Current Conditions (2006-2007)

Ice climbing conditions for British Columbia, usually with a focus on Lillooet, but including BC and Washington state. Please send updates, condition reports and trip reports to westcoasticereports@gmail.com

Here's a comment from Geoff worth thinking about:

A request on the use of the English Language  and the somewhat useless word “in”: This oft-abused term seems to be coined by ruthless individuals who have not climbed the route mentioned in the hope that some suckas will do the drive, approach, and poking around to see if the climb is actually possible. No offence, but some routes mentioned in the last few reports were clearly by people who have not even pulled out the binos, let alone gotten their noses up at the base of the route. Some really keen people (a.k.a. American tourists spending American dollars in cash-strapped Lillooet)) are driving a long way hoping to do some of these routes. A little clarity in such descriptions would be welcome, as opposed to the mysterious classic Coastal “hints” as to what is involved with a route.

March 7, 2007 (Thanks Drew) 

I (Adrian) am up swinging picks in the Rockies (Guiness Gulley, Professer Falls and Weeping Wall so far). It is amazingly warm up here and some of the ice is dripping wet (Professors) or aerated and spooky (Weeping Wall).

Drew sent me the following report and pictures on the Duffey from last weekend:

HIGHWAY 99 SOUTH/ DUFFEY LAKE ROAD:

Rambles and Closet Secrets/Shreddie: Are in, wet, but still quite fat. The blobs on the right wall of Shreddie look like they are starting to ablate.
Carl's Berg: In.
Cowabunga Dude: In.
Duffey's Delight: Is in.
The Groke: Is in and there are several pitches of unclimbed ice formed above.
Nothing is in anymore from Synchronicity on down except for Counting Chickens and the Three Sisters climbs. Some of it was in recently (e.g. Three Ring Circus) but is now visibly rotting out.
The Strand: Is touching down but rather skinny looking.

PHOTO of Shreddie from March 3:
 
Shreddie 07Mar07
 
PHOTO of Closet Secrets from March 3:

Closet Secrets 07Mar07

February 20, 2007 (Thanks Jesse and Peter) 

HIGHWAY 99 SOUTH/ DUFFEY LAKE ROAD:

Rambles: Went to Rambles Right yesterday (Monday). Temps must have been just below freezing, though had warmed up at the car by the time we got down and was drizzling. The ice was weird (airy, detached,hollow), but with enough solid looking ice to lead us on. In all, we climbed the Column finish as well as Crabby and tr'ed the dt routes to the right of the Column (doing some cleaning of loose rock in the process for future development). The ice was similiar on all climbs and especially unnerving on the dt smear - there were 10cm thick, but detached and fractured into big areas. I wanted to climb ps dihedral, but the top smear looked very similiar - and is now sporting a small hole between the top corner and the slab finish. Some big ice naturally fell off of the slabs right of ps at the end of our day.
Shreddie was the only other climb that we really looked at and it still looked awesome, but the ice was a little white looking in comparison to 2 weeks ago.

Cowabunga Dude: Jesse Mason and Jeff Hunt climbed Cowabunga Dude on Saturday which was quite nice and should stick around for a bit longer.
Duffey's Delight: They also went up and climbed Duffeys Delight which was amazing but is getting hammered in the heat. May be around for next weekend if it doesnt get too warm out.

 
PHOTOS of Cowabunga Dude and Duffey's Delight from last weekend. Link to the Jesse and Jeff's Trip Report on cc.com.

February 16, 2007 (Thanks Adrian) 

HIGHWAY 99 SOUTH/ DUFFEY LAKE ROAD:

NEW ROUTE
 
Shenanigans 900m WI3 M4
Adrian B and Gary Shorthouse February 10, 2007
 
Myself ("Adrian B, the young one") and Gary Shorthouse climbed somewhat of a new route. I would more likely call it an adventorous day out.  We went up a gully for around 2700 feet and encountered WI3 and M4 moves.  Makes for a fun day out with great views.  Park at the Seton Ridge bridge and walk back (towards Rambles) 300m.  The is a contsruction cone and a construction light indicating the gully.  Go straight up from there.
Duffey's Delight: Climbed Duffey's Delight on Sunday. In WI4+/5 Shape. The approach is all fat ice from the road to the main section of climbing.  Ice is starting to detach a lot so be careful.
 

February 13, 2007 (Thanks Don and Graham) 

HIGHWAY 99 (D'ARCY to LILLOOET) and HIGHWAY 40 (BRIDGE RIVER):

Roadside Attraction: melted at top
Candlewax: gone.
Closet Secrets: fat, just a touch wet. See Detailed Trip Report on cc.com
 
Graham Rowbotham leading Pitch 1 of Closet Secrets (from Feb 10):
 
February 13, 2007 - Closet Secrets
 
Shreddie: still up and fine.
Rambles: lots of ice, plenty of traffic.
Carl's Berg: still a climbable line in the centre
Cowabunga Dude: lots of ice
Waiting Game: bottom melted out.
Bullock-Amelunxen: bottom and top tiers rotting out.
Last Call: still looking good.
Wet Lady: getting melted out.
Tube: reportedly the top section has disintegrated.
Duffey's Delight: lots of ice.
Synchronicity: the initial part of the main upper section has fallen off.
Twilight Tiers: gone
Strand: still up.
Three Ring Circus: rotted.
Honeyman: fully running with water
Spray Ck: open and running
Jade: still up, but looking pretty white (i.e., maybe rotted?)
Plan B: melted out
Capricorn: as above
Like a Rocket: a couple columns formed at left side.
Old Dogs, New Picks: up and climbable, altho the 3rd steep section is a pretty tricky looking column
Steristrip: fat.
Salmon Stakes: surprisingly, looks OK.
Silkworm: melted out patches.
New Leash: fat.
The Gift: 1st pitch probably not climbable. 2nd pitch very narrow column. fat above.
The Theft: big missing sections
Shreik of Sheep: formed, with a steep looking column up top.
Blackbird: still two columns formed - left looks decent, right festooned with an overhanging fringe.
Night n' Gale: looks fine and blue.
Terzaghi: melted out.
Fountain of Youth: still snowy and cold beyond Lillooet
 
Marble Canyon: still sounds fine.
 
Fraser Canyon: fully melted out.

February 7, 2007 (Thanks Graham) 

HIGHWAY 99/ DUFFEY LAKE ROAD: 
 
Shreddie: On February 3rd, Graham Rowbotham and Don Serl climbed Shreddie. Don posted a detailed Trip Report on cc.com.
 
I added the pics, plus a couple extra, on a PHOTO PAGE.

February 4, 2007 (Thanks for the update Bruce!) 

HIGHWAY 99/ SQUAMISH: 
 
NEW ROUTE?
 
First hand experience (Bruce Kay) at Fluffy Kitten Wall with Kai Hirrvonnen and Jai Congdon on Saturday. Conditions were excellent with a number of options available. We climbed the line of the summer route "Cat 'O Nine Tails" with a variation in the left corner of the upper headwall. Excellent quality, thinish ice and mixed climbing characterized the route, including a forty foot, 10 inch wide ice hose. Overall grade was about WI 4; M6/7-. Protection and anchors were adequate to good with stubbies, pins, nuts and cams to 4" - giving a soft R rating.
4 pitches and 14 hours car to car.
 
In general, the Fluffy Kitten Wall offers very good thin ice and mixed climbinh, over Squamish-style granite features. Kind of how we wish Husume would be more often.  The elevation and aspect are good for ice formation, but cool high preasure periods are best to get it set up. I've been there 4 times and been skunked only once.
 
The down side is the 3 hour approach (on skis) and the uncertainty of conditions until you get there. The best view with a scope is from the Garibaldi Highlands in Squamish, but all you can usually see is a bunch of suggestive and alluring white lines.

February 2, 2007 (Thank you Bruce) 

HIGHWAY 99/ SQUAMISH to D'ARCY: 
 
A quick note for the weekend crowd.
 
Most of the Squamish ice is gone - one exception being the Fluffy Kitten Wall which looks in from a distance. 
 
The Farm & The Office (Blackcomb Mountain): The ice is fat at the Farm and Office.
Husume: Has no ice, but is clear of snow (good dry tooling, minimal clearing necessary).
Soo Bluffs: The ice is gone.
Green River Thriller: Is in and fat, but may be wet.
Fluffy Head Gear: Is in as well.
Suicide: Is in, fairly fat, with a number of options/lines.
B
lue Moon on Rye: Long gone.
 
The Plum: Have heard that the Plum is in.
White Blotter: Gone.
 
In general, routes in sunny aspects are gone, and shady aspects are looking pretty good. Valley bottoms have been best for cold temps.

January 30, 2007 (Thank you Drew, Don and Graham) 

HIGHWAY 99/ LION'S BAY & SQUAMISH:
 
Mount Harvey: The North Face Ramp has excellent neve bottom to top. There are WI2 and WI3 ice bulges available to climbers' left of the ramp for interesting variations, but the climb can be done entirely on firm snow.

At the top of the ramp, the WI2 straight up variation that avoids the steep snow traverse left is in good shape.

There is quite a lot of (unclimbed, steep, thin in places) ice formed up in the vicinity of
Harvey's Pup and the Great Gut. This looks like it would offer some superb, hard alpine mixed climbing with ice-filled cracks. Photos available on cascadeclimbers.com.

Looking over from the summit of Harvey at the Lions, it appears that
Marmalade, Ad Agents in Space, etc are in - as there is much visible blue ice over in the area in which these climbs are supposed to lie. If anyone is interested, we also saw, from the top of the ramp, some one-pitch, high, fat iceflows in the upper Magnesia Meadows bowl. They are on the headwall below the emergency shelter (which is partly buried but still has the roof sticking out).
 
HIGHWAY 99/ RAMBLES & MARBLE CANYON:
 
Here's a link to a detailed Trip Report on cascadeclimbers.com about the Rambles and Marble Canyon
 
Last Call ("Lite"): Don Serl and I (Graham Rowbotham) climbed Last Call "Lite" on Jan 27. The chest waders proved to be a more luxurious way to cross the creek than Don's holed garbage bags. The initial chimney pitch was hidden in the trees. Since it was devoid of any ice and looked as if it would be pretty horrendous getting around the big chockstone. We avoided this pitch by moving up right, then traversing back left on a higher ledge. This was easy apart from a 5m section of thin ice. A 40m rap from a tree at the end of the ledge deposited us in a sheltered bay at the base of the main ice pitch. This pitch (WI 4+) led to a futher 1 1/2 pitches of lovely undulating ice (WI 2+). See
Last Call PHOTOS.
 
Fountain of Youth: On Jan 28 Don and I  (Graham Rowbotham) climbed Fountain Of Youth. The approach took a little under 1 1/2 hours with 450m elevation gain. Easy ice and snow led to tree belay below the main flow - a nice 45m of WI 3. The second pitch is a short and sharp WI 4+. ("Gr 5 if it were longer" except that the steep section is only 8m.) See Fountain of Youth PHOTOS.
 
More detailed Trip Report (by Don Serl) on both Last Call and Fountain of Youth on cascadeclimbers.com
 
January 26, 2007 (Thank you Don, Matt and Graham)
 
Tons of photos submitted for today's report - distributed across 5 separate photo pages. Find the "see PHOTOS" hyperlinks below...
 
HIGHWAY 99 NORTH/ MARBLE CANYON:
 
Oregon Jack: Alan K and Matt Alford climbed Oregon Jack on Saturday the 20th. Climb was in fat conditions, but very brittle ice.  See PHOTOS
 
HIGHWAY 99 SOUTH/ DUFFEY LAKE ROAD:
 
Not So Burly: On Jan 21, we (Bob Koen and Graham Rowbotham) climbed Not So Burly off the Duffey Lake Road. See PHOTOS, including of Bob 'on' the top pitch of Tre's Burly (or at least the chunks of it that lay in the approach gully).
 
NEW ROUTE
 
Burly'esque (aka "Un Petit Peu Burly") 10m WI 4+
 
Bob Koen and Graham Rowbotham; January 21, 2007
 
A pitch of ice in the next gully immediately (~100m righ of) to the right of Tre's Burly.  Easy ramps (soloed) led to a steep 8 to 10m step (WI 4/4+). See Burly'esque PHOTOS.
Descent: Rap from tree on climber's right.
 
Shreddie: On Sunday the 21st, we (Alan K and Matt Alford) climbed first pitch of Shreddie and bailed. Neither of us we up for the WI 5+/6 with questionable ice out of the cave. Geoff Creighton and Craig McGee showed up and sent without trouble
though.
See PHOTOS of Craig seconding Shreddie.
Closet Secrets: Alan and Matt climbed Closet Secrets in WI 4 condition with plenty of gear and rest opportunities.  A little wet, but very plastic. Fun times. See PHOTO.
 
HIGHWAY 99/ WHISTLER, PEMBERTON:
 
Candlewax:  Climbed Candlewax in the Birkenhead Valley on January 20, including centre and right hand side (3+/4-). See Candlewax PHOTOS.
 
HIGHWAY 5/ COQUIHALLA (BOX CANYON):
 
See Box Canyon PHOTOS of approach and climbs.
 
We (Ryan Klingmann and Don Serl) climbed in Box Canyon Sunday the 21st. The snowshoeing for the approach was not too bad, with a huge snowpack covering the bush and boulders, and 20cm of stable fresh snow on a hard crust. Most of the lower-angled ice is buried, so we climbed Rigor Mortis, which was in great condition.
Rigor Mortis: We found 2 - 40m pitches, mostly WI 2 to WI 3-ish, but with a lot of crusty insecure surfaces - so scary leading. There was one 6m or so WI 4 step in each pitch. On both pitches, one could work out stems to get gear if one was crafty. We rapped off a tree and an Abalakov. See Box Canyon PHOTOS.
Sleeping Dog: No ice
Snakes and Ladders: Buried in snow
Labyrinth: Looked good
Yellow Flow: Buried
Grim Reaper: 1st pitch buried; 2nd pitch lower angled stuff buried, but the 2 steeper sections above looked fat; 3rd pitch continuous, but looking very 'unfilled' - probably climbable if you took a wandering line to catch the most built-up ice. See Box Canyon PHOTOS.
Happy Harvester: Buried
Comfortably Numb: Continuous ice, but pretty insubstantial looking on the columns.
Fear-O-Fungi: Continuous big mushrooms - I bet this would be exciting!
Festering Toadstools: Icy at bottom, kinda buried above
Mister Natural Wall: There is one continuous line towards the left side, with decent looking ice on a sequence of columns lower down, but a very sketchy looking finishing set of hanging pillars.
Chrysalis: Co
uld only see the top of Chrysalis - appeared to be good ice.
 
January 22, 2007 REVISED (Thanks Jesse, Geoff, Craig, Robert, Drew, Peter and Bruce)

Jan 23 Revision - Added Jesse's report on Synchronicity and Peter's pic of Nintendo.

FRASER WEST SIDE ROAD/ "SOUTH OF LILLOOETT":

Texas Two-Step: Is as fat as it has ever been and was staying dry. 
Lone Star: Is in the reverse of the FA conditions, fat at the bottom and thin at the top.
Spray Creek Falls: Looked quite good from the road.
Polar Cow: Looked to be in - at least there was ice in the area where Polar Cow is supposed to be. In 10 years of climbing in Lillooet this is only the second time I have ever seen any ice in this specific area. It looked like it might be harder than WI2+ though. Only Lyle Knight could probably say if it really was Polar Cow or something new nearby.

NEW ROUTE

Longhorn ~400m WI3
FA Merran Fahlman & Drew Brayshaw; January 20,2007

Hike Texas Creek to the big bend, 400m past Lone Star and 400m before Texas Two-Step. This climb is a long gully line on the northwest side of the canyon. Cross the river on ice jams and grunt up 200m of scree to the base of the ice.

The climb consists of ~200m of WI2 steps (soloed), then 50m WI3, 80m mostly scrambly ice with some short WI2, 60m mostly WI2 with a 15m WI3 step in the middle, and 60m WI3. There is an unclimbed free-standing column to the right of the last pitch that looked like it would go at 4+ or 5.

Descend the route via 5 full length raps (4 from trees on climbers' left, 1 Abalakov) plus a fair bit of downclimbing.

NEW ROUTE

All Hat, No Cattle 40m WI3+
FA Drew Brayshaw & Merran Fahlman; January 21, 2007

This climb is 200m downstream of Lone Star on the same side of the river. There is a prominent unclimbed flow to the right that was not quite touching down. A 15m, steppy column leads to rambling ice above. Rap from Abalakov at last fat ice, 3m from top.

HIGHWAY 99 SOUTH/ DUFFEY LAKE ROAD:

As of Sunday, most of the climbs that had been forming with the cold temps had actually started to melt away or fall down. On Monday, it was pouring rain either side of Carl’s Berg, but at Carl’s Berg it was just showery. Most of the reports below are from Sunday, before the temps rose on Monday.

Rambles: All of the climbs in the Rambles area are fatter than they have been in years.
Closet Secrets: Is still in great shape, however one 0" cam (purple TCU) still helps out in the start.
Shreddie: Was in good condition as well. It's still only attached at the base by two smaller sub pillars, but seems fairly secure. Geoff Creighton climbed out of the cave on the right side, clipping one of the mixed climbs bolts and then committing to the pillar itself. The route was in WI 5+/ 6 shape, some screws marginal, but a lot were good. Contrary to what it says in the guide, it is possible to do one rope stretching 62 meter rap to the bottom of the climb (the book says 100m).
See PHOTOS of Geoff on Shreddie.
Carl's Berg: On Sunday, it looked thin and wet, however there was a group on it. By Monday, it was above freezing, and large stuff was coming down signalling a mega hazard - to add to the gaping hole and rushing water already uglifying the situation.
I agree with Geoff about word "in".
Deep Throat: It is not in. Last Saturday, we waded across the river to do Deep Throat, upon beta from a "reliable" source that the route was "in". However, we found a lot of open water, a 1cm thick shield of ice and generally something that looked like it could collapse easily.
Eagles Ears: Is in very easy shape this year (WI4+), most definitely much easier to what is was a couple of years ago.
Public Service: Doesn't have a shred of ice.
The Column: Is in nice WI3+ shape and is dry. The rest of the climbs were quite wet.
Mossy Balls: Is in.
Cowabunga Dude: Was in Sunday.
Bullock-Amelunxen: Was in Sunday.
Cutthroat: Most of the upper pitch has fallen off.
Red Wall Wanders: Looks like it is in, but likely thin.
Swiller Pillar: Still looks good.
Tres Burly: Has fallen down
Loose Lady: Had a party on it Sunday.
The Synchrotron: Climb is not quite in.
Mother: Looks like it it in.
Synchronicity: Steve, Nicole and I (Jesse Mason) climbed Synchronicity on Sunday Jan 21, we found good ice with the final pitch being the best.
Descent Notes: All raps are from trees on climber's right with the exception of the last rap which is on climber's left.
Approach Notes: Park at the bridge and walk up the highway 1 km then drop down the scree slope pretty much directly across from the climb. The log is in good shape for crossing the river.
Serendipity: Is still in, but starting to look wetter.
The Strand: Is in.

HIGHWAY 99/ SQUAMISH & WHISTLER:

Blue Moon on Rye: Was still there a couple of days ago. Whether it was "in" or not.... you'll just have to rub noses with it to find out. I've (Bruce Kay) climbed Blue Moon on Rye three times and have never seen it any fatter. I have never managed to place a decent screw during my climbs - the rock gear suggested by Geoff is mandatory to keep things under control and only R rated. I would add to his suggested gear list screamers and spectre hooks for the chocks stones on the last pitch. 
Nintendo: Climbed the left side as in photo below. Also climbed the right slab to upper pillars to top.
 
Photo of Nintendo by Peter Watson:
 
Nintendo - 22Jan07
 
A Scottish Tale: We (Patrick and Peter Watson) had high hopes of finding A Scottish Tale in great shape, but as we had it we went a little to far left to begin with and never traversed far enough right to find it.
 
If anyone has a pic in winter of this area from the summits of the Chief - to bring a perspective of the cliff - it would be greatly appreciated.
 
As for the ice we did find on the Chief, it was pretty good WI 3+ (30m pitch) to good ice/screw anchor and a v thread (Abalakov). We toproped a couple of steeper bits of thinner ice, practiced our scottish skills on the thinned up slab at the bottom and then began the painful descent down. On descent, we trended right through the clear cut, were forced to make one rappel over a cliff with a big roof to gain the forest floor and then it was easy trampling down to our old tracks on the logging road.
 
With the current weather forecast and its lofty elevation of 1700ft at the base the ice we found should stay in for a couple more days. We at least us and one other party that was active in there Sunday, track in should be easy to find. The ice is in steep terrain and in bad avalanche conditions you would not want to be at the base of these climbs.

January 17, 2007 (Thanks Wes and Geoff)

A few more reports to add to the huge number of reports on Jan 16.

HIGHWAY 99 NORTH/ MARBLE CANYON:

IcyBC: Lead over the weekend. First pitch is a little aerated on the bottom half and cauliflowered on the top half. Second pitch is formed well. Third pitch was thickened, but retains the butterfly shape reported earlier.
Deeping Wall: Lots of ice. A little bashed out.
Other Marble Climbs: Stuff to the left of Deeping is formed well, with pitches being led over the weekend. 

HIGHWAY 99 SOUTH/ DUFFEY LAKE ROAD:

The ice on the Duffey appears to be coming back after the last mild spell.

Loose Lady:
Tuesday, we went out to climb Loose Lady. Things haven’t changed much from the last report and the upper tier is ice encrusted snow leaves that are a lot of work to clear and pro is dubious. We didn’t get far, and bailed. Not recommended in its current state. It needs some melt/ freeze.
Carl’s Berg: Appears icicley from the parking lot through binoculars.
Tres Burly: Seems to be making a comeback – although it is still a ways from being formed.
Swiller Pillar: Looks fat and worth the wade for those seeking two pitches of grade 5 column-climbing. Kai Hirvonen says it looks fatter than when he climbed it a few years back with Kevin McLane. Get out the duct tape and trash bags!
Synchronicity looks really good, and Serendipity might work out for someone – but I can’t say we examined it super close.
 
HIGHWAY 99/ WHISTLER, PEMBERTON:
 
Blue Moon on Rye: Jay Audenart and I (Geoff Creighton) climbed Blue Moon on Rye on Monday. It was hard to tell from the road what this would be like, and we decided it looked good enough that it warranted the approach hike. It ended up being a bit of a terror-joy-ride, but we did it. Part of the problem psychologically with this route was not knowing whether each move would end up in a no man’s land of no pro and no ice – as route info is very lean – so I hope this helps future parties to do this very cool and unique route.

WARNING: If you don’t like beta, stop reading now!

The climb in its current state most definitely deserves the “R” rating. If this climb only got a bit more ice you could say it is one of the best on the Coast – but it is hard to catch in climbable condition. Get it now before it disappears - if you like this sort of thing - which is very different from the usual pillar bashing.

Be prepared to run it out. The PHOTOS show the base of the route looking up, and me (Geoff) on pitch 2. The first 2 pitches took a lot of patience and over an hour each to lead.

Pro: Take at least 3 stubbies with a total of around six (short) screws. Knifeblades, lost arrows, baby angles, and cams; orange Metolius TCU; 3.5 camalot (which I didn’t have!).

The Approach: Follow the train tracks to below the pylon in line with just north of the cliff’s base. Go up through trees as the snow is hard-pack there. Stay away from the boulder field and keep to the right or you will sink like a stone in the boulder field. Twenty minutes to ½ hour.

The Route:

Pitch 1: We started up to the right to a tree and traversed in. It takes some getting used to the thickness of the ice, because it is thin and hard on the brain. You have to be prepared to move off the ice to get in rock gear, and be prepared to dig around – literally. Jay did an awesome job of leading the first mind-fuck 60 meter pitch. Grade 5 difficulty with old school mixed movement thrown in. Bolt and tree belay off to the left on a ledge, well protected from ice and rock (and climber) falling.

Pitch 2: More of the same scary thin ice. Some rock gear on the upper squeeze (red TCU and knifeblade). Bad stubbies used when possible. 30 meters to a tree, horn and cam belay on the left. Get in the off-width to stay protected from the falling crap on the next pitch.

Pitch 3: (Easier, kind of fun) Over a chockstone (small gear possible), and follow lower angle ice vein to a squeeze at the top. Very cool pitch. 60 meters.

Pitch 4: From this belay, it is an easy 15 meters to trees.

Other Routes:

Entropy:  Appears to be climbable, btw. Closer inspection required (it was dawn).
Ice has formed at Suicide Bluffs, which is worth a visit just for the Tyrolean – which is super fun, well-rigged and very safe.

HIGHWAY 1/ HOPE:

Mousetrap: Wes Dyck and James Davies climbed 5 pitches of Mousetrap on Tuesday, Jan 16. Temp was +2 degrees C. and snowing lightly for most of day. Ropes wet, but not freezing over. Second pitch was spraying water on right side – climbed left side and stayed dry. Other pitches were dry with high volumes of water running under the ice. Crux pitch 5 was extremely featured with beautiful green mushrooms and great hooking. Left anchors and v-threads for descent down ice.
 
January 16, 2007 (Thanks Jordan, Adam, Jeremy, Rolf, Perry, Justin, Graham and Drew)

MOUNT SEYMOUR/ NORTH VANCOUVER:

Seymour Ice: -- See PHOTO on cascadeclimbers.com
 
Steve Harng and Jordan Peters climbed a nice bit of ice on the east side of the first peak of Seymour on Saturday (Jan 13). Went looking for the de Pencier stuff, or even the stuff Ian Bennett et al climbed a few weeks ago, but got around to the base of the very final east face and found a very nice 25m WI3 formed up FAT in the corner. Some really nice mixed potential to the right, but the sun hits it from 11am to 3pm causing lots of stuff to fall down the face - so we didn't try it. No anchors or suitable ice for an Abolokov on top - so bring a picket or chop a bollard!
 
HIGHWAYS 1, 5 & 7/ AGGASSIZ, HOPE, COQUIHALLA & FRASER CANYON:

Medusa: Bob Koen and Graham Rowbotham climbed Medusa in the Fraser Valley on Sunday (Jan 14). See MEDUSA PHOTOS. The approach involves about 350m elevation gain from road. It's not that far, but the going is fairly slow due to bush and blowdown debris and it ended up taking close to the guide book time of 2 hours. It was wet -- kinda very wet -- and mushy in places, especially on the 2nd pitch. It seemed more like WI 3 in these conditions.

All routes could use another good week of freezing, Looking at my bent picks and dull front points, I think these low climbs would be better if we had another week of this cold snap.

See HIGHWAY 7 PHOTOS.

Big Cedar Falls: Would be perfect if it had another few days of deep freeze. It was running underneath, so we had to be selective of what ice we used.
Blasted Crops: Was thin. Some parts were running, but some more ice would be better, I wouldn’t suggest it unless you want to bend some picks.
Frost Heave: Was more of a mixed climb that felt like a cold, wet slab climb rather than an ice climb, but some parts were fun.
Seabird Falls: Was interesting, but with huge gaps where there was no ice. The fun part of that climb was convincing the couple that live there that there was in fact a frozen waterfall on their property, and that it is possible to climb such things. But overall, Sea Bird Falls needs way more ice to be of anything worth repeating. We climbed maybe 20 feet of the two lines put together, and then we were soaked, not to mention jumpy, due to the huge chunks that we had to dodge underneath the first line.
Hells Lake Falls: In.
Northwest Passage: Lots of running water.

NEW ROUTE

Liquid Crystal WI3 130m
Wes Dyck and Drew Brayshaw; Jan 13, 2007

Approach: This route is located at the far left end of the large cliff housing the Northwest Passage. Northwest Passage is about 200m right, and Another Day is 150m left around the corner. Hike up scree and forest to the base in about 15 minutes.
P1: 60m of steppy WI2 leads to a sheltered tree belay on the left.
P2: Move up and right under steep drippy icicles to a ledge. Finish up to a large tree splitting the flow (35m WI3).
P3: The 3rd pitch moves up easy ground for 10m, then a 25m WI3 wall with open water on the right and a mixed exit (good turf, and ice mushrooms) to another tree belay.

Descent: Walk off to climbers left back to the route base through moderately steep forest (crampons on).

NEW ROUTE

EpicCentre WI4 30m
Shaun Neufeld, Dwayne Barg and Wes Dyck; Jan 13, 2007

This climb is located ~3km past Trojan Horse on the Harrison Lake east side road, in a roadside gravel pit about 200m from the Sasquatch Provincial Park boat launch turn-off. There are houses across the road, so please be courteous and mannerly.

Climb a thinly iced slab to reach a skinny column of bad ice pouring over a cave. Finish up a narrow flow to a tree belay. Rappel off.

Bridal Falls: Open and flowing.
Never a Bride: In, but very wet.
Decent Divorce: Forming well - more icy nights will help.
Easy Intro: Thin at the bottom but thicker higher up. 
Mousetrap: Is fat.

At Jarvis Bluffs, most routes are quite wet. Like too wet to climb (shower bath style), but could be climbed if desperate. 

NEW ROUTE
 
Tailwind WI3+ 360m
 
FA P2-6 Shaun Neufeld and Drew Brayshaw; Jan 15, 2007
 
So Shaun Neufeld and I (Drew Brayshaw) played hooky today and climbed the full line of Tailwind off Highway 7. We did it in 6 pitches.

P1: Solo 40m of easy WI2 to a protected tree belay on the right.
P2: Climb some WI2+ to a roof. Rock gear protects the roof (crack takes camalots #0.75 to 3). Move right under roof on thin ice and up a steep step above to a ledge, with nuts in a crack for belay (stubbies could be used). 55m WI3 and minor mixed.
P3: Simulclimb 80m-90m of mostly low angle WI1+ walking (prickle bushes) with short steps of WI2 for interest.
P4: 20m of WI2 to 20m of thin and wet, steep with good rests WI3 past a small roof, 20m more of low angle ice to belay.
P5: Simulclimb 50m of low angle ice WI1+ to 30m of excellent featured WI2 steps.
P6: A steep step (10m of 80 degrees) WI3+ to more rambling ice getting thinner and thinner and finishing with unfrozen moss to trees. 30m WI3+.

Talking to Don, his partial ascent in 1979 probably finished at a belay below the roof on p2. The roof and everything above is therefore probably a first ascent.

We walked off to the west, contouring about 80m, climbing 20m to pass above a bluff, then working down through small cliffs and ledges (3rd class) for a ways until the terrain mellowed out and gave way to just bushwacking downhill to the highway. 

HIGHWAY 40/ BRIDGE RIVER CANYON:

Honeyman Falls: Pretty wet, falling apart as we were prepping to climb...decided to bail. See PHOTO.

See BRIDGE RIVER PHOTOS (including Honeyman Falls).

Salmon Stakes: In.
Silk Degrees: Not quite touching down.
Old Dogs, New Picks: Nicely set up.
House of Cards: In, with two pillars at the bottom.

HIGHWAY 99 SOUTH/ DUFFEY LAKE ROAD:

See DUFFEY LAKE PHOTOS.

Seton Weeps: Forming up.
Carl's Berg:
In and climbable.

Rambles, Left:
On the thin side of things but totally leadable… just not as fat as I have seen it in the past… places where there is only 3 to 7 inches of ice over the rock on the lower section and at the ledge at 25m. There were many places were a 22cm screw bottomed out with 5cm sticking out.
Rambles, Centre: Look pretty good.
Rambles, Right: Fat, if a bit brittle, and surprisingly wet for -10 C.  By the end of the day, water was jetting out of a screw hole like someone had turned on a garden hose.

Bullock-Amelunxen: W e attempted the route, but were quickly frightened off the first pitch......very thin, hollow and chandeliered - but looked better above. Looks like it took a beating from the warm weather since the first report on this site.
Cowabnuga Dude: Climbed via a 8m wi4 pillar on the right side. The pillar was the only portion that was touching down and was partially cracked at the top.
Wet Lady: Was fat.
 
Solarium: Was a series of baubles, chandeliers and thin ice, probably wi4/m?.....bring rock gear to 2".  wet lady was fat.
Closet Secrets: Lower pitch was nice but backed off the upper pitch half way as it was a lot of wet,open rock.
Shreddie: Touching down, but wet.

Photo of Shreddie (submitted by Perry Beck):

Shreddie 16Jan07

January 12, 2007 (Thanks Adam and Geoff)

HIGHWAY 1/ HOPE:

Off Highway 1, Adam Palmer spotted some ice just as you reach Hope. The ice appears just after reaching Hope heading East (about 1 minute pass the first exit to Hope). The ice (see PHOTOS) on the face of the foot hills (right side of the mountain if heading East on Highway 1) on some slabs. Adam didn’t have time to hike to the base of it, so just snapped some pics to see if anyone has ever tried climbing there or if its even worth the hike. Wouldn't even be that long a hike, but might involve a short bushwack to the base.

Looks good for those in the Fraser Valley a short day trip on some ice close to home…

HIGHWAY 99 SOUTH/ DUFFEY LAKE ROAD:

The morning of January 8, Geoff Creighton drove up to climb Shreddie with Jay Audenart. Despite an overwhelming sense that things would be melted away with the recent highs of 12 degrees C in Lillooet, they were pleasantly surprised to see it was still there. In fact, the Rambles area is probably one of the chillier areas around, so it holds onto the ice well.

Here is Geoff's Report:

Shreddie: (SEE PHOTO) Once at the base of Shreddie we hemmed and hawed over what to do. It was looking wet, the temps were hovering around 0 C, and the base of the crux pillar looked somewhat meagre for supporting the mass of ice hanging onto it… but it is hard to tell from the base. Jay climbed the first pitch (to bolted station) and I got the crux. I used the bolts to clip, but climbed up ice behind the pillar, and then onto the ice blobs protected by the bolts. I got up to where I wanted to transition onto the pillar, but Jay and I began to feel this may not be wise. The base ain’t much! I whacked the thing a bunch, and in retrospect I think I should have gone on it from the fourth clip (?), as the ice itself looks pretty good. One would have to climb 10 metres or so of heart-in-mouth pillar climbing before you reach the attachment point and safety. There was a bolt higher up, and probably one buried under the ice blobs, but I moved up and couldn’t find it. However, if you do go up to what appears to be the highest bolt, the transition would be tough as you would be transitioning to the pillar onto really crappy ice, and I don’t know how easy it would be to get a purchase. I don’t think you would want to fall off around here, because there is also some big free-hanging stuff to fall into that I couldn’t completely chop away.

We decided to bail and go up to what appears to be called Eagle Ears above the Peterson-Smaridge dihedral. This looked to be fat and easy and maybe WI3 toWI4. However, the ice is pretty junky on the lower section of the final 60 meter pitch, and pretty thin on the final 10 metres. Thankfully there are bolts! This top pitch makes for a cool route, probably grade WI 4+, although Jay led this and I think he was finding it hard on the head up there.

January 7, 2007 (Thanks Craig)

HIGHWAY 99 NORTH/ MARBLE CANYON:

Deeping Wall: Craig and Kai climbed Deeping wall. It was in similar shape to how the guidebook describes it. Quite good overall.
Icy BC: Then finished on Icy BC. The middle pitch was in its usual shape (wet hole in the middle), but climbable on the left. The top pitch was totally strange and both had never seen it look the way it did. The center was a giant open book of ice and water. The ice "pages/ walls" stuck out about 15+ feet from the rest of the climb. These features looked very scary as if they could come of at any moment. Climbed quickly out to the right to a nice belay away from any threat of any falling ice. The upper pitch was climbed on the right side (only place you could) and encountered good grade 5 climbing and pro.
Remaining Marble Canyon Climbs: All climbs on the lower wall were in and looked to be in reasonable shape. Nothing else was "in" on the upper wall.

Hanging on a Heartbeat: On Saturday, we trekked up and attempted to climb Haning on a Heartbeat. We found the crux pillar about half the diameter of the photo in the guidebook ( about 1-1.5m) as well the 1m ice roof now has a very large hanging dagger that would have to be knocked off ( we didn't think we could) or rode on to get to the roof. Because of these conditions and brittle ice and what looked like difficult pro, we bailed.
 
 
HIGHWAY 99 SOUTH/ DUFFEY LAKE ROAD:
 
Most climbs on the Duffy had melted out a lot compared to what was on the Internet in the last week.
 
Closet Secrets: On the way home we climbed Closet secrets. The route is in very good conditions. It is pure ice -- however one small cam (0 or #1) or nut are useful at the start.
Shreddie: Is touching down. However it is only a few feet thick at the base. It would be climbable by climbing the ice blobs that are covering the Prophet Wall (and using those bolts) and then getting on the real ice about 30 feet up. It looks like the easiest I have seen it in years.
Rambles: Looks fat.
Carl's Berg: Looks climbable, but thinner and wetter than normal.
The Swiller Pillar: Looks very fat.
Tres Burly: Was non-existent. 
Red Wall Wanderer: Looked in.
Syncronicity: Was very fat.
Serendipity: Was not quite in.

January 7, 2007 (Thanks Don)

MOUNT SEYMOUR (NORTH VANCOUVER):

With the fluctuating temps recently, there was a ton of ice formed on Mount Seymour at the New Year's weekend. It's probably all buried now by the recent big snow dumps, but here's a few shots, courtesy of Ian Bennett (photos by Robb Priestley). The 'ice' shot is on the SE side of the First Peak of Mount Seymour. The trees are high on Pump Peak!

NOTE: Don Serl confirmed that the climb was led previously, with only rock gear for pro, by Andrei Mecl.
 
See the PHOTOS...
 
January 2, 2007 (Thanks Peter, Christian, Fern, Don and cc.com)

Some reports from Don and others supplementing Drew's report from Dec 29.

VANCOUVER ISLAND: 

The Weepy Wall on Mount Arrowsmith is formed up again this year. The entire wall is mostly good ice with short steep snow bands. Conditions are such that it should only get better. Photo and descritpion are from Dec 30, 2006. See the PHOTOS.

HIGHWAY 99/ CAL CHEK (WHISTLER): 

Very wet and thin, but good for a few hours of TR'ing. See the PHOTOS.

HIGHWAY 40/ BRIDGE RIVER CANYON:   See the PHOTOS

The river itself is wide open. There were ducks paddling in it down by the Yalakom and upstream below Silk Degrees. Bring your wading gear...

Terzaghi Falls: Is still open/running.
New Leash: Is complete, but looks 'boney' still.
Salmon Stakes: Open/running.
Silk Degrees: Neither the bottom nor main column on Silk Degrees is formed.
Like a Rocket: Oddly, given that very-seldom-formed columns like Blackbird and New Leash are 'in', nothing in the Like a Rocket basin is even close to touching down.
Hell Creek: There was a full skin of ice on the lower sections of Hell Creek (only 2
days after Drew's report below), and we spoke to a couple who were setting off (guy from Olympia...). Didn't see them after, so no report of conditions, but I suspect from the poor condition of Old Dogs, Hell Creek can't be much better yet.
NOTE ADDED: The couple that tried for Hell Creek got turned around at the first rock pools, and went to Marble instead.
Steristrip: Is pretty much ready to go, for those who like it thin and sketchy.
Suncatcher: Looks 'in', but I'll bet (based on previous experience) the bottom of the Xwisten Steps is still gushing, so bypass the first section on the left if you make to trek up.

HIGHWAY 99 SOUTH/ DUFFEY LAKE ROAD:

Counting Chickens is in, for those who want exercise.
Mixing with Mike also looked in - ditto above re: exercise...
The Strand has touched down, but needs to fatten up just a bit.
There's ice on
Twilight Tiers, but there's way too much sun too.
While there is more ice on
Serendipity than I've seen since the FA, it's a long way from 'formed'.
The column on Red Wall is formed, but is still tiny as always early season - wait a bit for this one.
There's quite a bit of ice on
Tres Burly, so Not So Burly might be OK.
Swiller Pillar looked good.
Last Call looked climbable.
Deep Throat was open/running.
There's continuous ice on the
Solarium.
The Bullock/Amelunxen was formed.
The only thing climable in Wader Land was the
Groke.
The Rambles: Rambles Left lower is very thin. Use your rock picks, and watch for dinner plates at the top of the rolls (I popped both tools and fell 15 feet into a snowbank ). We went up the left line mixed gully thing which was good, but also thin.
There is lots of ice in the
Upper Right cirque, at least on the wall - the rock slab 'floor' is just thin snow and kinda sketchy to approach. The Column is in well, though aerated at the bottom, and dry yesterday, Not the Ben looked like a recipe for blunt picks. White Room is thin icicles and drools which looked fun. The Curtain wasn't touching down but was wet and forming still. The Dihedral has lots of ice from the corner extending way out right across the slab, though some looked like snow-included crap down low. The very top of the Dihedral was blue and wet.
The Tube is not continuous ice to the top, it has melted back to rock and detached.
Storm Brewing and Mumu Man have the most ice I have seen since the FAs but Small Creep is a gushing stream ??? ... it is a weird season for sure.
I second the amazement at the amount of ice up in the
Peterson-Smaridge dihedral. just viewed from the road, admittedly, but this may be a really good season for a walk up to the Upper Right.
Plus - drum-roll!!! -
SHREDDIE IS TOUCHING DOWN! it's a narrow column fully formed on the right, very unlike conditions during the FA season - see pg 187 in West Coast Ice: JI is climbing the 1st pitch; the belay for the 2nd pitch is on the ledge at the cave - this year there is no trace of the lefthand column or central dagger, just a skinny column on the right. go figure... better yet, go climb...
(p.s. i'll bet it's not well consolidated yet.)
One cannot see much of
Closet Secrets from the road, but the very upper section shows as 2 separated columns with a generous gap between them - in other words, lean...

The forecast for Clinton shows just-below-freezing temps for the next few days, dropping to below -20C lows for the Jan 7-8 weekend, and the long-term trend is MUCH colder thru the following week out to the 13-14 w/e. should be good for the ice, but BITTER for climbing!

December 29, 2006 (Thanks Drew)

HIGHWAY 40/ BRIDGE RIVER CANYON:

A lot of stuff is forming and very thin (Old Dogs, New Tricks is just verglas, Hell Creek is 50% water).

Shriek of the Sheep: Is not in yet.
The Gift: Is pretty much touching down, but very very thin looking.
Jade Falls, Capricorn, Nite N' Gale, Blackbird, Mixmaster J, The Virgin and Taikonaut: Are all in. There is a lot of snow high up. We triggered a small slab avalanche in the  gully below Jade Falls.
Nite N' Gale gully looked pretty loaded at the top.
Blackbird is not only in but has two separate pillars at the crux.

HIGHWAY 99 NORTH/ MARBLE CANYON:

Oregon Jack: Is in. Very nice; thin at the top. Right side gives best climbing this year.

Heard that Marble is all in, but kind of drippy.

HIGHWAY 99 SOUTH/ DUFFEY LAKE ROAD:

A lot of stuff is in, but some of it is in thin/early season conditions.

Seton Weeps: Are very thin ice (gray smears over brown rock).
Three Ring Circus: Looks pretty good.
Synchronicity: Is fat at the top, but skinny low down.

A couple of rare or unusual things have formed.

The Peterson-Smaridge Dihedral (at the Rambles): Is in all the way to the top!
Shreddie: Is touching down.
Even Serendipity looked like it might want to form up.

El Nino: Is not in.
Deep Throat: Had a big hole.
Carl's Berg: Is "sort of" in. Two narrow pillars that are not filled in between them yet. Maybe WI6 right now?

Some routes on the Duffey are very snowy. We got defeated on Loose Lady by an 8cm thick ice layer over 20cm of snow over more cruddy ice. You could climb it, but the cleaning a trench down to solid ice part (vertical postholing?) was incredibly laborious.

December 27, 2006 (Thanks Brett)

HIGHWAY 99 SOUTH/ DUFFEY LAKE ROAD:

Report from Brett Matulis, Dave Gerber, and Mike Desisto - 22-23 December 2006

Rambles Left: Is in.  Somewhat hollow, but easily protectable.
Rambles Right; First Step: Is in.  The second step is all snow with thin slab-ice underneath. 
The Column: Is a giant pile of chandelier ice and cannot really be protected; screws completely lose resistance after three or four turns.
The Petersen-Smaridge Dihedral: Looks like a blast but we didn't have time for that. It looked a bit more solid than the Column in the corner, but the right-hand side is very thin. The book says "in the past decade, the drainage changed, and nowadays usually only the first 30m-35m ices in." It looked bigger than that - almost reaching a great tree for a rappel anchor; could it have changed back? If the cold temps hold, it should be a great climb soon.
Carl's Berg: Looked in, but we didn't take a close look. Could be chandeliery.
Swiller Pillar: Looks awesome from a distance.
Sweet Cinamon: Give it a bit more time and it will be thick too.
Synchronicity: Looks mostly in from across the valley.

Honeyman Falls: Didn't exist.  At least, we couldn't find it in the dark.

December 10, 2006 (Thanks Drew)

HIGHWAY 3/ KEREMEOS:

NEW ROUTE:

Private Reserve 45m WI3+

Jesse Mason, Jordan Peters, Steven Harng and Drew Brayshaw; Dec 9, 2006

This climb is located on the West bank of the Similkameen River across from Highway 3 in the drainage of Larcan Creek, where the creek pours over a limestone cliff. Drive up the Ashnola River road from near Keremeos, then follow a dirt road Northwest on the West bank of the Similkameen to the drainage. Access is through Lower Similkameen Band reserve lands (the road is on reserve land and reserve land must be crossed to reach the climb, which is on Crown land) so permission for access should be obtained in advance by contacting the band office. The climb cannot be seen from the West side of the river so scoping beforehand from the highway is helpful in finding the right drainage.

The direct route up the drainage to the climb is choked with prickle bushes. Approach up open slopes on the north side of Larcan Creek until level with the climb (300m elevation gain), then traverse game trails across steep slopes into the drainage to gain the base of the ice (45 minutes to 1 hour approach).

The climb consists of 35 meters of rambling 60 to 70 degree ice to a step and then a steep curtain finish which varies in height from 5m and WI3/3+ on the left to 9m and WI4 on the right.

Rappel from a tree to get down.

December 6, 2006 (Thanks Peter)

HIGHWAY 99/ PEMBERTON:

Peter sent me some PHOTOS of The Plum and Nintendo 64 from last Friday (Dec 1).

December 4, 2006 (Thanks David and Drew)


Photo by QT Luong/terragalleria.com
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