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calford

Central/Eastern WA Ice Conditions??

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I'm wondering about conditions in Central WA - Banks Lake, Soap Lake, Vantage, etc... Haven't been out there this year (or ever) and not sure if it's worth the drive from the Methow Valley. Even some information on what temps and conditions tend to form climbable ice would be helpful. Thank you!

 

I'll be happy to relate what I see on this thread if I indeed make it out there.

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This information is based on my limited ice experience over the last couple years. I am sure there are guys here that have many more years to draw from and could give you better advice. Banks Lake usually needs a couple of weeks of cold weather in order to form up enough to climb. And it needs a lot more than that to be really good climbing. It was close to climbable at the beginning of the month but then things warmed up. Check out this page http://www.weather.com/weather/monthly/l/USWA0097:1:US. You can see that it has only been 10 days since the lows were below freezing. And really hasn't been very cold except for the last 5 days. Personally I would be surprised if much was climbable for another 5-7 days, but I haven't heard anything about it for about 2 weeks so it might be worth a look.

 

Vantage is usually warmer than Banks so it would probably be even more unlikely to have climbable ice. And I don't know much about Soap Lake so hopefully somebody else will comment.

 

Good luck and let us know what things look like if you get out.

Edited by mthorman

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Sent you a pm calford. I checked out Vantage this morning. Frenchmans is mostly water with spray ice on the sides and at the bottom. Fugs is looking a little better but still too wet. Needs more time with colder temps.

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Thanks both of you for the info. A friend of mine passed by Banks Lake yesterday and said that everything was wet, nothing climbable.

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The long term (for the inversion in the mountains anyway) is more promising, I would watch the weather closely

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Took a recon detour yesterday to Soap Lake/Lake Lenore. Things are starting to come in but nothing touching down yet. Hoping the next week really improves things since it's real cold and the forecast seems to keep things that way for the extended.

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A warning to anyone thinking of camping in their car at the Snow Lake trailhead. A friend was sleeping in his vehicle at the trailhead this past weekend. He was startled in the middle of the night when a group of guys first tried to break into the vehicle parked next to him then his vehicle. He chased them off to a waiting SUV and they didn't come back. I can't say if this was a chance event or not but we both think this was an organized group of thieves.

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Got all excited seeing pics of Fugs being climbed and figured Banks ice should be doing OK. Drove up Sunday and really found nothing climbable. Lots of ice starting but not up to where I could think of climbing it. Devil's Punchbowl could've worked but deathcicles and a fair amount of water running didn't seem worth it. Another week maybe if temps work out.

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Hi Fellow Climbers,

 

My partner and I went out to Banks Lake on Saturday, 9 January (last weekend) and found good conditions. Not "fat" but close to fat--as good or nearly as good as at any time in the past several years. Judging from the forecast it is likely to be in good shape at least through the coming weekend.

 

Cheers,

 

Bob Loomis, Spokane, WA.

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