeah saw that canada climb... wont be starting on that one after the lay off..

 

come on cody land...you can do it... sitting at home here in the netherlands with the mrs and the prayer mat :)

Edited by Uksteve

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First off, sorry I haven't been keeping this more up to date, Since I made it back here after thanksgiving I've only made it to the canyon two days, finals and warm weather/rain have driven me into a beer drinking spiral of self pity and valley lassitude. Hopefully I can get back on track before I have family obligations during christmas week.

 

Update for 12/8

 

It's cold and stuff is getting climbed. I went up and got on responsible today. here's a picture.

252220_10200136069662929_459684405_n.jpg

 

Good solid and dry ice the whole way, but bring a LA to protect the first few moves onto the ice. We approached via the first pitch of avalanche gulch. While we were up climbing some fuckhead stole my poles that I'd left at the base. If you know one or more of the 8 people on dribbles today please punch them in the teeth and get me my stuff back. Total bullshit.

 

Anyway, back to conditions. I can't personally speak to other routes besides what I said above because it was a whiteout all day and I couldn't see shit. Cleos was climbed yesterday. It's stout for WI5 right now but is only going to get fatter. Killer pillar isn't touching down yet, Both champagne and champagne slot are really good. If I blow off studying for finals tomorrow and get out I'll post up on what I see.

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Thanks for update. Looks good ..although vision blurred sitting up in a motel in bozeman with jet lag at 4:30 am after 24 hrs travel and FA sleep. The Mrs is deep in the land of nod but i feel broken already....Getting well old.. Oh well .she can lead :)

 

Will go up to canyon mon or tues. Trusting in the fairy god mother of winter and going to hang around MT and WY for xmas. After 5 years off the ice to do what normal 40+ people should be doing (working a bit then spending all their money racing bikes) I figured a few days waiting for conditions wouldnt matter. Photo looks sweet of that route though. Oh and if I see a fxcker with your poles ill give him some verbal in a polite British accent. You should get them back in no time haha.

Edited by Uksteve

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Don't give up. Lots of ice climbers in town with great advice and many not on the internet. Chase them down. Or go to the mountain shops in town. I'm not an ice climber but live here and this cold snap with snow has to mean something. Good luck.

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Just got back yesterday (Bozeman Ice Fest). The ice is pretty thin--much more so than the Thanksgiving era photos above. There was a heatwave last week and the week before with temps in the 50s, so Hyalite lost a lot of ice.

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Report for 12/14

Plenty of ice today, Over easy, Curtains, and the last pitch of Land of the lost all looked good to go.

 

Over in the Dribbles area (the only place I seem to go these days) Dribbles itself is in absolutely fantastic shape.

 

Here's a shot of yours truly below the headwall pitch, with an 80 meter rope (get one, they rock) you can make it to the trees at the top.

DSC03029.JPG

 

I went over to Silken Slot and Silken Falls after rapping down avalanche gulch and the ice conditions looked good on the upper pitches. The first pitch of Silken Falls has a 5 inch thick breakable ice sheet over snow which is all over the good ice. I knocked off a ton of the shit before deciding to rap off because if one of the sheets hit my feet I could easily envision getting knocked off the flow. With a rope and a partner both climbs would be good to go.

 

I ran into Adam Knoff and friends who just bolted a mixed line in the amphitheater in between fat and thin chance. I think he said 3 bolts (M4) to a flow of ice that is probably in the WI4 range. Sounds like a fun one, get on it!

 

He also said that Good looking one is in, but more difficult than it was last year. I'm planning on taking a look on Monday. More conditions on the Unnamed Wall. These are all from my observations from afar today:

Fat One is looking not super fat, but definitely fun. As the season progresses the initial steep part gets shorter and shorter as the ice builds.

 

Thrill is Gone is in good shape.

 

I assume Elevator Shaft is good to go, ask laurel, he climbed it last weekend.

 

The curtain on bingo world isn't super wide, so bulldog world is on the more difficult side right now. I'll try not to impale myself on my crampons if I jump on (fall off?) it on Monday. Needless to say, Bingo world is not touching down right now.

 

Someone was pulling hard on Roman Candle today, we were cheering him on from the parking lot.

 

Upper Mummy and Zach Attack: Both were looking promising before the warm spell, unfortunately they're not looking to good. Mummy 4 is a tiny hanger that needs a lot more ice to even come close to touching down. Zack Attack is looking better, but still far from in.

 

Craig Pope climbed Rocket Boy yesterday. Said it was a 40 foot M7 runout above the last bolt to the first screw. Use this information how you will.

 

One last thing to add, avalanche conditions:

Pretty stable where I was. There's a 4 inch windslab that I could get to slid only after several firm whacks with my whole arm. It's snowing again right now so it's changing.

 

The guys on here know what they're talking about.

http://www.mtavalanche.com/current/

Edited by keenwesh

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In other news I made it back into the canyon today. Stuff is looking good, especially Alex in Wonderland (previously referred to as 'the climb above dribbles").

 

Here's a crummy shot, my camera doesn't have much zoom, so I used paint to highlight sickles of interest, dribbles is behind the tree.

Conditions.jpg

 

I went up to Palace Butte to climb the fairly obscure route called 'Kansas Cornfield'.

 

Broke trail over from Twin Falls, thinking that traversing in deep snow would be better than just going directly up to it. It wasn't, but there are a few really cool caves in the cliffs that we checked out.

Sloughs were ripping off from high above with alarming frequency. Of course they didn't start doing this until Justin was well up into the narrowest part of the climb. Here's a video from the belayer's perspective.

[video:youtube]

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Report for 12/14

I assume Elevator Shaft is good to go, ask laurel, he climbed it last weekend.

 

she, actually. But apparently if I'm ice climbing I look like a dude. And if I'm jugging in an especially incompetent manner I look like two dudes.

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Broke a trail to sleeping giant falls as a recommended climb and close to car park today. Bit of a slog. The lower cone and river bed is a giant hollow sheet 1-2 inches thick and today a least had running water visible through ice in centre and on right of lower ice formations as was quite warm up there. Above 3m though, especially on the centre left, the ice looked good ..and no more than WI3+ ...but sadly couldnt get on the bloody thing without a turf-wet rock scramble as ice too hollow.This was..or should i say would have been...easy enough but no gear to protect and being a dufus didnt fancy cocking it up leaving me (or the Mrs belaying) exposed to a bouncing down the hollow ice creek bed. I regret not just going for it but been a long week and Im tired so no compliants. One more cold snap and itd be worth the effort.

 

Oh and one other note. If you find a 10" BD screw at the bottom of Mummy II youre in luck...I dropped it from the easy bit on way up to crux at top in crazy spindrift conditions a couple of days ago. As I said...dufus..

Edited by Uksteve

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Killer Pillar 12/30/12

734723_10200259638832081_2039313139_n.jpg

 

Went into Flanders today and got on Killer Pillar, it's in really fun shape, but it also happens to be a goddamn waterfall. I managed alright with my suit of goretex armor but my partner was wearing softshell pants and his legs were frozen solid quickly after getting to the top. We had plans to get more pitches in but with hypothermia threatening we made the prudent decision to head back for the car. Wayne and Vern were up there and climbed the left side of the pillar with similar wetness. A couple buddies stumbled to the base about the time I was coiling my steel cable of a rope, Really fun to see everyone after doing family stuff in califonia for the last week or so.

 

P1 of Bobo Like is not in, but I was assured that it goes at M5ish and is decently protectable with a selection of pins. The upper pitches are in and look classic.

 

Big Sleep is sorta in, I'll put a photo up for you to decide for yourself.

EDIT:

DSC03109.jpg

 

Champagne Slot and Sherbet are both looking fat.

 

I could see the top of palisade falls from the road and it looked well formed. Stories of near falls into the tube have scared me away from this one, but if these cold temps continue it'll only get bigger.

 

Horsetail Falls. We've had cold temps for a while, it's worth the slog in as it is probably in good shape.

Edited by keenwesh

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