2008-2009 Ice Reports
See list (or download PDF) of
New Climbs up to
If you have anything to report on the current ice season, email me
and I will post the information here.
March 22, 2009
Report from Graham Rowbotham
On March 22, Jesse Mason and I (Graham Rowbotham) climbed Crunchy Frog at Sumallo Bluffs. We walked down
the road (East) from the pullout and waded the river at a shallow crossing, almost directly across from the route
(rather than crossing on the log further West and post holing along the far side). Actually the snow turned out to be mostly
firm enough for reasonable hiking on the way in, but isothermal on the way out. We climbed the first two pitches, both WI 4/4+
(55m and 25m), with some manky ice. A snow slide down the gully while Jesse was seconding the second pitch convinced us that
continuing up in warming temps for the easier third pitch was probably not the best idea.
Other routes at Sumallo Bluffs (The Buszowski-Kippan and Landmark Gulley) are still all there, but for how much longer?
March 17, 2009
Report from Bruce Kay
NEW ROUTE on Seton Lake
Piss and Vinegar WI4+ 420m
FA Bruce Kay and Jesse Mason March 13, 2009
Jesse Mason and I (Bruce Kay) climbed a new route on the right side
of the Winter Water Sports
waterfall on March 13, 2009. It went at WI4 in give away spring
conditions, but there would most likely be some WI 5 in the upper
pitches in more typical winter conditions. We snuck it in on the
last concievably sane day as temperatures went from negative to plus
15 (measured in Lillooet) and the thing started melting out from
under us. We chose a rappel descent down the rock wall to the right
to avoid exposure to icefall hazard (4 tree anchors, 4 abalokovs).
One hour canoe approach with mostly no wind.
March 14, 2009
Report from Wes Dyck
Jason Cullum and I (Wes Dyck) climbed
Landmark Gully at
Sumallo Bluffs on March 12 following Graham
Rowbotham’s previous beta.
Temperatures at 8:00am were -9 C and then rose to +2 C on the climb.
We encountered great climbing on fat ice with the occasional
spindrift coming down. Rock above the climb had little snow on it
and we considered avalanche danger to be low from above. We followed
the beta and snuck behind the curtain and found the last pitch
spewing water in large quantities. The center line up from the
bottom would have been dryer. So we backed off and left slings
around trees and v-threads. Temperature when we got back to the road
was +5 C, at 5:00pm. Great climbing despite not finishing and easy
approach on log over river.
Buzcowski-Kippan looks fat as well.
March 2, 2009
Report from Garry Brace
NEW ROUTES (x3) in Marble Canyon
The Jolly Rancher
WI3 M6 35m 1 bolt
Climb the first 10m of Comfortably
Numb and head right to a ramp. Dry tool the first 3m
of the ramp (1 bolt) to reach the ice and then continue up the ramp
to the top.
The Jolly Rancher Direct M5 15m
The climb begins 3m right of
Comfortably Numb. Climb a thin smear of ice and rock
until the climb meets the ramp of The
Jolly Rancher just after the dry tooling section.
A Little Bit of Pain M8 32m 11 bolts + 2
The climb begins 5m right of Jolly
Rancher Direct. Stick clip the 1st bolt and then
climb through the overhang to the 4th bolt. Step left and climb
balancey, vertical rock to another overhang and some thin ice. 3
more bolts bring you to the top 5m of
The Jolly Rancher.
Report from Graham Rowbotham
On February 28, Jesse Mason and I (Graham Rowbotham) climbed
Take Me To The River at Suicide Bluffs,
north of Whistler. The cable crossing was re-located several years
ago to a few hundred metres upstream of the
Night and Day Wall where
Psycho Pillar and
Take Me To The River are located. (It helps if you
actually follow the guidebook instructions to located it!). Two
snatch blocks are available to cross on, although there is no way to
send the pulleys back for a third. Attaching yourself close enough
to the wire so that you can pull yourself along is essential :-)
Although somewhat drippy,
Take Me To The River was no where near as wet as the
Psycho Pillar. It was fat enough that apart from the
anchors at the top, which we rappelled off, the bolts of the April
Showers summer sport route were either too far to the left or too
buried to be usable. From the ground it looked as though the crux
was going to be the hanging dagger at the top, but traversing left
and climbing the column up to the alcove below the dagger proved to
be the steepest and trickiest section. From there some stemming
allowed you to swing on to the dagger as the angle started to ease
for a nice finish. An enjoyable pitch which had me whooping at the
top. Hard to grade - there were plenty of rests and featured ice,
but some fairly technical climbing. Somewhere towards the middle of
the WI3+ to WI5+ range the guidebook gives would be my estimation.
We also climbed an easier route further downstream which is probably
the "easy fan of ice the left end of the Green Zone" in WCI Ed 2
under the description of
Sucks To Be You. The fan was just thick enough to
take a stubby and a tied-off screw, before a #2 Camalot could be
placed to protect the step up to a groove and cave. We stopped at
the cave in order to get back to town in time for the start of the
VIMFF show. Alex Huber's presentation was not to be missed.
Starting up Take Me To The
View on rappel
Night and Day Wall area
Route at the left end of
the Green Zone
February 25, 2009
Report from Graham Rowbotham
On February 19 Jesse Mason and I (Graham Rowbotham) climbed
Landmark Gully at Sumallo
Bluffs. A large log spanning the river made for an casual crossing.
We climbed the route in 6 pitches: Pitch 1 40m WI3-; P2 50m easy
snow/ice; P3 60m WI3-; P4 60m WI4-; P5 60m WI2; P6 60m WI4+/5-. It's
the first season I've seen the pillar/curtain on the top pitch
touched down. It was possible to sneak up the back to gain the left
hand side of the pillar which then gave several meters of steep,
junky brittle ice before the angle eased. This route was also
climbed by Don Serl and Marc Leclerc a few days later, who reported
softer conditions in the warmer temps.
Landmark Gulley - sneaking up the back of the crux pillar
Missing Neurons 3
Pitches 125m WI4 FA Feb 19, 2009 Graham Rowbotham and Jesse Mason
On February 21 the Jesse and I (Graham Rowbotham) made a possible
1st ascent of the "steep flow and column system" listed as "E" in
West Coast Ice 2nd Edition, to the right of
Stem Cell at the Swiss Wall in
North Joffre Creek. There's still an abundance of ice at NJC and an
excellent ski trail in, although getting up to the base of the
routes involved some wallowing up soft snow. The route was climbed
in 3 pitches. 30m WI3- to belay in a cave to left of centre; 35m WI4
straight up with a traverse Right to belay where the angle eases
off; then easier 60m WI2 around and up bulges to the top. 2 raps off
V threads to get down. From the cave, a ramp line leading diagonally
up and right would provide an slightly easier looking variation. A
provisional name for this route is
Swiss Wall - from L to R Schniedelwurz and Fromage Cheese, Stem
Cell, Missing Neurons, Unclimbed (?) drool F and Gee Whiz.
Missing Neurons (full view) and Missing Neurons, Pitch 2
Feb 23, 2009
Report and 'warning' from Piotr Forysinski
I'd just like to let people know that the VOC (Varsity Outdoor Club,
UBC) is organising a trip to
Marble Canyon on the March 7-8 weekend. I'm afraid
that will mean there will be a lot of people and a lot of top-ropes
on a lot of the climbs. We sincerely apologise for the
Also - Rambles Centre
is still definitely in, although the upper
section of the first pitch was pretty wet (Sunday Feb 22).
Rambles Upper Tier
still looks nice (just like in the photo from
the 18th), but the easier alternative to the pillar on the right was
also pretty wet. Approach pitch to
was really wet on the last 1/3 (Sat Feb 21);
itself looks beautiful, but alas we didn't
climb it either. We met a party who retreated off it due to lack of
gear about half-way (perhaps, but this is 2nd hand info already...)
Feb 18, 2009
Report from Marcus Dell
The BCMC crew had a great weekend of climbing on the Duffey Lake
Road. Loose Lady
is in good shape. We climbed the lower pitch(s)
and they were fat and fun (Photo 1). The top tier looked to be in
great condition. A party of Americans climbed it while we were
there. I would say it was in grade 5 condition. We stopped and
looked at Carl's Berg.
It also appears to be in good condition, even though we did not
climb it (Photo 2). The top tier on
is also in good condition (Photo 3).
Loose Lady (lower pitches), Carl's Berg and Rambles (Top Tier)
Report from Graham Rowbotham
On February 14 Jesse Mason and I (Graham Rowbotham) climbed
Anthrax Ripple at Sumallo Grove.
The approach took a little under an hour including wading the river.
We climbed it in 6 pitches, encountering some fairly challenging ice
conditions on the steepest and narrowest sections. (40m gr 3+/4, 60m
gr 2, 60m gr 4+, 50m snow plod, 60m gr 3+/4, 30m gr 3). The gulley
branches below the 5th pitch. We took the righthand fork, which is
steeper and narrower and seemed the logical continuation. Overall an
excellent outing and the first time I've seen this route in
Anthrax Ripple; Initial Pitches,
Pitch 2 and Pitch 3
Anthrax Ripple; Crux 3rd Pitch from below and Pitch 5
Reports from Wes Dyck and Henrik Hinkkala (photos from
Wes: Jason Cullum and I climbed
on Fri (Feb 13). Despite warm temps of 0 to 2C,we found the route
dry with adequate ice. Seems like the -10 night temps are keeping
the ice cold! Ice bridge 50’ downstream from gulley entrance is
intact and huge. Bottom of gulley is dry. There are small sections
of funky ice and open patches, but are worth the commitment to get
to the top tier with a fun and easy 5m ice hose finish. 20m grade 4
in woods was white and sun-rotted, but rest of climb had great pro
under a thin layer of melted snow. Incredible ambience above the
creek and worth the slog for the ice at the top.
Henrik: Rob and I climbed
Synchronicity on Sat, Feb 14th. It was a great day
to be out and the temps were around 0 to -5. We dropped down from
the corner and crossed the river along the ice bridge. The route is
still in good condition, top few inches of sun exposed ice are
rotten, but good ice is found underneath. The beginning for the
first main pitch is fading quickly, but still climbable. The last
section on the higher tier was nice, but the best part of the whole
route was the final short curtain in the trees, the ice was like
polished glass, no sun exposure, and wonderful to climb. The route
has a good chance of being climbable for the majority of the week.
Report from Bruce Kay
Drove past Suicide Bluffs again today (Feb 15) and
have to say its looking pretty tasty. Almost no sun and a cold
icebox location have kept this spot in good shape pretty much all
Psycho Pillar may not
be leadable, but a good option is to climb
April Showers/ Take me to the River
(which looks really nice) then throw a TR on
Psycho Pillar. There's other stuff too - check the
guidebook. Its a good easy access spot that dosn't see much action
due to a pretty basic in situ tyrolean cable approach. If you like
Marble Canyon type ice cragging this place is a bit like
Feb 15, 2009
Report from Marc-Andre Leclerc
Don Serl, Robert nugent and I (Marc Leclerc) hiked into Box
Canyon (Coquihalla - Highway 5) and climbed
Grim Reaper today (Feb 14). The snow on the way in
is well consolidated and the approach took about 40 minutes. Climbed
as three pitches, two 60m rope stretchers and then a 50m pitch, all
in the WI4- to WI4 range. The ice on the
was mostly excellent with very few plates or drippy sections. The
approach is easy and the climb is beautiful, go do it!
Most of the routes on the right side (
Festering Wall, Mister Natural Wall, Emarald Wall)
are completely rotten or non existent except for
Yellow Bird and Happy
Harvester which looked O.K, but I couldn't tell for
Report from Drew Brayshaw
Went back to the Toll Free
drainage (see New Route below on Feb 13) with Shaun Neufeld on Sat.
Feb 14. We soloed the first two pitches of
Toll Free and then climbed the two routes in the
center and left of the upper bowl.
Scottish Play WI4 60m is the central route.
Taming of the Screw WI3 40m is the left-hand route.
Above where we stopped on this latter climb, there was 20m or so of
very low-angle ice, snow and moss that did not seem worth it.
Rappel descent from cedars from both routes, and we left one more
rap sling atop the first pitch of Toll
Feb 13, 2009
"Warning" from Marcus - BCMC Group
I am organizing an Introduction to Ice Climbing Course this weekend
for the BCMC. We will be in the Lilloeet area somewhere on Saturday
and at the Rambles on Sunday. We will be a group of approximately 9.
We will allow more experienced climbs to pass through but we will be
milling about and may monopolize parts of the Rambles on Sunday.
We may go out to Plan B on Saturday but not sure if it is formed up
well at this stage.
Report from Bruce Kay
Did a little ski tour up to the head of
Joffre Creek (2 hours travel to under the mini moose) and
as noted before saw all the guide book routes looking blue and good
is quite barren looking but it might just go as a
awesome dry tool / mixed route. Pitch two is the big question mark,
but considering all the bolts and undoubtably more usable cracks it
might go. The other pitches look harder than last year but not
impossible and very interesting.
Rhapsody in Floyd/strong>
also looks a tad bit leaner
than last year but still climbable - except pitch one which has no
ice on it, just burly looking rock. If you get past pitch one the
rest looks really good.
Report from Drew Brayshaw
200m WI3 M5 FA Feb 8, 2009 Drew Brayshaw and Doug Wilm
Doug Wilm and I (Drew) climbed this new route on Sunday off the
Coquihalla Hwy. Route can be scoped south-bound on the highway from
near Ladner Creek bridge. Park at Carolin Mines exit and walk 2km up
Dewdney Creek FSR until the route can be seen high on the south
side. Cross the creek on logs and hike up drainage between two
heli-clearcuts. At upper cutblock edge, drainage splits - climb
low-angle frozen creekbed for 200m in right-hand gully to base of
route. P1: rope stretcher full pitch 61m WI2+ puts you in the bottom
of a large bowl with three fat, blue ice lines. P2, 3: climb 60m WI2
and 40m WI3 on the rightmost line, to a ledge below the final
pillar. P4: move belay 20m left on ledge then climb 25m WI3 to top
of ice. Ice not attached to rock, so climb 5m of steep unfrozen moss
and rock and devils club (M5) to gain trees above. Walk down to
climber's right (west) through forest with some easy downclimbing
and one 30m rappel to gain the approach drainage near the cutblock
edge and retrace steps to highway.
Conditions along Coquihalla: shaded and north-facing
routes at higher-elevation are in and fat. Lower elevation and
sun-exposed routes are not. Specifically,
Jarvis Bluffs has lots of rotten ice, only the
first pitch of Another Day
Drool in the Lotus is in,
Thinking Outside the Box is in but snowy and the top
tube is fully formed. Box Canyon south-facing stuff
looked rotted out but north-facing/shady stuff is probably fat. The
approach looked not so nice though, due to the low snowpack - bushes
still sticking out.
Report from Mac-Andre Leclerc
Climbed at Marble Canyon on Saturday (Feb 8), the area
is in great shape. The first pitch of
Icy BC is picked out on the left, but can be led
nicely on the right hand side. The
Deeping Wall is also picked out but that too can be
avoided by climbing to the left on cool chandeliers and mushrooms.
The bolted line to the right of Waite
for Spring and
Comfortably Numb (could it be
Jolly Rancher?) Is in really fun shape and makes a
great lead. The Dihedral
is thin but there are exciting hard lines possible by climbing left
onto the dagger on Dale's Route.
Report from Henrik Hinkkala
Thought it would be a good time to check out some routes near
Duffy Lake as the temps have begun to warm up so
Rob, Andreas, and I climbed Isadorf
Gully last weekend on Feb 9, and the previous
weekend Rob and I climbed Belmore
Gully. Figured it was also a good time to do the
routes with avy conditions being favorable.
Belmore Gully was a
very long and easy route, and took almost 12 full length rappels to
get down, lots of short/fun steep steps.
Isadorf Gully was
another fun route with minimal difficulties. These routes will
probably be in later than most as they are high on the Duffy Lake
road and see minimal sunshine. Park across from the climbs and cross
snow bridges available for both routes.
View of the climbs from the
Duffy Henrik on
Rob on Belmore (both photos)
Report from Don
Rob Nugent, Shirley Rempel, and I
climbed PC Valentine
Feb 7. There is a load of ice on both the 1st and 2nd tiers, with
some water flowing in limited areas. Some of the ice is platey,
likely because of continuing surface ice formation. I'd call the 1st
tier Grade 3 and the 2nd Grade 2 in current conditions. We did not
slog up to the 3rd step. We (me...) somehow got a bit 'turned
around' on the approach and wasted a bit of time and energy (just
trying to contribute to a day's exercise, eh?). So here's some beta:
walk out the powerline track at the north end of Poole Creek Road,
then follow it left as it wanders into the trees. The track wanders
back towards the base of the steeper slope - eventually you should
emerge from the forest at the base of a large talus slope. Plug up
the left side of this and you'll merge into the gully leading to the
route - about 1 hr 15 mins for us, excluding 'diversion' time. (We
screwed up by drifting a bit too far left, then traversed further
left once we got to the height where it became obvious the route was
not in view above us - once you're on the slope, you don't see the
ice till you turn a corner in the approach gully itself.)
Report from Peter Watson
Route was in unreal shape, with a little new snow from Feb 8 storm
(5cm) causing some sweet spindrift. Overall the route was dry and
huge. Last pitch was in great shape but turned around at the roof
because of other commitments back in the city.
The Plum, Second
Pitch The Plum, Third
Pitch The Plum, Upper Tier
Report from Craig McGee
Today (Feb 8) Brad White and I followed
someone's tracks up to the
Unfortunately, we missed the good climbing conditions by a few days.
The climb was fully formed and even looked easier than usual, but
was horribly white, fragile looking and wet. We didn't think it
would support our bodies or swinging tools so we made a quick
On the way home we stopped at a mixed climb (
Drive by Shooting?) put
up a while ago by J Green and Gaven? It is located on the tracks to
the right of
(which is in). Just park by the tracks and walk south along them for
100m till below the obvious cliff. 4 min approach. 15m WI2 to a two
bolt belay. 5 bolts with fixed draws (30 degrees overhanging) M8 to
a cool dagger exit. Bring a screw or two for the exit. Chain lower
off. Thanks Guys great climb. Craig.
Report from Graham Rowbotham
On Saturday Feb 7 Jesse Mason and I (Graham Rowbotham) were
in the Birkenhead Valley. We'd originally planned
Fourskin, but scoping it out through
monoculars from the road, we could see what looked like a major
horizontal fracture line running across the upper part of the crux
pitch. Instead we climbed
Deception, which was short, pretty and in
pretty easy condition. An even shorter, but steeper curtain around
on the other side of the cliff provided some more entertainment.
River Crossing (no log
jam) Curtain left of Deception
Report from Rob Janousek
A group of four ACC members (Adam, Amir, Nadine & Rob)
spent February 8th, 2009 at Cal-Cheak. Temperatures
were above freezing throughout the day, with some sunshine making
for more pronounced melt in the afternoon. Still, there seems to
have been more ice than seen in the previous week's report (below).
Get Off The Couch/ The Couch were still
reasonably thick while
Easy Money was marginal and wet in places.
Sparse remnants of what would be
Vegetable Alley fell throughout the day. No
other climbers were encountered.
Feb 8, 2009
Report from Matt Hallinan
Nicky Winn and I climbed at the Rambles today (Feb 6).
We were pleasantly suprised to find very good quality ice. Temps
were warm around 1C on arrival and 4C at 2pm. We climbed Rambles,
Central, with both 1st and 2nd pitches in superb condition. Fat,
superhero ice, but with reasonably safe screw placements, Upper tier
looked good too, but due to crampon issues (damn grivel) we had to
retreat. No other parties seen all day.
Report from Peter Watson
Climbed Rambles, Central on Monday. It was in fat shape,
but was really wet. However, with the mild temps the water wasn't
much of a cold issue.
Climbed Icy BC on tuesday, in great shape with dry ice on the first
pitch. Kind of climbed out with lots of hook placements, as well as
using old screw holes. Second pitch was wetter but still had dry
lines available. Top pitch was melting quickly, but still fat with
lots of good ice after a little cleaning. The rest of Marble was
alright with all of the ice lines being rather picked out and more
like climbing a ladder than ice, but still fun to be out. The bolted
route right of Waite for Spring was in really fun shape as well.
Icy BC Tier 1
Rambles, Top Tier
Icy BC Tier 2
Report from Seth Adams
Nick Elson and I climbed The Plum complete on Feb 3rd.
Conditions were excellent and the crux pillar was a highly featured
and probably more like a non-pumpy grade 4, with really unusual
features. Get it while it lasts.
Report from Iwona Erskine-Kellie
I went this past Sunday (02.01.09) to the Cal-Cheak park
near Whistler. Ice conditions were very good, more ice formed since
last time I was there for my ice climbing course with Jason Wheeler
on January 17th.
Report from Bruce Kay
Second hand info from Jim Martinello and Andre Ike -
lots of routes are formed in North Joffre Creek. They climbed
something down valley and said it was good. Road and beyond (alders)
are in good shape for travel on skis despite shallow snowpack. No
avalanche debris so its likely that the deep weakness still lingers
in the bowls above.
Report from Jeremy Thom
Hayley Wilson and I drove up to Marble Canyon yesterday
Feb 1). Still plenty of ice there on the lower tier, though of
course it's very hacked out. It was nice and dry, with very little
of it melting. Deeping Wall is rather thin and hollow sounding for
the most part. I practiced placing a few screws while TR'ing and
they mostly struck air. The Dihedral looked thicker. Icy BC was
pretty dry and looked fat with lots of good ice for screws, though
we didn't climb it. I TR'd No Deductible and it was almost pristine.
Observations from the highway: There is essentially no ice until you
get north of Bridal Falls (Hope). After that, there's a fair amount
but it looks universally white and rotten. The only blue we saw was
Jackass, Nicomen Falls, Spences Bridge Outflow (the right side is
fat. The main flow is mostly water.), and a big fat flow above and
right of the Hell's Gate tram - I can't remember what it's called.
All four of those had lots of ice on the parts we could see, but
that was just from the truck window. Also note, it was warm enough
to rain on us the whole way home.
Report from Mathew Walker
Syncronicity on Feb 1st: There is an ice bridge
across the creek about 10m downstream of the entrance to the
approach gully. Good idea to put the crampons on when walking across
it. The ice was a little sun bleached in places but there is lots of
Feb 01, 2009
Jan 27, 2009
Report from Bruce Kay
had a view of the chief today and
was surprised to see both U wall drool and White Dyke
appeared to be fully formed.
must have been the recent
cold snap. get on it asap as temps are rising toward
thurs / friday.
Jan 26, 2009
(Thanks Rob, Andre, Peter, Tim)
Report from Seattle threesome (Icy BC, Synchronicity, Red Wall
Robert Curran wrote... Three of us drove up
from Seattle and had a great three-day weekend of climbing. We
climbed Icy BC on Friday and Synchronicity on Saturday- both were
fat and fun. We crossed the river by throwing a few logs across the
narrowest crossing we could find. On Sunday we walked in to Red Wall
Wanderer and climbed the approach pitches. The pillar was about
five feet from touching and very thin. Driving back through
Pemberton, we saw huge ice from the road. Just thought this site
needed some more encouraging reports. Lillooet ice is in and people
should go climb it. (Rob Curran, Shauna Walchenbach, and Casey Grom)
Here are three photos showing the conditions we found this
weekend. The first is Icy BC, the second is the last pitch of
Synchronicity, and Red Wall Wanderer with the final pillar not
quite touching down and thin.
Red Wall Wanderer
Report of climb on The Plumb
I (Andre Ike) climbed the Plumb
yesterday with Brad white. It was busy being Sunday and luckily we
were the first of three parties. Excellent approach with only 15cm
of snow. The route was in fat shape with predominantly dry and hard
ice throughout. There were some unnerving fracture sounds on most
pitches which we suspect from the previous weeks warm alpine temps
which gave it flow followed by the recent rapid freeze. However,
there was minimal dinner plating. The last crux pitch was also
in excellent shape being very featured, totally dry, good pro and
rests. White Blodder looked in and the crux pitch touches down as 2
pillars. (Andrew Ike)
Report on The Ramp on Mt Harvey
Peter Watson wrote... went and climbed the Ramp on Mt Harvey today.
With the inversion last week followed up by cold temps I wasn't the
only one thinking that it would be in good shape. Followed a group
of 3's footprints up and over. Was in the easiest shape of any of my
4 times climbing it. Very little snow depth in the forest on the
descent strange for the end of January. If we only get a little bit
of snow I'm sure it will be good to go till the end of the week
Report from Rambles, etc.
Tim Argast wrote... my roommate(Tom) and I headed out on
the Duffy over the weekend to try out some ice climbing for our
first time. We are still learning how to judge ice conditions so
I'll let the pictures do most of the talking. On Saturday we played
around on Acute Falls, which seemed to be in good shape and on
Sunday we headed up to Rambles, where we climbed on the Lower Step
on Rambles Right. It looked like a couple lines in the Upper Cirque
may be possible, although there is a lot less ice than shown in the
guide book. Rambles Central looked to be in good shape and had two
parties climbing on it. Rambles Left looked really thin. All in all,
a great weekend out. Thanks for running this site.
Jan 24-26, 2009
Four of us were out this weekend jan 24-
25 2009 in Lillooet and area. Saturday climbed some of loose lady
(approach ice and 30m of the final pitches) but ran away cause the
business was too hard. The top of the climb looked to be hard, dry
ice with lots of mushrooms. Some loud 'whunk' sounds now and again
made it a bit scary too. And my toes were cold, etc. We climbed
Honeyman's instead, but not the last bit as it was dark. The last
part that we did not do had some pretty neat spewing water on an
ice-arete that i think you could get around on the right without
swimming. Rapped off ice pillars at the base of that spewing part.
Sunday we did synchronicity and it was in decent shape, and warm
enough in the sun. Crossed on a solid ice bridge just barely
downstream from the chute to the climb. Little rocks fell now and
again mostly down the synchrotron side of things but it was OK. One
of us tested an ice screw with a whipper and it held. Rapped off
trees, there are a few 62m rappels off the existing slings on trees,
so we did some rope stretching, tiptoeing, and tree downclimbing, be
Jan 21, 2009
(Thanks Don, Kevin)
Report from Don Serl
Here's what Graham Rowbotham had to say
after he and Jesse Mason went to Pemberton on the weekend:
Obviously the fog in Pemberton has been
confined to the town and further out things have been catching
more sun. There was a fair bit of ice still at Dream Catcher,
but it looked very white and baked and not the place to be in
the sun. We hiked up to Paid or Laid and Ten Stitches from
Whistler to take a look, but both were in very poor condition
and melting out. It felt very spring like for mid Jan. So we
headed back to Squamish for a little bit of cragging. Attempting
to keep the rock shoes dry while stepping of the snow pile
proved to be a challenge. Hot in the sun there too. Quite a few
folks out climbing in T-shirts with snow and ice on the ground.
What a weird season indeed.
And from Jason Wheeler after the ACC ice intro at Calchek:
we made it both days but
anyone who climbs there in the next few days is crazy, I expect
it will fall down very soon. The top is cut away from the rock
and just free standing, we finished each day early once the sun
got on the ice I decided it was too risky.
what a strange season...
cheers, Don Serl
Report from Kevin Graham
This is my first trip report and I'm a fairly newby ice climber,
so I'm not sure of it's relative value, but figured I'd share my
observations none the less. Chose a warm weekend to make our way
up to Lillooet, but hoped the laws of thermodynamics didn't
apply. Chose to check out Synchronicity on Saturday. The lower
approach pitches were thin and the steep sections difficult to
protect. Arrived at the base of the upper pitches as the sun was
shining directly on them. They were very white, wet, and lots of
ice chunks were coming down, so we decided not to continue
Visited the Rambles on Sunday. Rambles
left, is very thin and wet and would have been mixed had we
continued beyond the second pitch. Wish we had checked out
Rambles Centre, as it was much thicker. Climbed the lower 40 m
pitch, but as it was getting late we didn't make it any further.
There was another party above us from Oregon that we didn't
Jan 19, 2009
Jason Wheeler wrote.. Busy days at Cal Cheak last Sat and Sun with
seven from the ACC, a guided group of three and two others on Sat
and seven from the ACC on Sunday, everyone managed to get enough
climbing in to satisfy their needs however the ice conditions there
are getting dangerous. The sun is hitting the entire wall from 1pm
onwards and the far right climb has a detached portion the size of a
small car which I think should come down in the next few days
(sooner with some body weight). If you do go there please check it
out from the top first and remember safety third!!! (looks and style
are one and two).
Jan 18, 2009
Craig McGee wrote... Drove from whistler through
the Duffy in the day light. It looks like the warm daytime temps and
cool night are having a good affect on the ice.
Entropy was fat but getting white.
psycho pillar was a slushy waterfall.
Medicine man was fully "IN" however the climb
faces the sun and I think it would be very wet
and even dangerous in the increasing heat. If
there was acloudy day it might not be that bad
as the temp was -3 at 11:00am.
Dream catcher was also in and in better looking
shape than when Bruce and brad climbed it.
Rambles looked good. temp-6
Carlsberg was looking really good. temp-6
Loose lady IN. temp -4
Synchronicity was fatter than a few weeks ago,
but looking really white. temp -3
Honeyman falls was falling apart. temp -2
Marble canyon area was FAT!!! temp -5
Henrik Hinkala wrote... Climbed at the rambles up the center and
rambles right side up high with Rob Kiefer on Jan 17. The ice we
climbed was in great condition and well formed, couldn't say the
same for the other climbs at the upper tier. Another group of 5 from
Washington were climbing up while we were heading down. There was a
car parked at the pull-out across from Syncronicity. The route still
doesn't look good down low and we were unable to see if there was
anybody on the climb.
Jan 16, 2009
Bruce Kay wrote... some highway viewing
from squamish to cerise creek revealed mostly deceased or dying
ice - no surprise there.
that said valley bottem temps in
whistler have been consistently negative despite the heatwave at
my guess is that bigger ice features facing north such as the
Plum, Marble canyon or Loose lady could be in excellent (post
melt) shape. anyone know the truth out there?
Jan 13, 2009
Jason Wheeler wrote... just a warning again that
the ACC will be out in force at Cal Cheak again on the 17th
and 18th, so if you turn up there expect a crowd.
Jan 12, 2009
Here is a small report for the Loose Lady and
Me (Steven Harng), Nicole Acerra, and Mike Zipf climbed to the base
of the "business" on Loose Lady on Saturday. Breakable crust (wet
boots) on the approach and dripping water on the WI3 pitch. Very
soft ice. Excuse for not climbing the hard stuff: too late in the
day and too warm.
Caption for photo: Mike's attempt in soloing Loose Lady...found it a
little too crazy in about 5 seconds.
Climbed Boxing Day on Sunday. Crux was traversing from 3rd bridge
to the base of the gully; crampons were needed at various spots
throughout the approach due to frozen ground. Little avalanche
balls kept coming down during the climb. The climb itself was dry
but with much rotten/refrozen chandelier ice and little to no snow
cover. Pretty good for hooking but not so good for placing gear.
Condition was harder than WI3. We continued for another two
pitches in the WI2 mountain gully for some fun exploration.
Headlamp Jungle Warfare & Airborne Division
BC Coast Mountain
Jan 11, 2009
(Thanks Marcus, Drew)
Michael Lim and I
(Marcus Dell) climbed at Rambles Central on Saturday Jan 10th.
The middle Grade 2
pitch is fat.
The upper grade 3/4
pitch is forming. There is a free hanging curtain in the
center that we only top roped because the ice was soft. The
right side of the upper pitch is fully attached and good
climbing. There is a small rock "cave" between the ice
flows on the upper pitch which makes for some fun mixed
Left is very thin and the ice flow is different then
previous years. It looks climbable but you will need all
From the road it
appeared that the top pitch on Rambles right was not nearly as
fat at it had been on December 31.
Shreddie is non existent.
Drew Brayshaw reports...
Sumallo Bluffs - all routes are heavily
buried and loaded with wet new snow. only patches of blue ice
are visible with even steeper sections on WI4s being mostly
thick snow cover over ice. Snow is deep and damp (raining
lightly all day Sunday) with some recent avalanche activity not
yet scouring back down to climbable ice.
Nepopekum Falls and Go With The Flow are
likewise almost fully snow-buried, with only a few patches of
blue ice visible on Nepopekum and about 15m of the steepest
pillar on GWTF snow-free, everything else white. Slow going
trailbreaking too on the Three Falls Trail. Turned around once
we had a good view of the lack of climbable ice.
Jan 07, 2009
Peter Drzymala found a pair of crampons at
Cal Chek back on Dec 23rd on the approach to the ice fall.
The person to whom the crampons belong to can contact Peter
Also, Peter sent some pictures which are posted below under
Dec 23, 2009.
Jan 06, 2009
Here's an update on conditions in the lillooet area up to jan
6th that i'm passing along from werner grzimek:
I (Werner) was ice climbing till Jan 6th.This is what I
Honeyman Fall - climbable only on the left WI4, very
mushroomed....probably 'out' now
Cherry Ice: Not in
Marble Canyon:Icy BC - super wet WI 4+, Deeping Wall -
80% hooking, WI5, Dehidral - mostly hooking, WI
3-4.... all 'spotty/out? now
Rambles left: not in...marginal ice at mid/upper steps,
R. Center: Looked good, Rambles right: Bottom step
was marginal and very wet..likely 'out' by now.
[edit (Don) note: 'main' flows on Rambles Right can be
accessed when bottom step is wet/out by walking up thru
forest about 100m, then crossing narrow ledge with
prominent flake leftward.]
Jan 05, 2009
I (Don Serl) was up in Lillooet for 4 days
over new years, and had time one afternoon to drive out the
bridge river to Terzaghi dam. Here's the conditions update (it's
NOT encouraging!) probably as a result of a very dry autumn,
followed by a very sharp cold snap before much snow had fallen,
the bridge river canyon is a bit of a disaster area.
suncatcher not formed; couldn't see
anything on xwisten steps, but they're fairly hidden.
jade in and fat - column to right not formed.
michelmoon looks in, but access remains closed.
plan B might be climbable.
hell creek looked decently iced
no ice whatsoever on old dogs, house of cards, silk degrees,
the gift, the theft.
troubled waters looked OK
silk worm might be climbable
shriek missing about 20m on curtain.
night n gale in lean, but think about the snowpack before
setting off up that big gully.
terzaghi climbed a week ago.
Overall, this is the worst conditions I've seen in the bridge in
15 years of climbing out there. I wish the news was better.
Jan 04, 2009
(Thanks Drew, Ashley, Fern, Peter)
Report from Peter Watson
Climbed on Nintendo 64 yesturday afternoon(Sunday
the 4th), was in much fatter shape then when last reported on at the
start of the cold snap. The ice was brittle in places but overall
pretty good still. The left hand finish is still bare of ice but is
climbable with some fun pick torques. Should stay in for Monday/
maybe Tuesday if it doesn't warm up too much.
Ice Report from Fern Webb
Climbing based observations:
- Dec 30: Candlewax. Hideous approach despite
the road proximity. Very snowy and not much steep ice, but
possibly some options for mixed stuff, although top anchors are
not great (logged power line cut).
- Dec31: Roadside Attraction. In great
moderate shape with plenty of other lines to play on (mostly
mixed). Lots of top anchors in situ.
- Jan 2: slogged into Whisper Falls but
observed an unsupported shield of ice on upper pitches
threatening to collapse (more rotted than in Graham R.'s
pictures), vast increase in water flow observed once sun came
around, and rock slopes and trees surrounding the falls were
avalanching down the waterfall itself.
- Jan 4: Rambles Centre. Lots of ice on bottom
pitch. BIG dinnerplates in spots, and wet. Middle steep section
is less than 13cm (rocked a few screws). Lots of ice at upper
crag also. Wet in places but several lines of ice and mixed.
In general conditions on Duffey and local
Lillooet have thickened since previous weekend.
Lake Road – observations from the car:
- Three ring circus: Connected, though still
- Synchronicity: Thin in lower parts, but
looks fine. Synchotron is growing.
- Twilight Tiers is thin, smeary and possibly
- Tube and Duffey's Delight non-existent.
- Deep Throat fat in upper steps that can be
seen from the road.
- Last Call looks barely there, Cutthroat not
- El Nino looks the fattest I have ever seen.
The Groke is just a smear. (These are on opposite side to the
road just east of the Rambles)
- All pitches of Loose Lady look well iced
(upper hose is visible from road at a few spots and has no
- Something down Seton Lake is visible from
the dam area and looks HUGE
- Seton smears, Out of the Vault non existent.
Small Creep is fat, but does not top out the cliff on ice (snow
over rock). RE previous comment about access and barbed wire
fences, if a person happened to be walking along the channel
from the picnic area a person might find that fence lines were
discontinuous. But trespassing is bad and wrong and you
shouldn't do it.
- Boxing Day is very fat, but avalanche
threatened, there is another formation a short distance east of
it that is not in the book and appears "safer" from a terrain
perspective. (These are near Gott Creek, west of the Rambles but
Pemberton/D'arcy/Birken road-based observations:
- White Blotter growing.
- Deception: doesn't seem to be there
- Fourskin: lots of ice
- Mild Thing: In but getting sun
- Pearly Gates: Ice visible but getting sun
- PC Valentine: Very little ice observable,
icicles and smears under snow
- Plum: Lots of ice
- Rocky&Bullwinkle: Lots of Ice
Report on Roadside Attraction
I (Ashley Stotts) and Anthony went to Roadside
Attraction on 3 Jan 2009. Ice was in good shape except for some
sections of brittleness as well as ice layer over the snow on the
right side. I lead the line to the cave then tried to traverse to
the easier flow. There was a section of really aerated ice or ice
snow layer to the right and up of the cave. I had both axes rip out
as I was moving my foot to clear the bulge. Took a fall. There is a
retreat v-thread with a biner left in the cave. There may be a 13 cm
ice screw too, about half way up right side not in the ice but maybe
around the area. Tf you find it and don't need it please email (ajstottsatgmail.com).
Thanks. Let's just say adrenalin and pain clouds the memory. Below
is a photo.
There was another party in the area climbing, they didn't say what
route but the cars were south of the tracks when we left at 2. so
other climbs are IN in the area.
Graham, Jesse and I (Drew Brayshaw) climbed at
Jarvis Bluffs on Saturday.
Climbed "Black and White" (c.55m WI3, seems longer than guidebook
description) then traversed to the upper 15m WI4 pitch above As Seen
On TV's WI6 crux pitch, to make a two pitch climb. Easy walk off to
climbers left leads right down to the base of Momentary Lapse.
As Seen On TV looked hard indeed. Potential for mixed climbs to the
Momentary Lapse is thin this year.
G&J did the first pitch of Another Day as well. Much cruddy sn'ice
on the surface led to slow going. The crux pitch above appeared to
be poorly attached at the bottom of the short pillar.
Liquid Crystal is fat and looked dry.
NW Passage's upper pitches looked fat but the bottom was hidden and
hard to see and what could be seen of it looked thin as usual.
The road was plowed as far as the old cable station with about a
foot of snow thereafter. We parked near the bridge and walked as the
snow was too deep for a CRV without chains.
Most other climbs around Hope were still in as of Sunday (some, like
Thacker Falls and Mousetrap are very snowy) but from Tailwind/Easy
Intro west, were melted out or rotten. Hope area climbs were fairly
snowy. most Fraser Canyon climbs are in except Kryptonite and Under
the Big Top. Jackass, Sailor Bar Gully, etc. all climbed on Sunday.
Jan 02, 2009
(Thanks Jeremy, Jason)
Report from Jeremy Thom
On Jan. 2 Hayley Wilson and I (Jeremy Thom) went
up to Fat Giblets. Still too thin, wet and slushy to lead, but
fattening up nicely since last Sunday. We TR'd a few lines on it
without knocking much off. It might be good to go in a few days
with the upcoming colder temps. Lacey Giblets is still bare.
Report from Jason Wheeler (Possible FA "Stumped",
WI3R 25M, Dustin Hines)
Went out on the 2nd for a little drive around Whistler and
Squamish looking for something to do.
Mystery Roach is oh so very lean, didn't want to even try
and mixed climb it for fear that if we knocked any ice
down it would never form at all this year.
Took a drive out Squamish Valley Road after that and went
right out to the Hydro Station, climbed this little gem it
is back maybe 2kms from the end of the road (did not cross
the bridge to the left).
We drew straws and Dustin lost so he got to lead while I
helped with encouragement (oh Dustin, that screw looks bad,
do you think the ice will fall down, I wouldn't put my foot
there), even with all that encouragement he still made it to
the top and found a rotten stump to use as an anchor to
bring me up. I would not have even climbed it but he used my
screws and I wanted them back.
If it has not been climbed before it should go to Dustin
Hines as a FA WI3R 25m (there was not a screw that would
have done a thing to slow his fall, and large sections of
ice pulled away from the cliff as we climbed), and it should
probably be called "Stumped" given the lovely anchor, I'm
glad I did not see the anchor till after I got up there
otherwise my screws would still be in the ice.
Mystery Roach Motel
Squamish Valley Road
December 29, 2008
(Thanks Jason, Jeremy, Drew, Eric,
Peter, Graham, etc)
Trip report from Graham Rowbotham in
Lillooet and area
On Dec 28 Jesse Mason and I (Graham Rowbotham) climbed
Whisper Falls in the Gates Lake area. We parked 100m
or so north of Landsborough Creek opposite a lot
that is for sale and headed back left towards a
powerline and the creek. We by-passed the initial
choked section of creek via trees on first the left
then right side and then followed the (largely
frozen) creek bed the rest of the way.
Temps were around
zero. The only reasonably dry line on the falls was
on the far left side. This was a
technically moderate (3+/4-), but a fairly serious
lead due to junk ice and no meaningful gear until
half height. We rapped from the top of the steep
section, as the top few metres of easier angled ice
was open and spewing. We noted this upper section
catches afternoon sun. The falls is approx 50m. (The
WCI guidebook has "80m?").
We stayed in Lillooet
and drove back along the Duffey Lake road on Dec 29.
We can add to the other reports that in general
there is significantly less ice than at this time
during the last few seasons. Small Creep looks in,
but a barb-wire topped gate and No Trespassing signs
would seem to prevent access via the dam (as
described in WCI). Three Ring Circus is not
connected. The Strand is non existent. There
is virtually no ice at The Tube, Shreddie or Last
Call. There is ice on the lower pitches of Loose
Lady, but we were unable to see the top tier.
A party was heading for Synchronicity which looked
to have a fair amount of ice on the upper pitches,
but the initial pitch might be problematic(?)
See other reports for The Rambles and Carl's Berg.
We climbed at Roadside Attraction in the Birkenhead
Valley on Dec 29, which was well formed. It
would appear to be justifiably popular with guided
parties and there are several possible lines of
various difficulties in the WI2 to 3+ range, with
the possibility of a mixed line to the left. We
soloed the steepest part of the lower section of ice
and roped up to climb the centre of the upper part
Other notes: White Blotter is still a dagger. Poole
View Falls has reasonable looking ice. There is a
lot of fresh snow!
On Dec 21 Jesse
Mason, Toby Froschauer and Graham Rowbotham climbed
Swan Falls at Buntzen Lake. The road to the lake is
ploughed by BC Hydro (just as well, as it was
dumping snow all day). The trudge to the end of the
lake and up the steep Swan Falls trail took
significantly more than the "40 minutes" guidebook
time. We soloed the few steps encountered, which
were indeed "easy", (barely WI2). We didn't see any
sign of Buntzen Smears to the left of the falls,
although noted that there has been a substantial
rock fall on that hillside.
The Plumb - Mon Dec 29 (Eric White
and Peter Watson)
Eric White and myself (Peter Watson) went up
to check out THE PLUM Dec 29th. Conditions were much different
then a couple of days ago report. Dry would have been a hard way
to describe it. The upper part of the approach was a lot of
walking in slush/creek and slick rocks. The first pitch was
still in but soaking wet, the best line looked to be on the
right but after climbing through a literal waterfall throughout
I think a right to left traverse would provide the driest line.
The ramp after the first pitch was more of the same slush pools.
We continued on hoping to find the second pitch in better shape
and it was marginally. The dry ice of a couple of days ago made
for a lot of clearing of about 4inches of shit to get better
sticks underneath, make sure the belayer is up in the cave as
lots of big debris came down as I led this pitch. It was overall
good quality but with the time of day and the shitty, slush ramp
conditions we decided not to waste our time going higher as we
were soaked to the bone. Hopefully a little more cold will turn
this climb back into fabulous thick quality ice with all the
water that was available.
Fraser Canyon Ice Conditions - Mon
Dec 29 (Drew Brayshaw)
Sailor Bar Gully - fat and wet
Kryptonite - not touching down
Mr Freeze and Riddler - both looked to be in and substantial
Where is Ultrawoman - crux pillar not touching down.
-1C with heavy wet snow and poor driving conditions Monday AM.
Only got a glimpse of Water Music/Under The Big Top area through
fog and it did not look very promising.
Conditions report from Lillooet (Jeremy Thom)
Carmen Merkel and I were up looking for ice around Whistler
and the Duffey the last few days. Here's what we found:
We went up to the Rambles. Of note, there was just
enough snow on the approach to cover the rocks so you can't see
the voids and logs and branches and such, but not enough to
support your weight. Sketchy. Bring poles.
Rambles Left - Very thin (an
inch or two over some of the rocks, and that was about it),
dirty, dry and brittle. I considered it unclimbable,
though a couple from the Yukon apparently soloed up, no doubt
dulling their tools.
Rambles Centre - In, but a bit thin and brittle. It's
quite easy WI3, but I backed off about 1/2 way up the first step
after my second screw bottomed out at about 4" in what seemed to
be the thickest blob of ice on the climb. That said, I am
a chicken and a more competent leader likely wouldn't have had
The rest of these reports are just what we observed from the
Shreddie - essentially nothing there.
Small Creep - seems to be lots of ice. The guide calls
it 80m, but it looked much taller than that. There is even
a lot (maybe a pitch or even two) above the trees that I gather
usually mark the top of the route.
Synchronicity - appeared in. Looked to be roughly in
the same form as the picture on p. 172 of the 2nd Ed.
Maybe a bit thinner.
Synchrotron. - looked thinner than on p.172. It was
hard to see if it was iced up continuously or if there were dry
Serendipity - nothing there.
Cal Cheak - Moaning tree wall
- lots of ice, though variably brittle, slushy and wet, with a
thick layer of snow cover and slush. Would be difficult to
protect well, so we TR'd. Easy Money and Get off the Couch
were all that was in. Melting a bit and getting climbed
We ran into Jason Wheeler and
Ludvina (I hope I spelled that right!), who mentioned they had
been to Mystery Roach the day before and it was bare.
We hiked up to Lacey Giblets, taking a wrong turn in the
process. If you are following our tracks, go RIGHT at the
fork (at the first Hydro right of way). We made a few snow
cairns to mark the right direction.
Lacey Giblets - bare.
Fat Giblets - thin, wet, brittle, hollow, chandeliered and
melting FAST. Mostly it's thin detached curtains, though
they do touch down. We didn't even like the looks enough
to TR it - probably would have knocked half the ice down.
Hopefully it'll cool down again soon.
The rest of this is just what we saw on the drive home:
There are tonnes of roadside
weeps from Whistler right down to Lions bay, some of which would
probably provide some fun ice bouldering if you're desperate.
Of particular note, about 1-3
km north of Star Chek, there are three very closely spaced
narrow gulleys in a bluff on the east side of the road, all
three of which (at 70km/h) seemed to be iced up, sheltered from
the sun, and looking quite Scottish. The face of the bluff
has been cut for the road, but the gulleys themselves seemed
natural and looked like they would each provide perhaps a full
pitch of interesting climbing, likely on thin ice but maybe with
Shannon Falls is mostly gone and looked to be melting/falling
There are a tonne of gorgeous
looking multipitch lines on the east side of Howe Sound, across
from Squamish/Porteau Cove. I hope someone has got up some
of them by now.
ACC Ice Climbing at Cal Cheak (Jason Wheller)
Jason Wheeler wrote... Hey just wondering if you can put a note
on the site as a warning to others that there will be an ACC group
at Cal Cheak on the 3rd and 4th and the 17th
and 18th of January. Group will be 7 to 8 people so it
will be crowded just wanted to give everyone a heads up. Thanks.
December 28, 2008
(Thanks Shane Dooley)
The Plum real Lite (Shane Dooley and
San and Ian Bennet climbed the "Plum real Lite" on Sunday the
28th. The first pitch was in at 3-3+ and very very wet. Actually
running water under and on top of the ice. The second vertical
pitch was not as wet but very lean and chandeliered, I would
guess at about 4+ to -5 at the begginning, then the angle laid
off a bit but kept up in intensity. We bailed due to time and
wringing water out of the liners in our gloves. There was a
party in front of us that was going for the last pitch, not sure
if they made it!
Shane Dooley and Ian Bennet climbed the "Plum real
Lite" on Sunday the 28th. The first pitch was in at 3-3+
and very very wet. Actually running water under and on
top of the ice. The second vertical pitch was not as wet
but very lean and chandeliered, I would guess at about
4+ to -5 at the beginning, then the angle laid off a bit
but kept up in intensity. We bailed due to time and
wringing water out of the liners in our gloves. There
was a party in front of us that was going for the last
pitch, not sure if they made it! Enjoy!
The Plum real Lite (Mathew Walker)
Here's a couple pictures from sunday the 28th at the
Plum. The whole route is in and equipped with rap
anchors. the first pitch was
with the warm temperatures on sunday.
Ice Conditions Dec 27-28 (sent by Don Serl)
This from Rob Nugent, re:
conditions up the canyon and around Lillooet, Dec
Sailor Bar Gully - fat
Kryptonite - ice, but very
other Superheroes routes - iced,
Jackass - fully iced, no open
thawing from Boston Bar south on
the drive back down (Sunday evening); note that
temps have increased since then...
Crucible - open
- Icy BC - wet but climbable on
1st two tiers; 3rd tier not climbed yet
- Deeping Wall - pretty hacked
out already by TR'ers
- Dihedral - nearly dry
- Shake, Rattle, and Roll - nice
ice line left of Dale's Route
Honeyman Falls - huge open hole,
but soloed (too mushy for gear)
Rambles Left - nearly dry
Rambles Centre - pleasant, with 3
separate lines on upper tier
Shreddie - dry
Carl's Berg - very wet
Synchronicity - looks decently
only about 5 or 6 parties in
Lillooet in total on the weekend.
Cheers, Don Serl
December 27, 2008
(Thanks Bruce Kay)
Brad White and i (Bruce Kay) climbed what is
most likely Dream Catcher, located immediately behind (east) of
the village of Xit'olacw'. We parked our truck on what appears
to be a logging road system accessed through the top, south end
of the village. Hiked up the obvious bouldery drainage to the
route in an hour. 4 pitches on left line of increasing
steepness finishing with a 4+ / 5- narrow flow squirting out of
a leak in the wall. pitch 4 started with a delicate mixed
traverse (M6?) fortunately protected by top rope off the belay.
double ropes are useful here to belay second. Good but
occasionally brittle ice. Probably leaner than normal. 4 rappels
off v threads and trees.
A similar right hand flow also looks good as
does Paid or Laid around the corner to the right.
Mystery roach is said to be lean and thin.
Entropy looked in from hwy.
Suicide looks lean - fun, hard top roping or
serious leading with bolts, rock gear and probably no screws.
moon on rye - nonexistant.
White blotter - rumored to be hanging dagger.
Plum- rumored to be in.
December 26, 2008
(Thanks Drew, Shaun, Mike W and
Tradewinds 210m WI3 FA Dec 26/08
Drew Brayshaw and Shaun Neufeld, Highway 7 - near Hope (p. 94 WCI)
This may be the same line originally attempted
by Nick and David Jones as it is the second major ice line right of
Tailwind, a left-diagonalling ramp and step line. In between is a
major corner with a huge ice roof like a cobra's hood up high and no
ice low down (at the moment) as well as several minor flows and
Approach: park as for Tailwind and cross under that route, walking
up frozen slough until directly below route. then climb up through
forest and bouldery landslide debris directly to the route, about 1
hour from the car.
The climb is 4 pitches: 50m WI2 (soloed), 55m WI2+, 55m WI3 (verging
on 3+ but conditions were favorable), 61m (rope stretcher) WI2.
Rappel 60m from tree at top, then 60m from giant boulder on
climber's right (top of p3), then from tree way out climber's left
of ice, down steep wall left of climb (55m) to gain tree ramp which
is downclimbed 35m or so back to the base of route.
It's also worth noting that while Shaun and I
were climbing Tradewinds, Jesse Mason and Graham Rowbotham climbed
Tailwind. The standard start to Tailwind is very thin and
discontinuous this year, with minimal ice at the roof on pitch 2 and
in the groove above. Instead they climbed a new start 30m left,
consisting of slabby ice leading to a deep narrow chimney with a
steep yellow ice pillar in the back. Thin ice above the chimney
leads to trees above. From here they traversed up and right through
the forest to gain Tailwind around p.3 or 4 (the long low-angle
section). This new Tailwind Left-Hand Start is 60m, WI4+.
And finally it is worth noting that two parties
so far this year have been refused access to Seabird Falls by the
150m WI2+ FA Mike W and Marc-Andre
Marc Andre and I climbed a new route. It's on hwy
7 about 1.5 kms west of the scales by Hope. And about 350-450M east
of Drew and Justin's line?? It's only 2+ but it's 150 meters long
and kind of fun. Look for a dihedral with a slab to the right, climb
thin (ish) ice to a belay on a nice platform on climber's left, then
up a steepening gully for several easy rambles until you get into
the forest above. Note: Up above our route are a fifteen and a 25
foot pillar both solid 4 but we didn't have time to climb them since
I needed to be back at home for family stuff. Hence the name: The
December 25, 2008
Lillooet - The Plum
Seth Adams and visiting friend Jed attempted The Plum on Christmas
Day. Seth says they got a really late start and ran out of time, but
mostly bailed at the top of the first grade 4 pitch due to very
brittle and dry ice. The climb was fully in, including the first
pitch, but the climbing wasn't much fun. It should be in very good
shape once it warms up and gets a little wetter in that area.
December 24, 2008
Mountain View Rd, Agassiz - between Chilliwack and
I (Marc-Andre Leclerc) climbed a 37m WI4 on the NE side of Hopyard
Hill near Agassiz (between Chilliwack and Hope), the route is just
up the hill beside Mountain View Rd in Agassiz. I called it O.C.D
Pillar. Its the only obvious line on the hill and was better than
anticipated. It ended with 10m of vertical chandeliered ice leading
to a shallow cave where I rapped from off an Abalakov. TR and
December 23, 2008
(Thanks Colin, Matthew, Drew and Peter)
Highway 99 South - Squamish
I (Colin Spark) climbed Shannon Falls on Sunday with
Bob Taylor, including upper
pitches (7, 8 & 9?). Another party followed to pitch 5 & traversed off
at the terrace. Aside from getting on at the base, which involved a
short icy shower, it was in quite good shape, if a little brittle. We had to step across the channel to gain the ice on the right of
the main falls. The odd hole appeared as we were climbing to reveal
a lot of water. The central fall was running quite strongly beside
the first two pitches, and the 4th pitch. It was frozen over to the
left of the roofs & no "wading" was necessary. The upper pitches
were excellent with good ice in most places - with some atmospheric
climbing adjacent to an exposed section of the fall high up on pitch
Here's what Shannon Falls looked like on Saturday (Dec 20). You can see
Klahanie Column in the top left corner of the picture. It's in.
Highway 5 - Coquihalla
Blue Moose WI3+ 90m FA Dec 22, 2008 Drew Brayshaw
and Tyler Linn
This climb is located about 200m west of Thacker Creek drainage
(home to Thacker Falls) on a cliffband above Highway 5. The route
can be scoped from the Coquihalla Bridge area on Kawkawa Lake Road or
seen briefly from the highway. Parking is nonexistant below the climb -
park near the gas pipeline office in Hope and walk up to the highway and
across it (5 minutes) then bushwack uphill 15 minutes to the route.
The climb begins with a broad curtain offering several route choices.
A 20m WI3+ line at the far left leading to a delicate chimney and thin slab
was climbed on the FA with the option of a 30m WI4/4+ ish pillar in the middle
(wet and chandeliered on FA so not climbed) or potential mixed variants as well.
Above this the climb is a 60m long snowy ramp with a 15m WI3 step partway up leading
to some more snow and WI2.
Descend to east (skiers' right) through steep forest then skirt back to the base in
about 15 minutes.
Cal Check Pictures from Peter Dryzmala
December 22, 2008 (Thanks Mike and Marc-Andre)
Highway 1 - Hope
On Saturday, Matt Kidd and I (Marc-Andre) went back to Never a Bride and finished it,
climbing it in two pitches (WI3, WI4). It was pretty nice, just don't start too
far right or it will be thin.
We hiked in to Powerhouse Falls, but we decided that
climbing the route didn't look worth the dark bushwack out (a bit hollow with some
We went and climbed 7 or so pitches of Mousetrap on Sunday and it was
in great shape. The crux (pitch 4 or 5?) was a little wet and slurpee-ish, but still good.
We descended down forest to the climber's left and it kinda sucked (I forgot a tool at a
rappel). I'm going back for it, but if you get there first and find it please E-Mail me at
email@example.com). I would recommend rapping the route.
Better Mousetrap is looking pretty good too, as well as the climb(s)
immediately west of Mousetrap.
Tailwind looks pretty good too.
Several lines up to the right of Tailwind look really good-if you're
really good (Super Ice Star Calibre). WI5-WI6?? 250M?
Jail Bait WI3
Dec 20, 2008 Tyler Lynn, Marc-Andre Leclerc and Mike Warn
Tyler Lynn, Marc-Andre Leclerc and Mike Warn climbed a new line up the twin
water fall on
the East side of Mt Woodside, overlooking Agassiz. Hour and a half
approach, two pitches, could be done as one fifty meter pitch.
December 20, 2008
(Thanks Jason, Mike, Peter and Marc-Andre)
Highway 99 North - Lillooet & Marble Canyon
Lyle and I (Jason Kilmartin), for some crazy reason, climbed at Marble Canyon today.
Temp was -35°C. Way to cold!
We found the ice to be forming quite different this season as
seen in the
PHOTOS. Its hard to say what its going to look like a few weeks from now.
1st pitch of Icy BC was wet and brittle. 2nd pitch was a running splashing fountain.
Must be getting fatter by the hour! 3rd pitch looked in ok shape given the season. The rest of the walls were all brittle and totally dry...
Highway 99 South - Squamish
Climbed a fun line at upper Petrified Wall (Murrin Park). Replaced tree anchor as well as cord on 2 1/4 inch bolt anchor.
It took mostly 13cm screws with a couple of 16's.
Shannon Falls was still not in, but a line
on the left which looked like a fun WI 4/4+ was in. People were starting up it.
Get there early as 3 groups showed up all at the same time.
I (Bruce Kay) went up to Fluffy Kitten Wall with
Damien Kelly via sled. Disappointed but not that surprised to
find it bone dry. I guess all the white lines reported earlier
were nothing but fluff that blew off with the wind. Another
party of two was there travelling by 4-trax. We all retreated
for double mocha lattes, a nap and the Globe & Mail.
Damien and i managed to salvage the day with
Sick Puppy on the Squaw, which is in excellent
shape as per guide book description. The last pitch is one of
the best arrund - recommended. Ice is brittle and sublimating
away in many places.
Highway 1 - Hope
Tyler Linn and I went to try Never a Bride
today. Tyler tried to start on the right hand side,
but eventually bailed due to thin ice.
We were running late, so instead of trying the left side
we drove to Easy Intro off Highway #1 and
simul soloed the first 3 pitches (grade 2, grade 4+ if you continue to the top).
The route was in pretty good shape (although I did dull my tools a little).
Piccadilly Circus and
Powerhouse Falls also looked good.
Bridal Falls was still NOT in.
White Wedding looked pretty good,
as did Decent Divorce.
Cruel Pools is (you guessed it) pools and slush.
Still a high volume of water running on all the big local climbs, which is good ( I think) considering
the really cold spell we're expecting.
We climbed two pitches of Mousetrap. First pitch covered in
snow and mush. Second pitch really slushy with open water running in sections and a very odd hollow
sound that can't be good.
All routes around Mousetrap look discontinuous.
Highway 7 - Fraser Canyon
Tailwind looked 75% in from the road.
Also route under gas line bridge on Highway 7
looked to be coming in well before the snow.
Falls behind scales on Highway 7 are coming in really well.
Seabird Island Falls looked to be shaping up pretty well.
All in all pretty thin, but shaping up really well,
will post pictures as soon as things come in.
Starting to come in but not climbable yet.
December 19, 2008
Ken Glover and I (Kelly
Franz) canoed across the Squamish river and hiked more or less
directly up to the climb. On the canoe over we managed to put in in
an area without too much ice, then went across cutting through
slushbergs and avoiding actual ice floes, to a calm bay covered in a
skim of ice just down from a large sandbar. We could break through
this thin ice easily enough and got out on the other side on a log
at the shore. About 1-1.5 hours up to the climb. The climb is
between the two sets of powerlines across the river from the
home-depot/wal mart side of town, nearer the top power line, and was
a 10-15m wide smear of ice pouring down the slab. The day we did it
the climb was fully in the sun but not dripping wet. Lots of
eagles flying overhead too. Ice was fat enough to place screws, but
the climbing was easy, it was a fairly flat sheet of ice on the slab
so maybe grade II ice. We simulclimbed the main flow to a ledge in
75 or so m with Ken winning rock paper scissors for the lead, then I
lead a consolation pitch up about another 20m to the end of the ice
at trees. Two raps off trees got us close enough to the ground to
get off. While climbing we looked down and noticed that the river
had jammed with ice right where we had left the canoe. After hiking
back to the boat, we were relieved to see the jam had moved on,
leaving a newer, thicker ice shelf. Also, the calm bay we smashed
our way into had formed a new and tougher skin, but we managed to
boof the boat through it, back into the current and paddle back
across to where we had originally put in. If unclimbed, we think to
call it the great falls sip and dip lounge (sip and dip for
short?). We didnt see any evidence of it having been ice climbed,
but who knows.
I think there may be a flagged trail right to the cliff, we saw
flagging on the way up and down in places, but the schwack we did
was OK, and there also was a fixed line climber's L of the climb in
the corner, but it was off a well rusted anchor so looked like it
was abandoned for some time. Probably a worthy summer cliff too
though. There was other ice on that side of the river, way up and
right from where we were was a bunch of stepped ice, and also at the
river level just downstream from where we put in there were some
nice looking lines.
December 17, 2008 (Thanks Bruce, Drew, Rob, Craig, Don, Marc-Andre and Perry)
Highway 99 North - Lillooet & Marble Canyon
Notes passed on from Craig McGee:
Honeyman Falls looked climbable, but there was a hole with open water in the middle up top.
Most of the climbs in Marble Canyon looked climbable. The lower wall had lots of ice, but thin in places.
The top pitches on Icy BC looked climbable, but very hard.
It was -22 at the Rambles and -30 in
Marble Canyon... All in all I was surprised to see
very little free water that could freeze in these temps. It looks
like it must have been very dry up there for the past few weeks,
hopefully it warms up at bit! Have Fun,Craig McGee.
Highway 99 South - Cayoosh Creek
Notes passed on from Craig McGee:
Drove through the Duffy Lake area yesterday and this is what I saw. If its not mentioned here, it was probably not "IN", as I took a good look around.
Looked like most of the regular climbs at the
Rambles were in, however they looked quite thin compared to normal.
Carl's Berg was NOT in.
The first pitches of
Loose Lady were in. I tried to see the upper pitch, but could only see the ice on the last few feet, so?
Synchronicity was in, however the first
few feet of the first main pitch looked very thin or
Highway 99 South - Whistler
In the early morning light
Entropy looked in -- that could mean anything in that
Looked like you could scratch up something in the
Psycho Pillar area (mixed routes only).
No ice at all on
Blue Moon on Rye. Bone dry.
looked like it would be climbable.
Suicide Bluffs has dribbles of ice, likely climbable.
Husume Buttress has some nice looking features.
Moaning Wall is coming along -
a bit thin still to protect, but ready for some slightly delicate top-roping. The right end
Get Off the Couch) is more formed than the left.
Mystery Roach Motel Very thin and mixed. It has not touched down and was rather sparse overall, still some daring climbers who like dry tooling could give it a try.
CalChek was climbable but a wee bit thin/wet... much more ice in
Highway 99 South - Squamish
Jim Martinello and Damien Kelly climbed Upper Black Dyke. First two pitches rockclimbing in rock shoes (with or without tools) on verglassed rock.
Pitch three and four were thin ice and mixed sometimes on the dyke, otherwise on the granite to the right (summer sport route).
Belays were bolted, pro was a mix of bolts when available (unless buried in ice) pins, cams and stubbies.
Pro was considered adequate to totally runout - rated R. Not sure about the grade.
Bruce Kay commented "Good job boys - its a lot thinner looking than it sometimes gets.
Maybe that's the way to do it? Not much water running so unlikely to fatten up much more."
Squamish in general has
been plenty cold with strong outflow winds, but not much ground water flowing. Almost all of the usual climbs such as
Diedre, U Wall Drool, White Dyke, Shannon Falls and environs, are either unformed or minimally formed.
Maybe they'll fatten up later.
The following are the exception:
Rainy Day Woman - Bruce Kay climbed pitch one and two with Craig McGee. Thin ice with lots of pro
throughout (cams, wires and stubbies). Pitch three unformed, but likely to form up soon (lots of water flowing down corner).
Approached via Slot Machine fixed hand lines then traverse way left.
Smoke Bluffs had miscellaneous weeps that looked doable from road.
Sheriff's Badge - lower slab weeps.
Fluffy Kitten Wall - plenty of white streaks visible from highway.
Scottish Tale - unobserved, but suspect its good to go based on surrounding conditions.
Highway 1 - Hope
I (Marc-Andre) went for a walk to the Bridal Falls area (between Chilliwack and Hope) to see how things are shaping up.
4 pitch route 200m west of Bridal Falls
is partly formed but still gushing water in the middle.
Bridal Falls is only 1/3 ice with lots of flowing water.
Never a Bride (one flow left of Bridal Falls)
is all ice but extremely thin and the upper cutains are not quite touching down.
The span class="style3">Unclimbed
White Wedding is very thin and wet, but forming up. Some other curtains around White Wedding
are not touching down yet, but look like they could be good soon. If this cold weather sticks around for a few more days most of
these routes should be climbable.
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