Saturday, February 13, 2010

San Juan Ice Conditions Update

Dexter: Still Fat.

Horsetail: Good ice, little snowy. Some guys climbed Bear Creek today as well in "refrozen" conditions.

Skylight: All major flows are good to go. Did all 4 on Friday. Killer Pillar is not fully formed. Tourist Trap and Fractured Fairytales have plenty of ice.

Ice Park: Sweetness everywhere!

Ribbon and Birdbrain: Climbable, I guess. I haven't done either this year.

Engineer: Nada.

Silverton: I'm sure the ice is good, but avi conditions are a bit sketch for us to send guides that way yet.

Bridalveil: Busy, a little different than usual. Definitely IN.

Ice Hose: Good, don't expect gear on the first crux.

Silverpick: Appeared to not be in while driving by.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ames Ice Hose

Climbed the Ames Ice Hose on Wednesday with Paul from Seattle. It was good. The first pillar is pretty much all dry hooking in shallow holes with stubbies in rotten blobs for pro, I put in one on the first pillar. The LZ is looking much better though if you do decide to pitch. We linked 1 and 2 together with 70's. The Chimney is super fun, good screws when you want them. The 3rd pitch is awesome as always, true WI4 for 200 feet.

I'm often asked how we break this climb up, so... I like to bring double 70's. Link 1 and 2 to the 2nd set of chains. From there, bump up to the pin anchor high on the upper ledge. 1 more long pitch to the trees on top. I rap with 70's from the lower climber's left tree to the 2nd chain anchor, then to the ground. This is the least shrapnel exposed way to do it. Lot of other variations exist if you only have 60's.

Cheers, CC

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Climbed Bridalveil Tuesday. Rumors of it being thin are greatly exaggerated. It is a little narrower than usual, but was able to get full length screws whenever I wanted one. The first pitch was the standard cauliflower cone, not pumpy just hard to protect, followed by some 4+ ice by going to the right and then back left around a roof. The belay was in a nice ice cave that is big enough for three and well protected just to the left of the obvious line. The second pitch was the crux. A few sections of 5+ moves with excellent rests in between. By trending right at the end there was another great belay stance. It was wide enough for 3-4 people and had a rock roof, so again very well protected. The third pitch is about a half rope length or less of grade 3. Hope this clears up the info and you have as good a time on it as we did.