Sunday, January 18, 2009

San Juan ice conditions

The fest was good this year. The clinics went smooth despite unpredictable river conditions. I've been out in the backcounty a bunch since then and there are some great conditions on many routes. Stairway to Heaven is especially fat and sticky, and folks have been climbing Goldrush and others in Eureka. The Ames Ice Hose is still good. The first pitch is beat out, hard to find anything to swing into. The last pitch is well traveled as well, but very good. Should have a few more days of mild weather to enjoy.

Cheers, CC

Friday, January 2, 2009

Leading Pitch 3
A good view of Pitches 1 and 2.

Stephen following pitch 1.

Climbed Ames Ice Hose on December 31. Pitch 1 is unusually fat this year. I was able to get 13-16cm screws all the way up. The second pitch was rumored to be full of snice and kinda sketchy, but the a team the day before did a fine job of cleaning out all the garbage and now it is in excellent shape and fuly protectable with screws. The only negative of the whole day was that someone has removed the pitons above pitch 2, so until they are replaced you need to belay from the ice with screw, which places the belayer in a less protected location.Pitch 3 is fat as always.