2007-2008 Ice Reports

If you have anything to report on the current ice season, email me at westcoasticereports@gmail.com and I will post the information here.

April 27, 2008 (Thanks Bruce)

Highway 99 South - North Joffre

Just talked to Craig McGee - he and Chris Geisler climbed Rhapsody in Floyd (April 24) and said its in excellent condition. They avoided the Traverse of the Idiots on descent by climbing higher up the ridge, but still managed to trigger a size 2 slab avalanche in terrain beyond the descent rib. North Joffre is a totally reasonable day trip from Whistler.
Free Tibet is now extinct for the season. The wall was running with water in the sun, yet the chimney was cool and dry.

April 9, 2008 (Thanks Bruce and Chris)

Lost Ice Tool Found: Chris found an ice tool on the final approach to Rambles Left this winter. He would like to get it back to its owner -- "Scott". It has a Charlet Moser 4x4 pick on an older well loved bent shaft tool. To contact Chris, email him at chris.kateATtelus.net (replace AT with @).

Highway 99 South - North Joffre

WI/AI 5, M6, A0 Nine pitches. FA Jim Martinello, Bruce Kay Apr 02, 2008 (previous attempts by Bruce Kay and Craig McGee, then Bruce, Craig and Brad White). Climb is on Northeast face of Pt. 291810 (UTM) North Joffre creek.

This route is located immediately right of the previous chimney route misnamed "
Home Depot Shaft" ( I won't bore you with the details ) and hence forth known as Rhapsody in Floyd. The ACCOMPANYING PHOTOS should make everything clear as the chimney is obvious. Free Tibet took three tries with a good part of the effort accomplished on the second try with Craig McGee solving pitch 2, bolting on lead with a power drill. I (Bruce) had to yank on a couple of bolts at the crux on the last effort and it still felt like M6 and thin WI 5 to finish - but then Craig is a bit of a mutant, so I don't feel so bad. Four pitches of technical climbing gets you to the upper couloir, which serves up 5 more pitches varying in equal measure from 60 degree neve to WI2 to WI4. Start at diagonal corners at low point of the face. finish was via "Traverse of the Idiots" (see previous report - Rhapsody in Floyd).

This route is a mega classic thin ice route - highly recommended. Protection checks in as good to adequate - occasionally rating R, (especially in the upper couloir) - on a mix of rock gear and screws. Pitch 2 has 7 protection bolts and stations are bolted up to pitch 3. I suspect this route is doomed for the season given the weekend forecast of sun and 2200 M freezing levels, but file it away for next year - you won't regret it.

Rhapsody in Floyd will likely survive or even benefit from the forecast and it is equally as recommendable a route so if you're interested. Keep watching the weather trends.

The other waterfall routes were still largely good to go last week, but will likely take a serious hit this weekend.

March 31, 2008 (Thanks Bruce and Craig)

Highway 99 South - Duffey Lake Road/ Cayoosh Creek

Red Wall Wanderers: It appears some duffy routes may be reforming with past week of cold temps. It was FAT. Its a bit of a slog in, but a good route.
Other routes still in the running include The Rambles and Closet Secrets.

Red Wall Wanderers: Photo provided by Craig McGee

March 26, 2008 (Thanks Don!)

Highway 99 South - North Joffre

Bruce Kay is right - conditions in North Joffre Creek are AMAZING right now.

Graham Rowbotham and I (Don Serl) skied up there Sunday, March 22nd. Less than 1 1/2hrs to the end of the road, gentle uphill, entirely bush-free. Swiss Wall is festooned with ice, and only another 30-40 minutes approach - then you need to dump the skis and flog up deep soft snow to the base, but the valley scene is so pleasant it doesn't seem like drudgery. We climbed Fromage Suisse, the right-hand of two routes in a partially hidden gully in mid-cliff (the other is Schniedelwurz). The line is very attractive, and the sun barely gets onto these two routes. We soloed to a rock nose right of the base of the column, where there is a convenient shrub. The column itself was considerably more strenuous and unrelenting than it appeared from below (solid WI4), but after a porous section at the base, much of the ice took single swing sticks. Strangely, this was interspersed with some very platey sections. The ice kicks back to WI3 after 30m, and we belayed at the 'lip' at 50m, where it eases to a final 20m of WI2, which we didn't bother to climb. Hearty avalanches thundered down the gullies on the sunny opposite side of the valley from noon onwards, but the threat on any of the Swiss Wall routes seemed minimal.

See the PHOTOS.

March 17, 2008 (a quick report from Drew)

Highway 5 - Coquihalla

Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen
WI3+ 90m FA Jesse Mason, Graham Rowbotham, Don Serl and Drew Brayshaw March 16, 2008

Acting on a tip from Chris Link of the Coquihalla avalanche patrol, 4 of us (Jesse, Graham, Don & Drew) went skiing west from Falls Lake. About 1km west of Falls Lake the valley takes a bend SW and below Nak and Yak are several nice 2-3 pitch potential lines ranging from blue sheet ice to mixed corners and gullies. The elevation is c. 1400m so it should stay fat for several weeks yet. Avvy hazard was minimal on our line but some other potential routes have big terrain above. Approach time on skis was about 2 hours.

Our climb, Royal Canadian Kilted Yaksmen went at 90m, WI3+. The first pitch is a rope stretcher (full 60m) with a steep start then a snow-filled gully through a chokepoint to a widening. The second crux pitch (30m) climbed the right side of a short steep pillar. Going direct on this one would be WI4.

Two raps down - top one from tree, second one from Abalakov.

Snowed all day, also quite windy. Spindrift at times was quite heavy.

Photos are on Flickr

March 16, 2008 (thanks Dave and Bruce)

This report is very late (it's from last weekend) as I was out of town on business.

Highway 99 South - Squamish & North Joffre

I don't know if there's anyone left out there in cyber ice-land but here are a few observations:

Fluffy Kitten Wall was scoped last saturday (Mar 8) from the Garibaldi highlands. All the sugar frosting that coated the thing all winter has fallen off revealing a big streak of blue ice running down the line of Tiggers... (aka Forever Young). Worth keeping an eye on if a clear night and day materializes.

Rhapsody in Floyd WI4/AI4 400+ meters FA Bruce Kay & Chris Christie March 8, 2008

Sunday myself and Chris Christie went into North Joffre Creek and climbed a probable new route located on a steep 300 meter Northeast facing buttress a half kilometer past Big Blue (the last guide book recorded route in the area and furthest upstream (you can see the buttress we climbed way to the right in the guidebook photo). I remember the boys talking about this feature many years ago, but I never heard of anyone climbing it.

Our route follows a obvious wide chimney feature for eight rope stretcher pitches of fairly sustained WI 4. Conditions were excellent on a mix of water-ice and styrofoam snow, following numerous narrow grooves and steep smooth walls. Cruxes usually presented as short bits of froth or the odd mushroom tunnelling session interrupting the usual good sticks. Protection was at times a bit run-out, due to compact rock, but nothing too outrageous. The belays were good. Our descent started with a big ,bold and belayed traverse to the North across a steep hanging snow field (insane, without good stability) to cross a rib and gain a straight forward plunge back down to the skis at the base of the route. Rapping the route is a good option. A good rack consists of a single selection of cams and nuts to 1.5 inches, 6-8 pins KB's to standard angle, 6-8 screws all sizes.

We highly recommend this route. Its the sort of stuff people spend big amounts of money and travel time trying to get to half way around the world and here it is - a day trip from Vancouver. Its likely to persist for a quite a while yet, due to the complete sun protection it receives. Best yet is the minimal avalanche exposure - a bit unusual for Joffre Creek. Get on it and enjoy!

The established ice routes downstream are starting to look a little sun effected where thin, solid and blue where fat.

Here are some PHOTOS of North Joffre (reported on Feb 26).

Highway 99 South - Seton Lake

Here's some of Watersports on Seton Lake from a previous climb.  iIcan't believe more people don't make the trip down there - its top quality, a bit like a west coast Le Pomme d'Or.

Maybe a few PHOTOS of Watersports will light some fire for next year!

Highway 99 - Marble Canyon, Rambles and Red Wall Wanderers

Climbed around Lillooet last weekend. Rambles and Red Wall Wonderers are in the same shape as end of February. Deeping Wall at Marble Canyon was still in, but that's about it for Hwy 99 North .

February 29, 2008 Updated (thanks Jeff and Peter)

Highway 99 - Marble Canyon, Rambles and Red Wall Wanderers

Tom Ryan and I Jeff Street headed up to Lillooet BC last weekend for another round of ice climbing. Despite the warm end of winter temps, we are still finding dam good ice in the higher and shadier area's. On Saturday we climbed Red Wall Wanderer (WI 5, 6p) and on Sunday we went to Marble Canyon and climbed Fender Bender (WI 5+/6, 1p) amongst other things. Here are some PHOTOS...

Werner and Peter went up to the Rambles and Marble Canyon this
past Tues. and Wed.
Rambles Right was in, but becoming very wet with temps above freezing.
Marble Canyon was dying and extremely wet and warm.
We would say there would only be a few more days left in these areas.
Check out more PHOTOS...

February 26, 2008 Updated (thanks Don, Bruce and Peter)

Highway 99 South - North Joffre Creek

North Joffre creek is in primo condition right now. Numerous 70 to 100 meter WI 4 to 5 lines of blue columns and flows. The routes face Northeast and lose the sun before noon, as does the big terrain above. This drainage is rowdy avalanche terrain from stem to stern with nowhere to hide if you guess wrong about stability so keep your thinking caps on. Check avalanche.ca for bulletins.

Avalanche hazard is currently low and unlikely to change dramatically worse UNLESS the weather forecast proves dramatically wrong (weak fronts and generally staying cool above 1000 M through the weekend) - and of course those lying bastards are never wrong are they?

At any rate if you still need a fix, this is one of the zones with plenty of life left. 1.5 to 2.5 hour approaches up a smooth sailing recently reactivated logging road.

Highway 99 South - Duffey Lake Road/Cayoosh Creek

Spent Thursday and Friday on the Duffey and found it to be in pretty good shape. Thursday, we (Peter Watson and company) climbed Closet Secrets for the first time - great route! Where are the 2 bolts on the 1st real pitch? Closet Secrets was a little wet, but not suffering from any sun damage. Temps were -5 when we left the car at 10am and -3 when we returned at 4pm. Friday went back to The Tube for the first time this year and after seeing ice to the top from the road, we figured it was going to be in great shape. It was alright shape, with the ice on the left being a little bit bleached and airy, but good enough to force you higher. Top out was ice free, making for a sweet bouldering style mantel. After which I realized all the ice was done and I need to find an anchor, so I continued up the gully another 10m to find a decent tree with a bit of old tat. I replaced it with new webbing and 2 biners -- should be good to go. What about adding a 2 bolt anchor on the right side at the top out that could be reached when ice doesn't allow mantling.?
Temps Friday were a lot warmer with -3 to start the day and +5 when we finished. It should last another week or two at least so get out before its gone.

Highway 5 - Coquihalla

Went looking for something not too far from town that might still be icy, and Box Canyon sounded okay. So I (Don Serl) walked in today (Saturday) with Graham Rowbotham and Drew Brayshaw. Easy snowshoeing - warm weather has settled the snowpack pretty decently - 1 1/2 hrs to back end of the canyon. But the sunny week has totally rotted out (and/or collapsed) anything that sees the sun, including Emerald Wall. Plus the sun 'punked out' the surface on the stuff that's still 'up'.
Grim Reaper is looking pretty good up high, but 'punky' and very snowy low down.
Scotch on the Rocks is still solid ice, although it looks like just a single pitch.
We climbed Engage - about 50m to a belay low on the upper pillar. Found tricky surface conditions on the first pitch - difficult to gets sticks, feet, and pro. Then about 12m up a vertical corner on the left (good stemming) to a very snowy exit. One long rap off (59m).

See PHOTOS of Engage on Flickr (including a nice shot of the n'ice shot Graham took to the forehead)

February 20, 2008 (thanks Jeff, Cameron, Garry, Jason and Drew)

Highway 5 - Coquihalla

Came out of Box Canyon today (feb. 16) on a ski trip from above and can say the climbs are definitely in. Looked good. One note: in Don's West Coast Ice guide it states that the Emerald Wall at the back of the canyon has not seen any routes yet. Despite that fact that the 80m of  WI4+ or WI5
ice at the very back is currently FAT and ready to climb. I don't know if it has a name yet?

Highway 40 - Bridge River Canyon

Friends climbed Salmon Stakes on Sunday, Feb 17. Ice is in fine shape. See PHOTOS.
Climbed Shriek of Sheep on Sunday, Feb 17. Ice was fat. Approach was a bitch with major trail breaking in deep sugar snow -- but now there’s our boot track. See PHOTOS.

Highway 99 North - Marble Canyon

See PHOTOS of Icy BC, Comfortably Numb and Shake, Rattle and Roll

Gary Wolkoff and Jason Kilmartin climbed at Marble Canyon February 16. Excellent conditions!!! Icy BC was amazing with the last pitch in WI 4 conditions. I (Jason) also led one of Garry B new mixed lines - Comfortably Numb (see below). I haven’t done much mixed climbing before, but I thought this route was outstanding! Very well protected and the perfect amount of ice. Way too much FUN! Planning to go back next weekend for the other new mixed line.

Comfortably Numb M7/WI4 30m 14 bolts
5m right of 'Waite For Spring'. Grade varies from M7 (when the ice is lean) to WI4 (when the ice is fat and covering the route).
30m in length with 14 bolts.

Shake, Rattle and Roll M5/ WI3 20m 5 bolts
6m left of 'Dale's Route'. WI3 M5.
20m in length with 5 bolts.

Highway 99 South - Duffey Lake Road/ Cayoosh Creek

Climbed at Rambles Central and Right on Saturday, Feb 16. Ice in fine shape. See PHOTOS.
Climbed Loose Lady on Monday, Feb 18. Ice fat. Boot track and hard pack makes approach a breeze. See PHOTOS.

Highway 99 South - Squamish

There is a lot of ice in around the vicinity of A Scottish Tale, but warm temperatures and spontaneous icefall precluded a better look or an attempt on the route. Climbed in the Smoke Bluffs instead - South facing crags were sunny and dry.

February 12, 2008 (thanks Peter and Don)

Highway 99 South - Blackcomb Mountain/ Whistler/ Pemberton

Another Day: Was in and fat, with the snow only rotting out (about 6 inches of ice underneath) towards the top.
The mixed lines to the left have lots of ice on them as well.
The Farm: No ice on the Farm still (as reported a couple weeks ago).
Looked up at Husume Buttress and it looked like a shovel would be the main piece of gear to bring with you. No ice to be seen without binoc's.

Jesse Mason and Jeff Hunt climbed (led) 3 lines at Mystery Roach Hotel on Saturday. It was warm, but the ice was fat and good.

Quicky WI 4+ 45m Craig McGee and Bruce Kay
Craig McGee climbed an ice route immediately off the Soo River Road, which was plowed a couple of weeks ago. (left home at 9am and were back at noon). It may have been climbed to the 2/3 hight at least. Placed one bolt early on the traverse then found another with tat on it almost over to the other ice. No info on whether this was a back-off bolt (likely), as no slings were found on trees at top. Also no idea who was involved.

See Photo of Quicky

Highway 99 South - Duffey Lake Road / Cayoosh Creek

Graham Rowbotham and Don Serl climbed Swiller Pillar on Sunday. Very warm in the valley (chinooking), but just at freezing temps up at the route, and the ice was dry. Only 1 hr 20 mins approach now that the trail is beaten in. The 'junk' section is not vertical, but it requires a good head to hook and 'kick steps' up the 20 feet or so till you get gear and the climbing eases. A 60m rappel from a juniper in the snow above the route just reaches the ground - next party please take a maillion to set on the sling on the bush so it survives the season. 

See the Swiller Pillar Photos

VERY warm in Lillooet now (+8Chighs Monday and Tuesday), +1C at Cayoosh summit 3pm Tuesday, +3C at Terzaghi Dam (3pm Tuesday), even +7C at CLINTON (!) midafternoon - keep the fingers crossed this doesn't go on very long, or the season is gonna be cut short for sure!

February 11, 2008 (thanks Kelly and Ran)

Highway 99 South - Pemberton

We (Katy and Kelly) were at the Plum on Saturday, Feb 9th, on the middle step (the WI4 pitch). Some avalanche activity scared us away -- rapidly warming temperatures and small wet avalanches simultaneously coming down the climb and a gulley to the right. We abandoned a screw and biner about 15m up the right hand side. If you find it, you can either scrape off my initials (KF) and put it on your rack, or if you want you could return it by dropping it off at an MEC store c/o Katy Holm (she works at head office). Or you could email me and I could grab it from you (kennyfrazz@gmail.com).
The Plum was in good shape, lots of ice, but surprisingly brittle for the warm temps.

Highway 99 North - Marble Canyon

Sunday Feb 10th, we (Katy and Kelly) climbed most of Icy BC. We bailed off the top pitch about halfway up: thin ice over water, bulletproof brittle ice where it was thicker, and marauding VOCers climbing directly below all stacked up against us.

Additional Marble conditions from the 'marauding VOC climbers' can be found on the a target="_blank" href="http://www.ubc-voc.com/gallery/v/ran256/marbleCanyon/"> UBC VOC report.

Saturday day temperature by the ice were about -3C. The evening was clear, so it got below -10C at night. Most of the ice was very dry. Sunday was very sunny, temperatures moving well above zero, at one point I thought it was raining.

I was impressed with such good ice conditions, given a warm weather forecast at the end of season.

February 7, 2008 (thanks Ian)

Public Service Announcement... :-)

A contingent of hopeful fools from the UBC Varsity Outdoor Club will be heading to Marble Canyon and the Rambles this weekend, camping at Marble Canyon. Might just be the only ones around because of very warm and wet conditions forecasted, but I thought that I'd get the word out just in case. There'll probably be between 20 to 25 of us, with a lot of newbies who've never climbed ice before.

February 4, 2008 (thanks Don, Marc, Drew, Peter, Bruce and Robert)

Highway 99 South - Whistler/Pemberton

Went to Pemberton last Sunday. Everything still looks fat.
White Blotter:
Jia and I (Robert) went up on White Blotter. As far as I know, it still awaits a full ascent this year. The party before us did not top out (and neither did we), so I would not call it an ascent of the route. I took 20 ft whipper on the second pitch, having my tool pop out towards the top. Anyway - a stellar route and deserving a WI6 grade on the first pitch.
The Plum: Looked fat and blue.
Pole View Falls: Looked in, but getting white from the sun. I don't think the lines will stay climbable for much longer.

Peter and Candy climbed up through Whistler and Pemberton.
Cal-Chek: In, thin in places. Great for top roping. The trail is now marked with fluorescent orange tape thanks to Werner G.; ignore the orange and black tape.
Mystery Roach Motel: In. A bit wet up in the middle.

See Peter's PHOTOS

Highway 99 South - Duffey Lake Road

The Tube: In, thin at the top. See Peter's PHOTOS

Jan 31: I (Bruce Kay) climbed Swiller Pillar with Brad White. Major kudos to Don Serl and Graham Rowbotham for the heroic trail busting effort through the crust and facets - we owe you a beer! 1.5 hrs in. Found generally good ice with 20 feet of ice junky enough to kick steps in early on second pitch (improved higher up).
Feb 01: We started paddling down Seton Lake, but turned around in stiff wind and chop. Made it to Fishin' Musician which looked good. Tried to salvage the day by hiking into Gung Hai Fat Choi which looked good to go from the road. The approach went remarkably well over mostly weight bearing crust under old growth canopy - 1 hr in. Tragically, we arrived to find 20 feet of steep choss under a hanging dagger, invisible from the road. We tried to find enough pro to make it work but no dice. Anyone interested may find success on what looked like a good drytool start with a few bolts. After that the route looks good as per the guide book description.

Highway 1 - Fraser Canyon

Graham Rowbotham,  Jesse Mason and I (Drew Brayshaw) climbed The Crucible on Saturday. Canyon was frozen over enough to walk right up the drainage, with one open pool to skirt. We climbed the route starting on the left, in two pitches (35m and 45m). We climbed on hugely featured and sometimes cauliflowered ice to a big ledge and cave with a frozen-over pool. The final pitch was quite wet and spitting water. Jesse led to the top on this pitch (30m), but ice was so poor at the top-out that he downclimbed 10m to a dry and sheltered belay. One 60m rap down from the cave just reaches the ground.

Pic here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/druclimb/2238581356/

There are only two known ascents of The Crucible before this, but I suspect it has been climbed other times and unreported. Still, from personal experience, it is the first time it has been found in climbable shape since 2000. It should stay around as long as Lytton remains below freezing - get it while you can.

There's a very impressive potential 40m hard mixed route with a steep crack and ice blobs - facing The Crucible on the other side of the amphitheatre.

The Retort WI3 30m Graham Rowbotham,  Jesse Mason & Drew Brayshaw February 2, 2008
On the hike out from The Crucible, we all soloed a 30m WI3 drip on the North (right side as you descend) wall of the canyon about 50m, upstream of the plunge-pool. Very thin at the bottom, rather like Closet Secrets. Thickening and easing off to WI2 at the top. Walk off descent to climber's right with some loose rock scrambling to descend.

On Sunday, same crew plus Mike Warn climbed Jackass. It's in WI3 shape right now with little open water. The first pitch is solid WI3 on the left (possibly harder on the right) with lots of foot features. From the top of this pitch (40m), move the belay up snowslopes 60m to the final 40m WI2+/3 curtain, which is also climbed on the left to a tree belay.

Tijuana Donkey Show WI4+ 30m Graham Rowbotham, Jesse Mason, Mike Warn & Drew Brayshaw February 3, 2008
After climbing Jackass, we headed up the gully immediately North to climb the short column which is visible therein and listed in West Coast Ice Volume 2 as possibly unclimbed. It turned out to be burly. Graham led it and felt it was worth WI4+. Mushroomed bulges at the bottom lead to a vertical section and a rest on the right. The final few meters is eggshell thin and must be climbed with care to avoid caving the whole thing in. From the top, head back up 8m of creek bed and intermittent WI2 to find a rap tree. One 30m rap just touches down. No signs at the top of rap anchors or any previous ascents.

Superheroes Cirque is in, with the main three lines are all touching down.
Sailor Bar and Ultrawoman are very snowy, with minimal ice visible (except at the cruxes).
Water Music: Is maybe in.
Under The Big Top: Is in for sure.
Kanaka Column: Is in and looked dry.
Hell's Gate ice is in. Possibly high avalanche hazard up near top tier of Cerberus.

Hope Mountain

Stuck in a Rut
WI2+ 55m FA Marc Leclerc & Dave Heinbach, January 2008
A few weeks ago we (Marc Leclerc and Dave Heinbach) drove up the Hope Mountain FSR to climb some ice. Instead of climbing the two existing routes lower down in the forest, we went 1000ft higher and climbed the farthest left/NE flow near the top of the mountain. The Red Arrow in the photo below points to where the route is on the mountain, but it is obscured by trees. It is the farthest left flow on the face.

Stuck in a Rut approach
Mount Hope

January 31, 2008 (thanks Bruce, Matt and Jason)

Avalanche Conditions:
Bruce noted: Just thought I'd remind everyone that new snow is fattening up over a variety weaknesses, including surface hoar. So keep your heads way up going into this storm period. Refer to www.avalanche.ca for public bulletins.

Highway 40  - Bridge River Canyon

Jade Falls: In and fat, but right side quite wet. Pillar formed to the right was dripping wet, but temps dropped after Sunday.
Shriek of Sheep: Looked good.
Nite 'N Gale: Looked fat.

Highway 99 North  - Marble Canyon

Oregon Jack: In, fat, and dry.

Icy BC: Pitch 1 in and well-climbed, pitch 2 in and wet, pitch 3 in but looking lean
Deeping Wall: Not quite touching down, but in. Formed right in the far left corner.

Highway 99 South  - Duffey Lake Road/ Cayoosh Creek

Rambles, Left: All in. Top pillars wet, but fat.
Rambles, Centre: All in and fat. Left finish in easy conditions.
Lenin: Ice quality not great
Robin Hood: In and looking nice.

Highway 99 South  - Whistler/ Pemberton

Jason Green and Gavin Duffell climbed Sunday Driver and found it in excellent condition, fun moderate ice. Lots of ice to play on.
Psyho Pillar: Is in, but a little scarey looking still. Might be good to go for the weekend.


Sweating Fear
WI 4- M5 45m FRA Gavin Duffell & J.Green January 25, 2008
New route is just downstream from Sucks To Be You. Start up thin ice and frozen moss to a large tree then up a WI 4- flow up on a slab of rock.

January 28, 2008 (thanks Mark-Andre, Bruce and Don)

Highway 1  - Hope

Most of the ice near Hope appears to be in fat conditons, but snow has mixed with the ice and made an outside 'slurpee' layer which runs fairly deep in some spots. On steep ice where snow can't settle, the ice is good.

Highway 99 South  - Whistler/Pemberton

The Whistler/ Pemberton coridor is open season. Uncertain about conditions on Entropy, Medicine Man and other sun exposed routes.

Blue Moon on Rye: Thin looking in the middle, but that's what its all about anyway... pick a cloudy day.
White Blotter: Bruce Kay climbed on White Blotter with Brad White and Brent Phillips. Fat and solid. NOTE REGARDING APPROACH: disregard directions in the guide book - regenerated bush has obscured that line. Instead, park 150 M past a sign that says "Prohaska" and head up from there (follow our tracks). Cross the rail, a couple of dirt roads and Hydro right of way, then work the old growth right of the fall line until the rest of the way is obvious.
Additional Note from Don: There's a lot of ice on the White Blotter cliff, but it looked very 'strandy' and hard from the road, especially the second tier. Since it usually looks OK from the road and turns out to be the hardest WI5 on the planet, it's probably in 'tough' shape right now.

Don and Graham drove the D'Arcy Road on Saturday morning to scope routes.
Roadside Attraction: Looked do-able, but sported some big holes.
Candlewax: Did not look inspiring.
The Plum: Looked great.
Valentine: Had lots of holes in the first tier.

Highway 99 South  - Duffey Lake Road/ Cayoosh Creek

Graham Rowbotham and I (Don Serl) flogged up to the Swiller Pillar on Saturday. The snow was the worst I've ever encountered on an ice climbing approach - it took us 4 hours (!) to reach the climb from the car, and while the somewhat optimistic guidebook suggestion that it's "about 1 hour to the routes" would only be possible in perfect conditions, it IS only just over 1km and 400m in elevation gain. The route started with a 6 or 8m vertical step, which brittle surface ice made tricky. Lower-angled, poorish ice with shitty pro led to a pull thru on some mushrooms (luckily with a good screw, at last) and a belay at 30m behind a column. Graham set out onto the second section, but after getting 3 or 4 body-lengths up it, and having placed two screws which mostly just dialed into air, he came down and we rapped off. It only took an hour to flail back down to the creek, but the trash bag waders leaked badly on the crossing out, so the day ended with miserable, cold, wet feet - the perfectly rounded coastal ice experience, all told!

See the Swiller Pillar PHOTOS on Flickr.

Jesse and Jeff got a bit twisted on the approach to Last Call on
Saturday, but eventually found the correct approach ramp. They followed this all the way to the ice, avoiding the first pitch, then climbed pitches 2 and 3, planning on rapping into and re-climbing pitch 1 on their descent, but by the time they were descending the day was getting late, and they headed for the car.

They found Spray Creek Falls to be "not in" on Sunday, then climbed at The Tube, which reports have as wet but do-able.

South of Lillooet  - Texas Creek

I (Don Serl) couldn't stand another flail Sunday, so we went into Texas Creek, which was very pleasant. There is a GUIDEBOOK ERROR in positioning Texas Two Step - it is just around the corner beyond the 1km sign (say, at 1.2km), well short of the second bridge at 2km. We split the climb into two pitches: the first was a bit wet, but very entertaining up a narrow channel - MUCH less ice than in the guidephoto on page 220. The second step is only about 15m high, and we left the pull-out (top) much less bushy than we found it. A single 55m rap took us back to the packs on
the snow - the climb is considerably shorter than the guidebook claim of 80m. Highly recommended, however, for parties looking for an aesthetic easy route.

See the Texas Two Step PHOTOS on Flickr.

We soloed up and down Lone Star in about 10 minutes on the walk out - this probably qualifies as the least significant "route" in the guide, but could be an OK place to take a couple of beginners.

January 28, 2008 (thanks Bruce, Drew, Adrian and Tom)

Highway 99 South  - Squamish

Drove through Squamish and scoped a few routes. In general, no routes are in with the following possible exceptions:

University Wall Drool: Thin but possible.....perhaps.
Diedre: Ditto.
White Dyke: Even more unlikely.
Upper Black Dyke: An intriguingly suggestive white streak looks promising from the road..... but through the scope appears as terrifying as ever. As Tobin Sorensen once put it "witlessly bold, heroicly dull....".
Sick Puppy: Couldnt see if the top chimney pitch (the money pitch) was in, but the approach slab looked sorta there.
Fluffy Kitten Wall and environs: A close look via snowmobile revealed a whole lotta sn'ice and maybe some ice so i'd give it a miss. Downstream some long forgotten routes (Xanadu?) looked like they might be worth a visit.

All in all Squamish is far from "going off" as they say.

Highway 99 South - Duffey Lake Road/ Cayoosh Creak

We (Adrian Bissenden and Gary Shorthouse) climbed The Tube and Loose Lady yesterday Jan 27). The Tube is a little wet, but still fun climbing. 
Climbed Loose Lady via the left side on the final column, which offered mentally draining climbing with massive dinner plates and fractures with most swings. Final column is in WI5 shape.  The right side looks like better ice, but very wet.

Highway 1 - Bridal Falls to Hope

Bridal Falls: Still not in.
Picadilly Circus: Might be in, but very snowy at present.
Easy Intro: Is discontinuous & not climbable
Diviner: Is in, but also very snowy.
Medusa: Is very thin, not sure if it's climbable
Jet Lag and The Cure: Are in as seen from Hwy 7 looking across.
Mousetrap: Is much fatter than midweek, appears fully climbable

Highway 7 - Agassiz to Hope

Tailwind: Is in. A bit thinner than the first ascent, but continuous ice. Rock gear may be helpful at the roof and elsewhere.
Frost Heave: Is not in.
Hells Lake Falls: Is very thin, two separate strands of ice. Not protectable, but top-ropeable. The lake is frozen over, but possibly not load-supporting. Best to walk around.

Highway 1 - Fraser Canyon

Sailor Bar Gully: Is in. Thin, but protectable.
Kryptonite & K. Direct: Are discontinuous.
Mr Freeze and Riddler: Are touching down, but not exactly fat - maybe hard for the grades right now.
Water Music: Has ice, but may not be complete.
Under the Big Top: Has thickened up and is approaching guidebook photo conditions.
Cerberus, Hello Kitty and Styx: Are in.
New Route for You?? The prominent unclimbed drip over a cave, 100m up the East side of the highway (500m north of Hells Gate tram), has touched down (for the first time in a decade?). Get it while it lasts.
Jackass: Has huge holes and is not climbable
Column to L of Jackass (up the gully): Is there but thin.
Kanaka Kolumn: Is in.
Crucible: Still has a hole in the bottom, gushing water, but is very close to forming completely.
Goldpan Gullies: Are all in good shape.

Okanagan - Naramata

Here is a link (and quoted text below) to a trip report on Cascade climbers of a possible FA of 3 moderate routes on Naramata Creek:

Full story, photos and access directions on cc.com

Possible First Accents on Naramata Creek
Dates: Jan 23/24 2008
Climbers: Jeremy Thom, Tom Zajac

We climbed possible first accents of three moderate routes on Naramata Creek in the Okanagan town of Naramata. There are no reports of previous accents that we could find. We would not be surprised if these had been climbed previously, they are very easy to access. However, we feel if anyone had previously climbed the upper canyon they would want to report it. I would appreciate any reports of previous accents, or comments on grading.


Naramata Creek is about 5 hrs from Vancouver. From downtown Penticton, (Main & Front St) drive East on Front St. until you come to a round-about. Turn on to Naramata Road. Drive 12.4 km until you reach Arawana Road. Turn right and drive up for 1.2 km until you cross the Kettle Valley Railway right-of-way (aka TransCanada Trail). There, either turn left to reach lower trackside climbs or carry on up Arawana Road to reach the hidden canyon.

For the lower climbs, drive North for 1 km along the KVR until you reach a dip in the railroad grade. Look for a “125” sign, and a concrete flume. Walk 50m down the creek bed below the flume to the top of the climbs. They are not visible until you are standing right on top of them. Rap off the numerous trees down the climbs.

For the upper canyon, carry on up Arawana Road to 2.5 km (from Naramata Rd.) to the first of a series of switchbacks. Park on the side of the road, and walk North from the switchback until you reach the creek bed. Follow the creek up until you find a steep box canyon. Use caution while walking in the canyon, there were lots of pools covered by thin ice and hidden by snow. We fell through multiple times resulting in no less than 7 boot soakings. Total distance from the switchback, 300m, 10 min. 20 min with a ladder (see below).


There is a lot of water flow in Naramata creek. In order for these climbs to form, there needs to be a prolonged freeze in the Okanagan. We had 5 days of temperatures between -5 and -14 at Penticton airport leading up to climbing. Ice had formed and was climbable, but there was still significant water flowing behind, through and over the climbs. I would suspect that these climbs form every year during the annual week or two of cold weather that rolls in during January or February, but the climbing likely doesn’t last long.

Lower Climbs:

Slurpee WI2+, 25 m – PFA (TR) T Zajac, J Thom, Jan 23, 2008
The left most climb. As the name suggests, it’s wet. The main flow of the water follows this route. A combination of wet slush, brittle ice, and onion skin prevented us from trying a lead ascent.

Hope WI2+, 30m - PFA J Thom, T Zajac, Jan 23, 2008.
The rightmost line within the falls. Dryer than Slurpee. This climb likely is ‘in’ sooner and longer than the other climbs.

Upper climb:

The upper, hidden canyon is a spectacular location. A narrow box canyon 3m wide with a steep ice face at the end. Use caution on the thin ice of the canyon floor. There is a narrow, short, unclimbed route under a large boulder in the lower half of the canyon. Lower section of Wet Feet, with protective moat. Note holes where both of us fell through while desperately trying to get to base of climb.

Wet Feet WI3, 60m – PFA J Thom, T Zajac, Jan 24, 2008.
The crux of this climb is the last 3m of access. It is protected by a moat of water, at least 1m deep. While covered with ice, it was not thick enough to support the weight of a climber. We returned the following day with an extension ladder which we used as a bridge. The lower 4m of ice was either thin or chandeliered, brittle, detached several inches from the rock, had a large flow of water flowing behind the ice, and was resting only on the 1.5” of ice on the surface of the moat. Jer nearly backed off, being a WI3 leader at best and fearing a plunge in the moat, but his marital issues put him in the necessary state of mind. The first 15m of steeper ice leads rightwards to a series of thinly iced pools (the final 20m were lead with a boot full of water) and steps. There is the option of a left finish and other ice to play on near the top. Walk off to the right around back to the entrance of the canyon (10 min). Bring a ladder, long plank, or rubber dingy to access this great climb.

January 26-27, 2008 [added Oregon Jack report]
(thanks Mike, Ian, Mark-Andre, Drew, Perry and Jason)

Downtown Vancouver - Stanley Park

One for the Novelty Section of West Coast Ice!

We (Ian Bennett and end Saar Moisa) ice climbed at the Sea Wall in Stanley Park on Wednesday night (Jan 23). It was pretty thin (+/- 5cm) and quite easy, but hilarious for what it was. We had to scramble in from the scenic drive just next to Prospect Point via the geotechnically-questionable slope to set up a TR on a tree. There was a couple hundred metres of ice to choose from, starting from where we climbed, going West. It's probably still there, but I'd bet it's thinning out pretty quick with the warming temps.

See the Stanley Park Ice PHOTOS

NOTE: it has started snowing here in Vancouver Saturday night (Jan 26) so maybe the smears will be back!

Highways 1 & 7 - Chilliwack, Hope & Fraser Canyon

We had a close look at all the climbs on Highway 1 between Hope and Chilliwack. Nothing is in, everything has water running behind/down it.
Silver Skagit still thin and unclimbable too. Up the Fraser Canyon, it's quite warm and all the climbs appear to have been melting or have melt water
undermining them.

We drove up to Hell's Gate today and there was some ice across the river from us that looked pretty good. A big waterfall on the right hand side of the road looked fat at the bottom but had a huge hole in it. The surrounding ice was thin, so you would probably die if you tried to climb around it.

Styx WI3 200m (3 pitches) FA Drew Brayshaw and Sarah Weatherbee Jan 26, 2008
Climb starts North of Cerberus on the West side of the river at Hells Gate.
Pitches are 45m WI3, 20m WI2, 40m WI3.
Two raps, 55m and 50m to get down.

Not much else has changed from previous report on Wednesday (Jan 23).
Under the Big Top is reforming, but not climbable yet.
Riddler and Joker have touched down.
Krypto Column is still not complete.

Highway 40 - Bridge River canyon

Chris Davies and Jason Kilmartin climbed Oregon Jack on Saturday, January 26. Climbed it in one long pitch. Perfect conditions!
See Oregon Jack PHOTOS.

Jade Falls: In and fat.
Silk Degrees:
Main pillar is not touching down. Smear/ramp approach to the right is in.
Salmon Stakes: In.
The Gift and The Theft: Neither is touching down.
See PHOTOS of the Bridge climbs listed above.

Highway 99 South - Duffey Lake Road/ Cayoosh Creek

See PHOTOS of the Duffey Lake climbs listed.

Carl's Berg: In, looking nice.
Last Call: In.
Synchronicity: In.

January 24, 2008 (thanks Bruce)

Highway 99 South - WHISTLER / PEMBERTON (report from January 21)

Entropy: Looks in but apparently is in poor condition. Party backed off.
Mystery Roach: is in and has been climbed.
Bruce Kay climbed the Eagle with Brad White. Some sections of funk but generally good conditions . The top column is fat.
The Mole: is in as well. Approach was a short canoe ferry across the Green River at Nairn Falls camp ground then 1 hr over mostly weight bearing crust.
Suicide: Lots of ice and fattening up nicely.
Blue Moon on Rye: Not in. Melting out every afternoon under the effects of sun. May form up with forecast of cloud and continued cold.
White Blotter: Have heard through the grapevine that it is in and fat.

Highway 99 South - Seton Lake

Bruce Kay climbed on Watersports with Jim Martinello. 1 hr canoe approach with light / no wind. New start on right hand strand of ice for 5 pitches of WI 2/3 gradually steepening to WI 4/5. Conditions were excelent with 1 swing sticks, minimal dinner plating and good screws. Hit an impasse at pitch six on poorly formed fragile collumns on right side of falls and bailed from there late in the day. At least another couple pitches to top from there. The original left hand line looks much more likely for success up high and the start is in at lake level. Good moorage found with bolt anchor and easy traverse to ice.

See previous report for other Seton Lake routes. Formation has changed little, but ice quality has improved significantly thus Fishin' Musician now looks pretty good.

If you have an ounce of adventure coursing through your blood you gotta get down the lake to check it out. The approach alone is mind-blowing enough - just don't tip her over! A car topper and small out board might be a wiser choice although a houseboat with heat, bar and sound system might work as well ....either way a no or low wind day is mandatory.

January 23, 2008 (thanks Craig, Don and Drew)

Highway 1 - Hope

Bridal Falls: Bits & pieces of ice but nothing climbable.
Piccadilly Circus: Not in yet.
Easy Intro: Has a fair bit of ice, but it is sun rotted and detached. Scary looking.
Diviner, etc: Look good. Quite snowy up there.
Hunter Creek routes: Are very thin as of yet. Iced, but maybe not climbable.
Mousetrap: Is coming along. First pitch hard/impossible to protect, but soloable WI2. Pool to cross to get to second pitch didn't seem to be thick enough to bear weight. Considering the whole thing was running water on Sunday, it's probably going to be good to go in another few days.
The Sheet: Is in.
Canton Palace: Has a hole.
Jah Loveth The Leftists/ Jah Loveth The Righteous: Both are forming, but probably not climbable for another few days.
Drove down to Cruel Pools for a look-see. It also seems to need a few more days to get climbable. The "unclimbed WI 4" mentioned in the guide is discontinuous blobs.
Thacker Falls: Is in, but likewise thin.
Jarvis Bluffs: Is pretty thin except the top of NW Passage which is quite fat. But as we all know its the lower pitches that rarely form that are the crux so, in summary, maybe not in.
The Honeymoon: Is big and fat with a big fat avvy hazard.
Drool in the Lotus: Is very snowy and unappealing.
Various unclimbed things in the Deneau Creek Road area need more time to form.
Fraser Canyon is very thin, but forming from Superheroes Cirque south. Sailor Bar Gully was climbable (soloable), but not protectable, with weird blobby mushroom ice. None of the other routes was completely formed yet.
Water Music: Wasn't fully in.
Under The Big Top: Has lower pitches formed and a big wet fresh hole in the top pitch. Looks like half the pitch fell off in the direct sunshine.
Hells Gate climbs are fat and blue (-7C in the area), except that Cerberus still has a hole in the first pitch. I assume that everything north of Hells Gate is also in except for rarely formed stuff like Crucible.

Coming back via Hwy 7, Hells Lake Falls is icing in, but nowhere near climbable yet.
is about 60% formed and also not climbable.

Highway 40 - Bridge River Canyon

Silk Degrees: Craig and Brad climbed Silk Degrees with the rock start, no ice. Nuts and medium cams help. The rest of the route is in good shape. We climbed the route above it too (can't remember the name), which was in good shape too. We (Craig and Brad) climbed two possible new routes at the 50.8 avalanche sign a kilometer or so West of Terzaghi Dam. They may have been climbed before (hard to imagine they haven't), but there were no slings on the trees up top.

Crack of Noon Club 30m WI 5+ FA Jan 18, 2008 Craig McGee, Brad White
Technical ice to a roof ice encounter (climbed on the right). Bigger roof than the left side, but better ice.
Approach: Head straight up open gully above the 50.8 avalanche sign. Climb is the first ice encountered on the right main wall of the ravine. See new route PHOTOS.

Kakaah 65m WI 4+ FA Jan 18, 2008 Brad White, Craig McGee
Climb is 100m East of Crack of Noon Club on South facing cliffs above the road. Thin ice ramp to very thin pillar finish. See new route PHOTOS. Graham Rowbotham and Don Serl attempted the unclimbed pillar right of Jade Falls, but backed off halfway because of seriously unconsolidated ice. Jade Falls was climbed via the direct line - excellent WI 4. 2 hours 15mins up now that the trail is beaten in.
They then climbed the little 15m "Bonsai" pillar left of Jade, which was tricky, balancy WI 4. There was a rap sling on a tree to the left (Does anyone have info on the first ascent?). PHOTOS on FLICKR

Graham and Don climbed A Four Dressed Up As A Six (only 20m on the column, and probably rates WI 5 in current conditions). PHOTOS on FLICKR

Millar Pillar and Capricorn are both in good shape. Someone beat a trail up to Millar Pillar and company, starting with the approach on the right slope beside Hell Creek, then angling up and right to reach the avvy track beneath the routes - which was easy, hard-packed cramponing.
Like a Rocket looked easier than described in the guidebook (like WI5). We started to climb Like a Rocket, but quickly changed our minds due to the water pouring down the center of the line. In cooler temperatures, it would be in great shape.
See Millar/Capricorn/Rocket PHOTOS.

Highway 99 North - Marble Canyon

Icy BC was not super fat (on the bottom there were some holes you could see the water rushing behind), but was definitely in, with the exception of pitch 3. Other stuff on the main wall was quite cauliflowered (the WI 4 on the main wall above the cave had exposed rock for a 2 meter band that was easily bypassed). 

Highway 99 South - Duffey Lake Road/ Cayoosh Creek

A party was observed descending from Synchronicity at about 4pm Sunday, so the trail has successfully been beaten in along the riverbank from the bridge (the log crossing is GONE).
There were tracks to the creek crossing at the Cinnamon Creek campground, so someone likely went to Swiller Pillar or Last Call, both of which look do-able thru the scope, although hard. Any info out there?
Climbed Red Wall Wanderer on the Duffey. The whole route is IN. However, the crux pillar is quite difficult to protect. Not that difficult climbing, but basically no real gear until the last 5 feet.

January 18-19, 2008 (thanks Bruce and Drew)

Highway 1 - Hope

Nothing has formed in the immediate vicinity of Hope as of Sunday Jan 20. Mousetrap and others are open/running, etc.

Sumallo Bluffs has formed ice, but recent heavy snowfall has heavily coated the bluffs. Until the snow build-up sloughs off, climbing would be unpleasant and possibly unsafe. For instance, the Buszowski/Kippan is pure white with snow, with no visible ice. Only the hanging curtain of Landmark Gully is snow-free. The Mess looks like avalanche death waiting to happen.

Highway 40 - Bridge River Canyon

Bridge River has a good supply of routes in (see previous reports).
The Gift: Not in.
The Theft: Not in.

Highway 99 South - Seton Lake

Canoed down lake on a scope mission. 1.5 hour paddle (one man, light headwind) to Watersports  and 1 hr return with a tailwind. In general, the routes looked pretty leached out due to recent warm temps, but are on the rebound.
Comedy of Errors: In.
Deliverance: Not in.
Squeal Like a Pig: Not in. looks like an awesome line.
Fishin' Musician: Barely in. very leached out.
Watersports: Is in. A bit leached out, but it actually looks pretty good with ice running right down to the lake. Best of the bunch.
Icecapades: Unobserved.
Storm Brewing, Mumuman & Small Creep: Not in.

Highway 99 South - Duffey Lake Road/ Cayoosh Creek

Shreddie: Not in.
Rambles: Fat and occupied.
Carl's Berg: In.
Ameluxen-Bollocks: In.
Swiller Pillar: In.
Tres Burly: Top section not in. Extinct.
Loose Lady: In. Trail punched in.
Synchronicity & Synchrotron: In and fat. Not sure if the trail is punched in.
Red Wall Wanderers: Unknown, but parties were on the route.
Three Ring Circus: In.

Highway 99 South - Whistler/Pemberton

The past month has been fairly warm causing most ice in the area to decay badly. However some have bounced back nicely with recent cool temperatures. The weather forecast for arctic outflows on Sunday (Jan 19) should help as well. All noted routes were scoped from the highway.

Blackcomb Mountain:

Husume Ridge: Is in typical drytooling form.
The 0ffice: Is in
The Farm: NO ICE DUE TO LOSS OF WATER HYDRANT - if you're desperate to drytool the bolts are still there.

Entropy/ Soo Bluffs: In.
Green River Thriller: partially formed - not in.
Suicide Bluffs: In, but lean. Ice screws unlikely to be very useful.
Blue Moon on Rye: Looks in (Important note: This route seldom looks in, especially the last pitch. If you see what appears to be a thin veneer on the first half and nothing on the last half - go for it, cuz it's probably in)
Eagle & Mole: Thin looking in spots, but in.

January 15, 2008 (thanks Don and Ryan)

Saturday was warmish but fine. Sunday got dubiously warm out the Bridge, but was still okay on the Duffey. Cooling out again on Monday, so the ice should not suffer.

There are some PHOTOS on Flickr from Grahman Rowbotham.


You've been warned - Part II!

Ryan wrote: Boeing Alpine Association is having an ice climbing outing in Lillooet this weekend (Jan 19-20). Just want to give some warning before you find more people at the Rambles area than you hoped.

We'll have about twelve total and we'll do our best to lessen impact to any one particular area, conditions depending.

And, to ease fears: we are not planning on visiting Marble en masse and bringing it all down.

Highway 40 - Bridge River Canyon

Cedarvale: is more hole than ice.
The Walrus: avalanched onto a pair just as the second started up; fortunately he was on steep ice and the crap shot over him; a 2nd slide came down while the leader was downclimbing, so he abandoned gear and bailed for the ground as quickly as possible - a good lesson in the hazards of climbing a south-facing route after the sun comes out. If anyone is out that way in the next week or two, i'd hope they be kind enough to retrieve the gear and return it - contact me [dserl@telus.net] and I can arrange to get it 'back home'.
Terzaghi Falls: I saw 3 people from Washington walking up to
Terzaghi Falls on Saturday, but when we followed Sunday it was much warmer, and (a) the bottom was gushed while (b) the upper sections dropped icicles, so we went away.
Salmon Stakes: there was a party on Salmon Stakes on Saturday.
Silk Degress: the warmth has cleaned off almost all of the ice on the right-hand mixed approach to Silk Degrees, which is gonna make it trickier to get on to.
House of Cards: is getting fatter.
Like a Rocket: is getting huge.
Millars Pillar: is pretty fat too.
Still virtually no ice on
Old Dogs, New Picks, but Steristrip is probably climbable.
There is a LOT of ice up on
Jade Falls, both right and left.
I heard a party walked up to
Xwisten Steps, found the bottom pitch unformed, detoured around it on the left, and found the next step similarly unformed.

Highway 99 North - Marble Canyon

Eight people with 3 leaders from the ACC at Marble Canyon Saturday.
There are some PHOTOS on Flickr from Grahman Rowbotham. 

Highway 99 South - Duffey Lake Road/ Cayoosh Creek

Lots of activity last weekend. A dozen people from the BCMC at the Rambles (lots of good ice).
There was a car parked below
Loose Lady Sunday.
There've been several ascents of
The Tube - it's wet, but very workable (see PHOTOS on Flickr from Grahman Rowbotham).
There's ice on
Duffey's Delight, but sketchy looking.
Ice is fully down on
Last Call - climb it while it's in!
Three Ring Circus still looking good - ditto above!
Shreddie is pathetic.
Closet Secrets is in, but sketchy.

January 10, 2008 (thanks Don)

Rambles & Marble Canyon

You've been warned!

There'll be about 10 people from the Alpine Club at Marble Canyon Saturday (Jan 12), plus there's a BC Mountaineering Club party of about a dozen planning on climbing at the Rambles both Saturday and Sunday (Jan 12-13)this weekend. So expect to be gregarious! Or plan accordingly if you're looking for solitude.

January 2-3, 2008 - UPDATED (thanks Drew, Will and Wes; thanks to Don (and "Rat"/cascadeclimbers) for photos and updates [in italics])

Highway 40 - Bridge River Canyon

Suncatcher: is in as viewed from road.
Jade Falls: is twice the size it was last year - VERY fat.
Michelmoon: is in and still off limits.  A party from Washington using the old guidebook trespassed and got in trouble with the landowner.
Plan B: is in.
Capricorn: is in - looks very hard thru binoculars, with big fringes of major hanging icicles
Like a Rocket: in - also looks very difficult and icicled
Millar's Pillar: is 'in',  but similarly very sketchy looking so far.
Hell Creek: had significant open water at the road.
Old Dogs, New Picks: is not formed up.
Steristrip: has a rock start with ice blobs for the first 5m, then continuous ice.
House of Cards: was climbed by Will Knott and Tim Emmett - reportedly WI5+. They also built a precarious log bridge across the river for access.
Drake and Troubled Waters: look in.
"Left of Silk Degrees": is in with more than 15m of ice visible.  Maybe a full pitch in total with 3 steps separated by gully tramping. See PHOTOS.
Silk Degrees: is in with the right-hand rock start having thin ice and only a few pure rock moves. At least two ascents so far this year. Get out of the gully immediately at the top of the upper pillar to find the ramp descent - do not continue up towards Silkworm. See PHOTOS.
Silkworm: is mostly in  but the first crux pitch may not be very thick.
Salmon Stakes: is in
The Gift and The Theft: are not fully in.
New Leash on Life and Unleashed: are not in.
Shriek of the Sheep: is in but thin and only formed on the left at the crux curtain.
Night n' Gale: is in and fat. The gully recently avalanched and soft avvy debris reportedly makes slow travelling.
Blackbird: is not in.
Mix Master J and the Virgin: are in
Terzaghi Falls: is in. 
Boulder Creek Falls: is not in. The sign at the base now reads Cougar Creek.
Taikonaut: is in and huge.
Cedarvale Falls: is in & climbable on left, open & running on right.

Highway 99 North - Marble Canyon

Dale’s Route: 22m pillar, likely WI5, sustained and fun. See PHOTO.

Highway 99 South - Cayoosh Creek

Rambles: in
P-S Dihedral plus Eagle Ears: Makes for an excellent pitch...bring stubbies for Eagle Ears or clip the bolts.
Closet Secrets: is in but much thinner than the guidebook photo...short screws and rock pro to 2" on 12/29.
After the Gold Rush: Is still in. We continued up to the WI2 smear above and right of the last pitch described in the guidebook. Fun rambling.

Shreddie: far from touching down. It didn't look like a person could yet snag Shreddie from Prophet Maker.
Swiller Piller: in
Tres Burly: not in.
Last Call: not in
Deep Throat: large open holes
Carl's Berg: in
Cowabunga Dude & Bullock/Amelunxen: not in
The Tube: not in at very top. Rest of ice is there.
Duffy's Delight: Just a glimpse of ice. Not sure if it's in.
Synchronicity: fat.
Serendipity: some ice but probably not in.
Synchrotron/Mother: fat.
Mixing with Mike: not in
Twilight Tiers: in but possibly thin
Solarium: looks in from road, but disappointingly thin (5cm thick) and unprotectable from the base
Loose Lady: Climbed on Loose Lady - perfect shape!
Wet Lady: Chandeliers, but grade WI4 climbing with Grade 6 pro on first pitch! Fatter up top.
House of Cards: Superb condition, added some logs to the river - sketchy but dry crossing.
Storm Brewing: in, very narrow (thinner than FA conditions) WI6?.
Mumu Man: not there at all. No ice, dry rock.
Out of the Vault: in, except 5m at very start is bare wet rock.
Small Creep: not in, just wet rock.
Right of Small Creep: this small smear is formed.
Counting Chickens: in.
Three Ring Circus: in, at least two ascents. See PHOTOS of ascent by Don and Graham.

Highway 99 South - Pemberton

Wes Dyck and Shaun Newfeld climbed The Plum, except for the last pitch. Here is their report:
First Pitch - thin at the top and both a scary lead and second - because of the risk of falling through thin, hollow ice.
Second Pitch and onward was better ice. The WI4 pitch was beautiful ice to the top - made the climb worthwhile. Deep snow between tiers. The WI2 pitch was scary and thin with chance of breaking through again. Snow knee deep to top pitches. The WI3 pitch was thin and hollow. We did not climb the WI5 pitch, but it looked easy WI5

Temps. were +2 for the whole day and back to 0 C. at sunset. Hopefully we get another cold snap to form things in this area a little better!  

UPDATE - there seems to be no ice whatsoever in the Pemberton / Mount Currie low-land area, but there's a pretty broad streak for Entropy on Soo Bluffs - looked snowy and perhaps thin from the hwy.

Lillooet Area

Honeyman Falls: Somewhat in, hole on left of first pitch and large hole on second pitch. Looked like P1 could be climbed on right side.
Cherry Ice: ??
French Foreign Lesion/Draft Dodger: in
Spray Creek: not in, two large holes.
Polar Cow: not in.

South of Lillooet - Texas Creek, Lytton, etc.

Texas Creek:
All Hat No Cattle: not in, totally dry.
Lonestar: only 15m at the bottom has ice. Top part to cave is ice-free dry rock.
Longhorn: in, not quite as fat as FA. Good ice jam to cross creek is in place.
Texas TwoStep: first step is very thin. First 30m is 5cm to 7cm thick (one Spectre placement), then thickens to 10cm and 13cm at top. Second WI2 step is fat. Added sling and maillon to rap tree at top of P1.

South of Lillooet:
Merry Widow:
not in.
All climbs south of Lytton are not in.

December 31, 2007 (thanks Lyle)

Highway 99 North - Marble Canyon

Dale’s Route: 22m pillar, likely WI5, sustained and fun.
The Dihedral: Very technical, it’s there in blobs but totally different than previous years (it appears water for this route and Waite for Spring is heading over Dale’s Route this year).
Waite for Spring: Not in.
Deeping Wall: As per earlier reports, huge and pretty much a ladder.
Deeping Wall Direct: Thin still, but it’s there.
No Deductible: The top is fattening up but still needs some growth in the middle for screws.
First Tier Direct (left side of IcyBC): This is formed up fat and a great looking line right now, the top pillar probably still keeps it at a WI5.
IcyBC – 1st Pitch: Easy WI4 right now, the first half is a ladder and the rest is broken into two or three short steps. The exit from the top of the first pitch is as easy as it’s ever been.
IcyBC – 2nd Pitch: Great shape, WI3 and solid.
IcyBC – 3rd Pitch: It’s now leadable and in fun shape, several good steps with a bit of vertical in between. We climbed the two pillars on the right side with a good rest halfway.
Air Care: Excellent shape, aesthetic corner.
Hit and Run and Fender Bender: This entire curtain appears to be coming in nicely, and may be leadable now.
Body Shop and Side Street: Both could be climbed at present, the top of Body Shop is fat but just starting to form below the tree. The blob to make the Side Street traverse is there.

December 27, 2007 (updated since yesterday)
(thanks Alex, Adam, Jason, Lyle and Drew)

Highway 40 - Bridge River Canyon

The Bridge River ice is fat, except for Old Dogs, New Picks (which is not in), The Gift and The Theft (both thin).
This might be the year to do House of Cards - it is huge.
Shriek of Sheep is not entirely there at the top, but is at least somewhat connected.

NEW ROUTE (maybe)
Drew and crew climbed a new (?) route about 2km west of the Terzaghi Dam, at km 56.1 marker. Approach is a 5min hike up the slope above the road. The climb is a 10m WI2 step and 20m of snow, then 50m of WI2+ in an aesthetic narrow gully. Haven't found reports of this one being climbed before. NOTE: This is West of the ephemeral roadcut stuff that was climbed at the icefest, but that isn't in the guide.

Highway 99 North - Marble Canyon

Everything is in.
Icy BC: First 2 pitches are in WI3 shape on the right. Top Tier is in very difficult shape/not climbable.
Dihedral/Dales Route: Is formed up as a complete column to the ground with blobs of ice on the right. Very technical lead.

See photo on cascadeclimbers.com

Deeping Wall: Is fat, but a bit hacked out. Feels about WI4, but hard to protect the first half.

Highway 99 South - Cayoosh Creek

Rambles Right Area:
The P-S Dihedral has ice all the way to top, though top-out is thin. Protected by bolts, though.
is in easy shape, but hard to protect.
Not the Ben
is in, easy.
is in, not that easy to protect.

Highway 1 - Fraser Canyon and beyond

Adam Palmer and Richard Garside climbed Happy Boy on December 22, which is most definitely in. And explored up the gully, hiking up about 800 meters, finding a couple of 10-20 icefalls to boulder on.

See the PHOTOS.


Chris Davies and Jason Kilmartin climbed the first pitch of Dennison Falls on December 22 in WI3+/4- condition. The second pitch still looks like very hard 5. The climb is setting up very nicely and usually forms quite fat later in the season. The approach trail will need some work as there is substantial blow down on the south side of the drainage.

See the PHOTOS.

Highway 5 - Hedley


The Hitching Post WI4- 60m. FRA Steve Harng, Jesse Mason, Drew Brayshaw Dec 23/07.

A 30m column of south-facing ice, including 10m of stepped vertical over a cave that is nearly free-standing and which had a 2" crack at the top. From the top of the column, continue up 30m of narrow low-angle ice gully to a short step with thicker ice from which Abalakov descent can be made.

APPROACH: Can be seen from Highway 5 low on the hillside behind Hedley. Drive into the town and hang a right at the 3rd cross street, then cross bridge. Then first left past the bridge. Follow this dirt road past a sports field to a fork. Take the left fork and drive 2min to parking area at next fork. Walk the right fork to a junction, and head left to the old mine tramway building. From this ruin, traverse uphill veering right on talus for about 30 minutes to reach the climb.

Obvious from the highway when "in", but no signs of or records of previous ascent.

The Hitching Post, first recorded ascent

Hitching Post 26Decv07 

December 21, 2007 (thanks Danny, Peter, Don and Graham)

Highway 99 South - Cayoosh Creek

Went to Rambles Center and it was phat.
All lines at the top tier were in great shape and fatter then usual. Also to note that the Rambles Right is in as well. Like last year the ice is in all the way to the top of the dihedral (forget the routes name).

Highway 5 (Coquihalla) - Box Canyon

Grahms's Report: We thrashed in as far as
Rigor Mortis, by which time we were pretty soaked from wet snow/ borderline rain. Mushy ice under snow finally convinced us that it really was a silly idea. Still pretty lean looking up top. Certainly more snow than ice on many routes and ice only visible on the top pitch of Grim Reaper. There appeared to be more ice on Fungi Wall, but we could only see the top section.

December 18, 2007 (thanks Drew, Jason and Cyrus)

On Saturday the 15th, the Fraser Valley and Fraser Canyon were mostly melting.
Goldpan climbs were in and good though. However, it warmed up to +2C on Saturday afternoon and there was some melting as we left.

Looks like the Hope area was best on Wednesday the 12th and has fallen apart since then.

Lillooet townsite was up to +6C with rain on Saturday, but looks like it has cooled down since then.

Highway 99 North - Marble Canyon

Icy BC and Deeping Wall: Follow this link to some PHOTOS of Marble Canyon from December 15. Chris Davies and Jason Kilmartin climbed the first two pitches of Icy BC. Third pitch was way too thin for their taste. :-)
Oregon Jack: Thin and wet in spots, especially on the left. Had to back off from a V-thread in the cave halfway up as the curtain after it had not fully touched down. 

Highway 99 South - Cayoosh Creek

Rambles Center (lower and upper tiers): In, but quite wet and chandeliered in spots.

December 14, 2007 (thanks Drew, Craig, and Christian - plus new info from Bruce and Peter)

Skagit Valley (BC) - off Hwy 3 near Sumallo Bluffs

NEW ROUTE: Graham Rowbotham, Jesse Mason and Drew Brayshaw climbed a 1,000m WI3 alpine route on Mt Brice in the Skagit Valley (9 pitches of ice plus lots of snow and neve, 23 hrs return from Highway 3)

Vancouver Island - Mount Arrowsmith

Weepy Wall:Thin but climbed
Cokely Wall "Crystal Chandelier": best conditions I've ever seen.

Highway 99 North

Marble Canyon is IN

Highway 99 South - Lillooet to Pemberton

Green River Thriller looks in, but have fun on the approach (not).
Blue Moon on Rye
is IN and has been climbed. Even fat enough for short screws in places. Likely to last through the weekend and a  trail is punched in through the death crust - get on it!
The Eagle is forming. Looks thin, but probably good to go.
Mole bit thin but good to go. Easy approach with a short canoe across the Green River.

Psycho Pillar zone
(suicide bluffs, across the Green River) looks typically good to go -  bold hard leading or fun top roping.
The Plumb:
Climbed the first 2 pitches of the plum yesterday the 13th. They were wet but not looking like they were anywhere close to falling down. With much meandering, good ice was easy enough to follow. I would think that if temps hold it should be around for the weekend.  
Entropy and surrounding area look very white - which meant really airy. I think they are done til the next cold snap.
Politically correct valentine: is IN
White Blotter: is forming up well.
Roach Motel, it was very wet.
Another Day at the Office, IN
Entropy and the other climbs in this area are forming and should be good in less than a week.

Medicine Man is forming.
Red Wall Wanderer is IN. Last pitch pillar looked to be in.
Psycho Pillar too

All the climbs in the
Rambles are IN and are quite fat for this early in the season. The Trail has been busted in now, through the post-holes, thanks to Adrian Ike.
Shreddie has miles to be before its full.
We climbed
Carl's Berg. Its good grade 5 right now.
Cutthroat is non-existent
Swiller Pillar looked to be forming, but the approach looks epic.
Tres Burly looked to be forming nicely. Might be in this weekend? Somebody go bust a trail in there! :-)

Mossy Balls is IN, but the bolts are no were to be seen.
Wet Lady is IN, but looks quite wet.
The Tube is not quite in yet, a few more days.
The Waiting Game is almost in.
We attempted
Loose Lady at 4:00pm, but backed off the last 15 feet due to a combination of no pro, dark and hard conditions. It is definitely climbable, just very committing chandelier icicles and no gear. A few more
cold days should fix it up. Others report that the final pillar is poorly formed and unprotectable.

Synchronicity is FAT!!!!! But travel in this area is very rough! Knee deep post holing. Approach looks hideous due to crust.

Synchrotron looks IN

Highway 99 South - Squamish to Whistler

Only minimal ice features have formed in Squamish as of Dec 12. It is too warm. Nothing formed to speak of on Fluffy Kitten Wall

On Blackcomb Mountain:
The Office is in and fat
Occasional Drips of Madness is in.
Husume Buttress is in typical conditions. No ice, but fairly clear drytooling.

Mystery Roach is in and belaying from the bumper.
Soo Bluffs looks more or less in.

December 4, 2007 (thanks Drew!)

Highway 1 - Hope

NEW ROUTE: A party of 3 climbed a maybe-new route on Sumallo Bluffs last Saturday, 60m WI3 with thin ice.

Details here:

Mousetrap area and Jarvis Bluffs had not formed up enough to climb before the rain started.

Highway 99 - Whistler

Whistler was reported as pretty thin.  Another Day at the Office is said to be in. 
Kelly Franz and Katy Holm climbed
up in the Birkenhead Road area, saying it is thin shape - wet, but good.


Cold weather appears to be still holding out in Lillooet. as of Tuesday morning it still hasn't gone above -5C there.

November 26, 2007 (thanks Drew!)

Highway 99 North - Marble Canyon

Marble Canyon is forming, but is about 2 weeks away from climbable conditions (report from Garry Brace).


Lyle Knight and partner ran a couple of TR laps on Dennison Falls in the Okanagan and it was in stiff WI5 shape.

Highway 1 - Hope

Hope Mountain: Jesse and I climbed one of the Hope Mountain climbs today. Conditions
were good, ice took 15 and 17cm screws.
Sumallo Bluffs: Forming up, but not climbable just yet.

Poker in the rear WI2
Poker in the Rear 27Nov07

Landmark and the Buszowski/Kippan
Landmark and the Buszowski/Kippan 27Nov07

Anthrax Ripple (trying to form)/strong>r> img alt="Anthrax Ripple 27Nov07" longdesc="Anthrax Ripple 27Nov07" src="images/anthrax_27nov07.jpg" width="500" height="666">
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