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Alex

2014/2015 Washington State Ice Conditions

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I was going to go check out Alpental area tomorrow. I was driving over the pass today and stopped in and it looks like there is ice that might go but didn't get too close to really check it out. Anyone think there's hope there?

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There is hope, certainly the higher the better. With the warm-up I would be very careful. What tends to happen is that the ice that was "set" on the base of rock becomes delaminated and water flows behind it, leading to both poorer pro (if that's possible! :))and detached ice overall, especially top outs. The rock at the pass is not porous (like limestone is) so the ice never remains bonded to the rock when it warms up.

 

But the good news is that there is a foot of snow up there now, which should both feed and preserve any ice that is still around for a bit.

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Alpental is pretty much out. Checked out Alpental Falls, Alpental IV, and Chockstone Falls (at least I assume based on the map of the area). All fully detached ice columns with pretty broken tops. Didn't get on any good ice. There were a few lines that probably could have gone but it would be pretty sketch. And now it's been raining all day.

 

Kept going hoping to check out source lake but the Avy risk was too much and it was dumping. Recent slab activity all the way down to the snow lake trail with a good 2-3 feet of snow out a bit past the snow lakes turn sign. Literally seconds from being wiped off the face of Alpental Falls from a big sluff while evaluating ice after going a little ways up.

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Alpental is pretty much out.

Thanks for doing the look-see.

Welcome to the elusive Washington Ice - maybe go back in January, it has to be friggin' cold for awhile. :(

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It's getting cold this weekend, think anything will form up at snoqualmie or maybe east of the mountains? Is it even worth trying or should I plan on doing something a little more reliable?

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Hi all, Anyone know what banks lake is looking like of late?

 

- its super warm up here in Canada/near the line, but looks like "bulletproof" ice at the base lighting strike mtn/twin lakes on top of kootenay-pass is close to being in. Snow is getting deeper too so the ~70min ski in should be fun.

 

- bull river canyon nr cranbrook is starting to form up.

(& The next 3-4 days of -10 should help all around).

 

Cheers / K

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Hiked around the Icicle in Leavenworth today. Hubba Hubba routes are not quite in to the ground yet and pretty thin. A few cold night might help out. There is a slight inversion which is keeping the canyon a little warmer than town it seemed. Not much moisture for other routes in the canyon either. It seems like it just isn't cold enough and there isn't quite enough water for thinner smears and roadside routes. Drove by to look at Drury as well. It is still a waterfall with a few ribbons of ice. The pencil (I think)was not fully formed, but the middle was on its way as well. Anyone have any beta on the Methow? Temps looked colder there...

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a bunch of us climbed the Funnel, and the two-pitch line far left at Hubba-Hubba Hill on 11/23. There is more ice there this morning (12/2) than there was then.

scoped ice in the Teanaway, a two-pitch line on the south aspect of Teanaway Peak on 11/30; might head down this weekend to get on it.

 

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It's not fair. In the two years I lived in WA ice was never in before January (and debatable then).

 

Haireball (and others) - I hope you get a great season of ice out there. (if you're looking at a NE trip, I'll be here for the next two years).

 

Dave

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Here's a pic of what montypiton was talking about, for what its worth (Hubba hubba routes, 12/3/14):

IMG_00025.JPG

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Hey Dave-

c'mon ... you know ice is never really "in" here -- we just jump on anything that faintly resembles ice & scratch around for slurpy placements! Thank Dog for turf!

-Haireball

 

on a further note: hiked up Snow Creek this morning, found Millenium wall less than half-formed, so didn't bother hiking to view flows farther up trail. other than a plenitude of smears on slabs that might be exercise for developing the extra-delicate touch, still pretty grim

Edited by montypiton

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From Bob Loomis, separate thread

 

Dec 7th

 

"Hi Fellow Climbers,

Thought I might give you a quick field report. Yesterday, 7 December, my friend, Nicholas and I went out to Banks Lake to see if the ice was in. It is. We ended up spending the day at the Devil's Punchbowl. There were minimal "death-cicles." The punchbowl itself is 80-90% filled in. The climb on the left--Trotsky's was in okay shape--water was running underneath, next to the ice so it was a bit hollow sounding but we each got several laps in and nothing fell down. We also replaced the old tree/bush slings at the top of Trotsky's with fresh perlon. The waterfall down below (Trotsky's something--cannot remember the name), close to the road, was not in. PeeWee's playground was mostly filled in. Miscellaneous ice was in down the road toward Coulee City. H2O2 is starting but not in, the Cable is starting but not in, Brush Bash is in, but thin. South of US 2, nothing seem in--not Children of the Sun, Clockwork Orange, etc. Warm temperatures and rain are in the forecast for the rest of the week so what we saw yesterday may be shortlived, but if it gets cold again it should rebuild fast. So, in sum, right now there is enough in to justify a first day on the ice and just get comfortable again--which is what it was for us. Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Bob Loomis, Spokane, WA."

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Dec 7, 2014

 

Gerrit and headed to Leavenworth to take a look at Hubba Hubba. We wandered around for 2 hours unable to see much of anything through the dense fog, so we headed back to the road to climb some ice we saw near the road. We ended up finding some surprisingly good, steep ice. We also noted routes forming on Careno Crag, although with the warm temperatures forecast for this week I suspect they will fall down.

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We climbed Alpental 2 and 3 on Saturday. Two was fun with delicate moves on thin ice in blocky terrain. Three was thicker and steeper but WET, especially the bottom part which had water spraying out of it. There were also parties on Alpental 1 and 4. Doubt any of it will survive the pineapple express heading our way.

 

Alpental 2:

photo_6_3.JPG

 

Alpental 3:

photo_5_3.JPG

 

Sunday we found good ice in Goat Basin on Lennox. TR here:

http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1132100

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I'm looking to go to the Alpental area over New Years. Anyone have any ice conditions to report to help me out? We're looking to do NY Gully and Chair's NE Buttress specifically, but any conditions info would be great. Thanks.

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I went for a hike to check out conditions on Sunday (12/28). There was very little ice in the valley, Flow Reversal looked thin, Source Lake Line was not touching down. NEB Chair looked well filled in with snow although I could not see the condition of the ice step at the top of the east face. North Face of Snoqualmie looked snowy, my guess is there is likely little ice, maybe snice.

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Spent a few days skiing and messing around with my kids in Winthrop. I didn't climb for lack of a partner, but the word was Mazama ice was in and fat, the standard, mr coffe, percolator, etc.

 

I stopped by rainbow falls on the way home today in Leavenworth and it's not formed very much at all, maybe only 30% in. Surprisingly, drury looked pretty good from the highway, hard to say from so far away, but it looked in. Peace and happy new year

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Was up in the alpental area this afternoon. Lines on the NE side of the valley seemed more in than on the SW side, some stuff including practice gulley are already covered in snow. Alpental Falls and lines in that area looked thin. Another day or two of freezing temps would likely help fatten the ice up. A fair amount of stuff will certainly be climbable on new year's day.

Edited by manninjo

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Wouldn't call Mazama Ice fat but I did climb the Chech Gully yesterday which was in really good fun shape. More parties are headed up tomorrow. By the weekend things should be shaped up nicely.

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Happy New Year to all home or on the way to some great ice cragging... outside WA.

Banks is empty. Drove the entire line from Ephrata to Zenith, and turned around right there. There is some plastering of ice here and there.

Here is Zenith:

 

Zenith20141231.jpg

 

This is the fattest thing there is. Another climb is along 17 that has a similar amount of ice, don't know the name, in a corner, after Soap Lake. Everything else is a smear/verglass. Cable is tiny icicles here and there. Salt and Pepper completely dry.

Nice and sunny though :) Drytooling mostly on rock? Not me.

 

Edited by Rafael_H

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Alpental Falls today.

 

Practice Gully looked best, unfortunately it was dark when we started up so didn't notice. A couple groups went up that today.

 

15548664404_7836a2dfec.jpg

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That's pretty typical for Alpental Falls, especially if the top vert step is mostly unprotectable ice cubes :( I've lead that route in those conditions and it's often unprotected to the first tree belay on the right, then unprotected to the step, then you put in some stuff best you can and get to the top, where you can belay again from trees. After this coming weekend freezing goes to 7500 ft for a week so Alpental will become running water again.

 

Raf, sorry about the long drive for nothing. This next week is looking warmer, so don't know what will happen now.

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Leesa and myself climbed north-facing Starvin' Marvin at the Starvation ridge area today. Despite the rising temps, it was still in fat conditions but with the scary topout, in a solid WI4 shape. The crux of the day was the approach death gully which nearly killed us.

 

16153523526_6c232157c6_b.jpg

 

16177394311_88b2509fb0_b.jpg

 

15993226309_f5c0ab0ff2_b.jpg

 

16178539792_af83e809f2_b.jpg

 

15991875178_5ddf2f7e83_b.jpg

 

16153517856_d74913831f_b.jpg

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