Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ice Conditions - Nov. 2012

Ice climbing season is here!

This year local ice climbers were out whacking icicles as early as Oct 20th.  Cold temps and light snow loads meant ice conditions and access were amazing in late October and early November.  In recent days/week more snow has meant a harder slog and increased avalanche hazard so be prepared.

On to the conditions,

White Mountain North Side
Funga Phobia is in good condition though the base is guarded by a short, tricky, pillar.  Climbing a detached pillar isn't your thing you can drop in from above on climber's left, a couple of nuts or cams might be nice to protect the traverse.  With the recent snows the giant cornice above Funga Phobia may have developed.  Use caution if you decide to climb this.
Funga Phobia Oct 25, 2012

Allen's Pillar looked really thin about 2 weeks ago but there was ice enough to climb.  Finding spots for protection might be exciting.

Conversation in 2 Parts is in, thought the bottom pillar Lover's Quarrel hasn't yet touched down.  The gully above,  Kiss and Make Up, is in brilliant condition with 175+ metres of mostly WI2 ice.  Recent snow may have clogged up the gully.

White Mountain South
Log Jammed is in OK condition, the ice is thin and dry but climbable.  The small chunk of ice 25m to climber's left is still growing and is very short.

Klondike Hwy.
Soleil and Solar Flare are coming in nicely.  There is ice on Windy Arm but it looks like a couple of weeks before it will be good to cross.

Pooley Canyon has lots of open, flowing, water and while the ice has encapsulated the falls it still looks quite thin.  I'm game for an attempt though we may have to belay from a rubber dingy.

Skagway
Low snow and cold temps have made for fantastic ice conditions in Skagway.  A number of areas and seeps that are normally snow covered are clear and have great ice.

Amphitheatre has lots of great ice.  Many of the easier lines are clear of snow, which is unusual.  The approach is suckier than normal because the snow hasn't filled in all the holes between the rocks and covered up all the devil's club.

Spicy Meatballs is probably in good condition though at this time of year the top 2 meters of the climbs are bare rock.  I haven't been in here yet this year.

Reid Falls appears to be in great condition.  The ice has encapsulated the falls and there is very little snow.  It looks like you can get all the way to the top right now though the ice does look quite thin in places.


Conditions out there are changing all the time. Objective hazards such as lake crossings, avalanches, and specific ice conditions are hard to predict and vary day to day, week to week.   This ice report is only a guide.  Always use your judgement when you're out there and make decisions based on the conditions you observe.  If you have anything to pass along leave a comment below of drop a line at info@climbyukon.net


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