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[TR] Sandy glacier caves - Pure Imagination pillar 3/1/2015

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Trip: Sandy glacier caves - Pure Imagination pillar


Date: 3/1/2015


Trip Report:

Apparently, in WA you are supposed to hike to 9000' to find and climb free standing ice pillars. Oregon is cooler than that - you can just get underground on our own volcanoes to do the same thing.


Crackman (Tim) and I went to the Sandy glacier caves on Sunday and climbed the most prominent water ice pillar inside the Pure Imagination.


For those who are not familiar with these ice caves, the extensive exploration, mapping and survey have been done by Brent McGregor and the Oregon professional cavers a few years ago, which was later aired on OPB:




We drove all way to the snow-free Top Spur TH in the Tim's truck that came in handy as the FS road 1828 was generously covered in downfall.

The hike in to the caves was uneventful and took us 3.5 hrs from the truck.


First view of the ice caves, Sandy glacier, Cathedral and Yocum ridges:




At the McNeil shelter:





Traversing to the caves - Snow Dragon is on the left and Pure Imagination on the right:




Entering the Pure Imagination:




Inside the Pure Imagination:





Looking up at the pillar through the skylight:







After refueling with cold pizza and pork chops in the cave, we climbed the pillar and both led it on the shitty screws:






Tim's turn:





Happy Tim at the base:



An awesome adventure and totally worth the hike.

How often do you come across the free standing pillars in Oregon?

Thanks, Tim!



Gear Notes:

Standard ice rack and a single 60 m rope.


Approach Notes:

Top Spur TH via E Lolo Pass road. The access is currently snow-free.

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trippy - heard in the news that a big chunk of the other cave collapsed?

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