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Ice Climbing in the area?
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By Josh Allred
From Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 26, 2012
P3 on Nutcracker.

My wife and I are moving to the East Bay area next week. What is the ice climbing look like? I have to believe there is something in the Sierras or Tahoe area. Thanks.


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By willeslinger
From Golden, Colorado
Sep 26, 2012
I was pretty bummed when they didn't greenlight my "Bourne Identity" style reboot of The Eiger Sanction. This was from the rough draft's first act.

Josh Allred wrote:
My wife and I are moving to the East Bay area next week. What is the ice climbing look like? I have to believe there is something in the Sierras or Tahoe area. Thanks.


Hit up my mentor Jim Arnold, he rus Rocky Top Guides in Chattanooga, TN, but back in the day he put up ice climbing FA's all up and down the eastern Sierra. I know a lot of them never got done anymore because of the approaches, but there's a wonderland of ice up in them there hills.

His contact number is here: rockytopguides.com/


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By climbing coastie
From Sacramento
Sep 26, 2012
Switzerland

Lee Vining is your surest bet for winter water ice, even then not guaranteed. . Tahoe's most reliable ice is Coldstream Canyon. Then there is the fall High Serria alpine climbs if there is a good snowpack the previous winter

Last year there was ice everywhere with the cold temps and lack of snow, but it was also called the best ice climbing year in over 20+ years.

Let me know if your looking for a partner.


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By James Arnold
From Chattanooga
Sep 26, 2012
Chew toyed

Josh, Will brags about me far too much and now owns most of my ice gear. But thanks anyhoos.


You would want to get a hold of Dave Nettle in the Tahoe area. Not sure if Alpenglow SPorts in Tahoe City is still there but he was there for a while and they might know how to get a hold of him. I believe he was the one who taught us the most important piece of gear in Sierra ice climbing is a very fast car....

Depending on the year there can be a lot of good ice. Check out some of the threads on supertopo for some great pictures...Lee Vining is pretty reliable, but a long way from the bay area when passes are closed.


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By Stephan Doyle
Sep 26, 2012

climbing coastie wrote:
Lee Vining is your surest bet for winter water ice, even then not guaranteed. . Tahoe's most reliable ice is Coldstream Canyon. Then there is the fall High Serria alpine climbs if there is a good snowpack the previous winter Last year there was ice everywhere with the cold temps and lack of snow, but it was also called the best ice climbing year in over 20+ years. Let me know if your looking for a partner.


This is the standard answer.

The Eastern Sierra Ice Guide is a good start. You can pay $15 for it at REI, or download it as a pdf then fold here: people.cs.uchicago.edu/~mamiller/docs/rec/climbing/ice/easte>>>

Lee vining is great, but gets crowded on the weekend because it's the only California ice crag. It's water ice, with routes suitable for all levels. A short approach, but a long drive.

Yosemite might exist, if we get really lucky. Totally rad.

The couloirs are fantastic, their best in summer-fall (depending on the route - u notch is a lot different than, say, north peak north couloir).

Winter, though, is difficult living in the bay. We have access to Yosemite (ha!), Tahoe, and then sort-of Lee Vining. Waterfalls in the Eastern Sierra are a looooong drive, through Tahoe, down 395, and some long approaches for the most part.

I'm also in the east bay (Berkeley) and totally up for alpine. I have ropes and all the gear.


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By Nick Votto
Sep 26, 2012
Bolton, VT

I'm also interested in ice near the east bay but realize the drive is long....I'm looking to move to Berkeley in January and hope to get some partners together for road trips


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By Josh Allred
From Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 26, 2012
P3 on Nutcracker.

Awesome, thanks everyone for all the beta and welcome anymore anyone has. I'll have to check out these areas. Im moving to Concord (about 30 min away from Berkeley) at the end of the week and in need of climbing partners. Ive got a car, hands to belay, two ice screws, and looking to go climbing with anyone. I got my first lead in at the end of last season, so I cant lead hard ice (yet) but will follow just about anything. Im always looking for Ice crags/alpine adventures if anyone is interested.

Thanks again, cheers!


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By Josh Allred
From Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 26, 2012
P3 on Nutcracker.

If anyone is interested in getting together some trips send an email to jallred22@gmail.com


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By bergbryce
From South Lake Tahoe, CA
Sep 26, 2012

Where the hell were all these East Bay ice climbers when I lived there?

Tahoe is the closest stuff and there are some pretty consistent areas both north and south shores. Most of it is low angle although there are a few steeper areas that usually form up. Nothing is all that great but it's a lot better than nothing. You can get some sticks which as we all know is what it's about.
I got out a lot last year through January, a lot of stuff was in and it was fun. Honestly though, I'd rather ski.
The ice couloirs are kind of fun but in almost any other state people wouldn't put in the effort required here to climb 60 degree gullies. Still better than nothing.

There was a good Tahoe ice thread on Supertopo last year..
www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1656967/Tahoe-ice


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By jack s.
From Kamloops, BC
Sep 27, 2012
Mean Green P2

I just moved out of the East Bay (still a bit sad about that--Berkeley is awesome!). Best ice climbing that I have found in California was Clyde Couloir in the Palisades, which was in splendid shape in the beginning of June this year despite the 100░F temps in Bishop. It went at WI3 when i did it, but it was nice, fat, plastic blue ice without a single sign of any other traffic on it.



As far as winter ice goes, I suggest going to Montana, Wyoming, or Alberta. Coldstream Canyon has an alright line or two with more of an approach than it is worth. Most of the ice in the Eastern Sierra Ice guidebook is chopped, or more precisely, gang-raped by thousands of guided groups, not to mention low-angle and often thin.

As much as I love ice climbing, California is really all about the granite trad climbing.


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By Stephan Doyle
Sep 27, 2012

Nick Votto wrote:
I'm also interested in ice near the east bay but realize the drive is long....I'm looking to move to Berkeley in January and hope to get some partners together for road trips


Hit me up or start a thread when you move.

Josh Allred wrote:
If anyone is interested in getting together some trips send an email to jallred22@gmail.com


I'll send something sometime tomorrow.

bergbryce wrote:
The ice couloirs are kind of fun but in almost any other state people wouldn't put in the effort required here to climb 60 degree gullies. Still better than nothing.


This is why I spent two weeks in Colorado. A roadtrip to Bozeman is on my wish-list this winterů Yes, we have ice. Yes, it kind of sucks. The ice on Shasta, for example, isn't much to write home about, unless you're top-roping crevasses, which is kind of funů

jack s. wrote:
As much as I love ice climbing, California is really all about the granite trad climbing.


True. But in the winter, the best trad climbing is not accessible. Winter offers some ice climbing, some nice winter slogging (fairly moderate temperatures), and some nice skiing. Not a winter wonderland, but enough to stay fit and happy.


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By paddyrock
Sep 27, 2012

i found that the best ice climbing in the bay area is this dead tree in tilden park. Goes around T5. Keeps a winter man swinging in the land of sunshine and parking tickets.
:)
Hit me up if you are into to dry tooling or tree climbing. i know a few good spots..


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By tallmark515
From San Francisco
Sep 29, 2012
Red Zinger - Red Rocks

Where is there dry tooling in the Bay Area?


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By bergbryce
From South Lake Tahoe, CA
Sep 30, 2012

Skull Rock or really any chossy rock that doesn't see regular rock climbing that you can set up a TR on would work.


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By Rich zz
From california
Oct 2, 2012

ah i'm east bay too. how weird. i'm actually going to be climbing mt whitney this winter on the mountaineering trail and i want to learn ice climbing on the drive down or around the area. i would love to get a trip going and learn how to ice climb if anyone's offering.


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By Taylor152
Oct 3, 2012

Sierras is better due to its unique features and environments. You can enjoy more in a memorized manner with you wife also some spot which are romantic.

www.siamvisit.com/


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By Mark P Thomas
From Oakland
Oct 3, 2012
Kor Roof on a windy day. Hard to tell which way is up here! Basically into the photo, up about 45 degrees, rotated 30 degrees clockwise.

As Bryce said, Skull Rock is great for setting up TRs to learn dry tooling technique. There's enough deadfall, broken glass, and graffiti that no one should care that you're scraping up the rock. You might even make good entertainment for the stoners that hang out in the cave up there :-)



More pics here

As winter rolls in, I'm happy to get out there with some folks to mess around on a weekday night or a rainy weekend.

Edit: I know you should do this stuff with gloves on. On the outing featured in the linked photos, I had forgotten to bring mine. Ouch . . .


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By tallmark515
From San Francisco
Oct 3, 2012
Red Zinger - Red Rocks

How long are the routes? Is it all at the angle that is pictured in the photo?


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By jomey
From Yosemite Valley
Oct 4, 2012
Wall street

I would also like to jump on the bandwagon for 'Curious for Ice climbing' and always ready for an alpine route. Feel free to send me an IM.


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By Mark P Thomas
From Oakland
Oct 4, 2012
Kor Roof on a windy day. Hard to tell which way is up here! Basically into the photo, up about 45 degrees, rotated 30 degrees clockwise.

tallmark515 wrote:
How long are the routes? Is it all at the angle that is pictured in the photo?


Routes vary from about 15-20 ft (this one) to maybe 60', some are short steep steps with low angle terrain in between, and this short one is as steep as it looks. Some of the longest lines are just as steep or even have very small overhangs. So the area has great started routes and there is opportunity to make thing pretty hard! I haven't done it yet, but if you lower a bit off the top of the larger formation you can access some sport anchor bolts for some sick lines, including climbing out of a cave.

The longest lines require some ingenuity to TR until someone replaces/adds more bolts on the formation. Also, this rock is pretty good for drytooling as the rock has a lot of small, hard edges, and there are some nice opportunities for tool stacking and Steinpulls


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By tallmark515
From San Francisco
Oct 4, 2012
Red Zinger - Red Rocks

Mark P Thomas wrote:
Routes vary from about 15-20 ft (this one) to maybe 60', some are short steep steps with low angle terrain in between, and this short one is as steep as it looks. Some of the longest lines are just as steep or even have very small overhangs. So the area has great started routes and there is opportunity to make thing pretty hard! I haven't done it yet, but if you lower a bit off the top of the larger formation you can access some sport anchor bolts for some sick lines, including climbing out of a cave. The longest lines require some ingenuity to TR until someone replaces/adds more bolts on the formation. Also, this rock is pretty good for drytooling as the rock has a lot of small, hard edges, and there are some nice opportunities for tool stacking and Steinpulls


Cool, I'd check that out. I'm still recovering from shoulder surgery, but should be back at it in December or January. Maybe we could meet up then.


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By Mark P Thomas
From Oakland
Oct 11, 2012
Kor Roof on a windy day. Hard to tell which way is up here! Basically into the photo, up about 45 degrees, rotated 30 degrees clockwise.

Sounds good! Send me a PM when you think you'd be up for messing around on Skull Rock.


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By bergbryce
From South Lake Tahoe, CA
Oct 12, 2012

fyi... Mark is the one who showed me the possibilities of Skill Rock.
Credit where it's due!


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By SRG
From San Francisco, CA
Oct 13, 2012
Scouting

yeah the ice out here ain't great but it's all we's gots.....

stay tuned folks, the first annual june lake ice festival may be coming soon....

www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1902829/Eastside-Ice-Festiv>>>


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