Sunday, February 19, 2012

ICE CLIMBING IN THE SKAGWAY AREA (February 2012)



Well, it is time to ice climb in the Skagway area for the next two week folks. It freezes at night, melt during day time, and new lines form. However, Reid's fall in Skagway might be thin, as it was this weekend when I climbed it with Sam Harrison. Other water seeping climbs formed between Skagway and Moore Creek bridge. We climbed a 30 metres line WI 4R newly form on the left side of the fall at km 9.4 (check the ice guide book p.23) from the US Customs (UTM 08 V 0485634 / 6597216). Fun line with thin ice, that will take 10 and 13 cm ice screw, and a few alders as protection. We called it Twin and Slim...

The second line is a 60 metres WI 3+R a few hundred metres up the road before a the sharp corner turn (UTM 08 V 0485917 /6597675). The start is sketchy, with 10 metres of thin ice ,and possibly some rock pro, which Sam did not use while leading it. The rest is a nice long corner of ice that will take your longest ice screws. You will need two 60 metres ropes to rappel from trees up there, or find a shorter rappel with one rope walking up there. Both new lines have an R due to the uncertainty of some ice protections. We called this line the Scottish dead tree, which you might understand while climbing it !

We wanted to go in the East Fork river valley with our bikes and climb a few multi-pitches, but the snow on the railroad track in Skagway was too deep, wich is uncommon at this time of the year. However, we spend a great day ice climbing 4 lines between 6o metres and 30 metres (Reid's fall, Twin and Slim, Km 9.4 fall, Scottish dead tree), a surprise for this area. The weather was awesome with a + 3 celcius, and some snow. Next weekend might have some surprises for the adventurous ice climber in the area.


I have posted two pictures for these new lines.

Have fun climbing, and keep it safe !

Alain Dallaire

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