2008-2009 Ice Reports

See list (or download PDF) of New Climbs up to 2008

If you have anything to report on the current ice season, email me at westcoasticereports@gmail.com 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?

Crunchy Frog

March 17, 2009

Report from Bruce Kay

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

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 6 bolts
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 screws
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 neighboring 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.

Cable Crossing                                                                                 Starting up Take Me To The River

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 Gully                                                       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 Missing Neurons.

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 disturbance...

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 Loose Lady was really wet on the last 1/3 (Sat Feb 21); Loose Lady 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 Rambles Central 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 condition.

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 Henrik)

Wes: Jason Cullum and I climbed Synchronicity 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. Cheers.


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 winter. 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 that.
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 Grim Reaper 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 sure.

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 Free
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 to go. Free Tibet 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


Toll Free 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 looked climbable. 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 Isadorf

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.)

Other ice:

Roadside Attraction looked fat.

Report from Peter Watson

The Plum: 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 White Blotter. 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 retreat.

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 Roadside Attraction (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 to climb 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                          Deception                                                On 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.

Deeping Wall/span>
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. Barely touched.

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 it.


Feb 01, 2009
(Thanks Graham)

Report from Graham Rowbotham

Here's a report from the last couple of weekends.
  • On Jan 24 Jesse Mason and Graham Rowbotham hiked in to A Scottish Tale in Squamish, but found more ice on the approach trail up the Backside of the Chief than on the route, the majority of which was dry and devoid of ice.
  • On Jan 31 the same pair climbed Politically Correct Valentine. Some very variable ice (from brittle and dinner plating to plastic) was encountered on pitch 1. A few photos are attached as well as a shot acoss the valley to White Blotter from PCV. 
  • The Plumb also looked good and judging from the other vehicles parked at the end of Poole Creek Road, there were likely two parties on it that day.
PC Valentine 1
PC Valentine 2
White Blotter from PC Valentine
PC Valentine 3

Jan 27, 2009 (Thanks Bruce)
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 Wanderer)

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 (Thanks Kelly)

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 careful rapping.

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 further.

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 actually see.

Jan 19, 2009 (Thanks Jason)

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 (Thanks Craig, Henrik)

Duffy Report

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

Rambles Report

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 (Thanks Bruce)

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 upper elevations.
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 (Thanks Jason)

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 (Thanks Steven)

Here is a small report for the Loose Lady and Boxing Day:

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.

Thank you,

Steven Harng
Mountaineer, Alpinist
Headlamp Jungle Warfare & Airborne Division
BC Coast Mountain

Mike's attemp in soloing Loose Lady

Jan 11, 2009 (Thanks Marcus, Drew)

Michael Lim and I (Marcus Dell) climbed at Rambles Central on Saturday Jan 10th.
  • The lower grade 3 pitch is fat and wet.
  • 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 climbing.
Rambles Left is very thin and the ice flow is different then previous years.  It looks climbable but you will need all stubies.
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 (Thanks Peter)

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 at: zenroqqo@primus.ca. Also, Peter sent some pictures which are posted below under Dec 23, 2009.

Jan 06, 2009
(Thanks Don)
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 found:
  • 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 (Thanks Don)

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.
  • capricorn discontinuous.
  • 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.

 Duffey Lake Road – observations from the car:

  • Three ring circus: Connected, though still "tough" looking
  • Synchronicity: Thin in lower parts, but looks fine. Synchotron is growing.
  • Twilight Tiers is thin, smeary and possibly not continuous.
  • 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 there.
  • 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 observable holes/gaps)
  • 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 before Belmore/Isadorth).

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.
Thanks Ashley

 Jarvis Bluffs

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 right.

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 (WI3).
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.
Below are a few pictures of Whisper Falls and Roadside Attraction.

Whisper Falls- Approach

Whisper Falls - Spot the Turkey? :-)

Whisper Falls - Rapping

Roadside Attraction - Upper Section

 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:

Dec. 26:

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 much trouble.

The rest of these reports are just what we observed from the highway:

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 patches.

Serendipity - nothing there.

Dec. 27

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 out fast.

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.

Dec. 28

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 rock pro.

Shannon Falls is mostly gone and looked to be melting/falling fast.

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.

Cheers, Jeremy

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 Ian Bennet)

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 extremely wet 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 27-28, 2008:
Sailor Bar Gully - fat
Kryptonite - ice, but very unconsolidated looking
other Superheroes routes - iced, but wet
Jackass - fully iced, no open holes
thawing from Boston Bar south on the drive back down (Sunday evening); note that temps have increased since then...
Crucible - open
Marble Canyon
- 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 iced
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.
Blue 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 Marc-Andre)

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 mixed slabs.

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 present landowner.

New Route 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 Family Man

December 25, 2008 (Thanks Seth)

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 (Thanks Marc-Andrew)

Mountain View Rd, Agassiz - between Chilliwack and Hope

 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 details here http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/858082/TR_Agassiz_Hopyard_Hill_F_A_O_#Post858082

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 7.

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 running water).
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 climb_on_1@hotmail.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 50m FA 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.

Skagit Valley

Starting to come in but not climbable yet.

December 19, 2008 (Thanks Kelly)

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.

Pictures here:

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 rock.

Highway 99 South - Whistler


In the early morning light Entropy looked in -- that could mean anything in that early light.
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.
Dream Catcher 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 Squamish.

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.
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 4 pitch route 200m west of Bridal Falls is partly formed but still gushing water in the middle.
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.


   Image provided by Terragalleria.com