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Starved Rock Ice 2013/14
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By Juggler
Feb 11, 2014
Ice at SR

Woodchuck ATC wrote:
Finally a year with great ice again, but alas no time, no energy or money to make the trips out there this season.


stop drinking some beer and use that $$...... you can ride with us sometime....


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By jon jugenheimer
From Madison
Feb 14, 2014
hi

A Conditions update... All canyons that are legal to climb in are in great condition and growing. A lot of ice has been built up just this past week. Climbs are still growing and getting fatter, but that being said there are a lot of wet sections on all of the climbs, but easily avoidable.

Also, Johnny Law was seen today busting 2 climbers in a closed canyon. We got there a bit late to...I am going to admit it here, attempting to climb in a closed canyon... and the officer called in the climbers i.d. that were already there climbing. My partner and I left before we knew if a citation/fine/jail time was given but the possibility was looking high, as the climbers also didn't sign in with the park.

Not knowing why St. Louis canyon is closed to climbing, we found out later from a tourist (not the officer, as he admitted he had no idea why ) that there is a 20+ foot deep pool below the waterfall and a person died there last year breaking in....SO, I am assuming that may be the reason why. Anyone really know? Is that true?


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By Woodchuck ATC
Feb 14, 2014
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

jon jugenheimer wrote:
A Conditions update... All canyons that are legal to climb in are in great condition and growing. A lot of ice has been built up just this past week. Climbs are still growing and getting fatter, but that being said there are a lot of wet sections on all of the climbs, but easily avoidable. Also, Johnny Law was seen today busting 2 climbers in a closed canyon. We got there a bit late to...I am going to admit it here, attempting to climb in a closed canyon... and the officer called in the climbers i.d. that were already there climbing. My partner and I left before we knew if a citation/fine/jail time was given but the possibility was looking high, as the climbers also didn't sign in with the park. Not knowing why St. Louis canyon is closed to climbing, we found out later from a tourist (not the officer, as he admitted he had no idea why ) that there is a 20+ foot deep pool below the waterfall and a person died there last year breaking in....SO, I am assuming that may be the reason why. Anyone really know? Is that true?


Most of the canyons like Wildcat and Tonti have pretty deep pools of water after spring meltdown. Ive never heard of a deep plunge being the reason for closure. But the only reason I was given from back in 1980 for the closure was this: 1) they used to set up a light show on the ice to entertain hotel guests on certain weekends, thus didnt' want any ice damage from climbers. 2) out of respect for the dead, this is the canyon where the infamous 'Starved Rock Murders' took place in the early 60's, so for those reasons it has remained closed. Odd thing is, that on Day ONE when ice climbing was demonstrated to the long past superintendent, it was done right there in St. Louis canyon. In mid 80's, we still stayed off the main ice in that canyon , but got away with climbing a side formation that only formed in 85 and 86 seasons. Have hiked back in there a few times to see the ice, but the secone formation has never been there again as far as I've seen over last 30 years.


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By Doug Hemken
Administrator
Feb 17, 2014
On Everleigh Club Crack.  Photo by Burt Lindquist.

For aesthetic reasons? They want someplace those billion and one photographers can make a photo of the ice without people and ropes in the frame?


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By Woodchuck ATC
Feb 17, 2014
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

Doug Hemken wrote:
For aesthetic reasons? They want someplace those billion and one photographers can make a photo of the ice without people and ropes in the frame?


Well, that was the idea originally back then. Preserve that one canyon from ice damage. NOW, since the 90's 'boardwalk' construction, trail closures, stair removals, etc... they have closed off 18 other ice climbing spots in the park to us. Seems alot of ice should now be clean and photogenic without ropes or climbers on it. There used to be annual photo club outings to see the winter ice for photo class/tours, etc. Not sure how many still are doing that, but many canyons like St. Louis still remain closed to ice climbers.
These days, I think there are just as many or more photographers who are more interested in finding some climbers to get their own action shots of a sport they would not be viewing anywhere within their usual weekend driving vacations.


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By george wilkey
From travelers rest sc
Feb 17, 2014
me

is there ever any climbable ice at Jackson falls?


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By Woodchuck ATC
Feb 17, 2014
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

I've seen occasional winter pics of ice down there, but never saw a climber..don't know if it's allowed down there or not. Somebody who is a regular down there might know. Massive ice in SRSP this last week,,think Joel took a client out there sometime this past week.


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By Juggler
Feb 17, 2014
Ice at SR

Woodchuck ATC wrote:
I've seen occasional winter pics of ice down there, but never saw a climber..don't know if it's allowed down there or not. Somebody who is a regular down there might know. Massive ice in SRSP this last week,,think Joel took a client out there sometime this past week.


Yes, a client who did a great job. Pix soon!


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By george wilkey
From travelers rest sc
Feb 18, 2014
me

looks like i'll have to come back up there to get any more ice, suppose to be near 70 everyday for us next week.


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By Doug Hemken
Administrator
Feb 18, 2014
On Everleigh Club Crack.  Photo by Burt Lindquist.

Woodchuck ATC wrote:
Well, that was the idea originally back then. Preserve that one canyon from ice damage.... These days, I think there are just as many or more photographers who are more interested in finding some climbers to get their own action shots....


Sounds like we should be letting the Park know how we feel.


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By Juggler
Feb 18, 2014
Ice at SR

Doug Hemken wrote:
Sounds like we should be letting the Park know how we feel.


We have, Doug, and are keeping in close touch with the powers that be....


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By Woodchuck ATC
Feb 18, 2014
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

george wilkey wrote:
looks like i'll have to come back up there to get any more ice, suppose to be near 70 everyday for us next week.


George, we have near 50 predicted for Thursday with lots of rain, but I don't think that will damage our massive ice pile. WE have a MF'n load of ice yet, and over 7 inches of fresh snow on it yesterday to 'insulate, or refreeze. I think we should be pretty dam good by the weekend of predicted 20 degree temps once again...Might be slick all over at the base, but what else are crampons for?


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By Juggler
Feb 18, 2014
Ice at SR

Looks like no climbing at SRSP this wknd since heavy rains are predicted... maybe..


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By Woodchuck ATC
Feb 19, 2014
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

Juggler wrote:
Looks like no climbing at SRSP this wknd since heavy raions are predicted...


Not sure why that would be. Are they 'closing' it up officially? Thought they left it to the climbers to decide conditions now. Ice looks massive in recent pics posted by climbers, it shouldn't all fall down from one day of rain on Thurs. And every seasoned climber over the years has climbed there THROUGH the wet waterfall action; that's what Gor-tex clothing is for! Only a totally flooded out river and canyon floor area keeps us from access to the ice.


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By Juggler
Feb 19, 2014
Ice at SR

Woodchuck ATC wrote:
Not sure why that would be. Are they 'closing' it up officially-NO? Thought they left it to the climbers to decide conditions now. Ice looks massive in recent pics posted by climbers, it shouldn't all fall down from one day of rain on Thurs. And every seasoned climber over the years has climbed there THROUGH the wet waterfall action; that's what Gor-tex clothing is for! Only a totally flooded out river and canyon floor area keeps us from access to the ice.


With 50 degrees and rain Thursday, it will be VERY wet and flowing heavy(if you want to get soaked and cold you can Mark- go for it) and not in very good shape till next week after the next cold spell--- just my opinion on it. 3 warm days and rain will take its toll.... though they may not fall down...


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By Woodchuck ATC
Feb 19, 2014
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

I'm just judging from the recent pics of huge ice, and the experience of 30 past years climbing in the severe 60+ temp meltdowns waaay warmer and wetter than these 2 days will be. IF the upper streams suddenly melt out all the snowfields above and run off fast, it might see some damage but doubt it will fall down.


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By bob o'brien
Feb 21, 2014

looking for conditions.
conditions were excellent until yesterday's rain.
anyone been there today? (Friday 21 feb, 2014?)


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By Juggler
Feb 22, 2014
Ice at SR

bob o'brien wrote:
looking for conditions. conditions were excellent until yesterday's rain. anyone been there today? (Friday 21 feb, 2014?)


should know about SRSP Sunday...


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By marcin1
Feb 23, 2014
on crying time again, Tuolumne Meadows, CA

What does the silo have to do with conditions at Starved Rock?

Tonti has lots of running water.
Lasalle same.
Not sure they will hold up.

The river is so high that its covering the trail along the lake from the parking lot. Could likely pass on the bank but we didn't try.


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By Woodchuck ATC
Feb 23, 2014
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

marcin1 wrote:
What does the silo have to do with conditions at Starved Rock? Tonti has lots of running water. Lasalle same. Not sure they will hold up. The river is so high that its covering the trail along the lake from the parking lot. Could likely pass on the bank but we didn't try.


I'm guessing alot of running water in most canyons, with rain and snow melt. Hopefully someone is out there to see/report on what it all did to the ice conditions. Ice might be nice, but canyon floors might have flooded too deep to hike in to base of climb. And if the ice at base of climb has melted through,,then you got those deep plunge pools to deal with and the associated weakening of stability of ice to stay stanging. You never know. All is cold ahead for this week, so whatever bad has already happened in past 3 days...we need a first hand report from someone out there checking it out.


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By BenCooper
From Wyoming
Feb 25, 2014
Washer Woman and Monster Tower.

As of 2/25:

Wildcat: very climbable on left side, with some new surface ice having formed with the recent melt/freeze cycle. Right side has thickened up considerably since last month, but center and right are pretty wet right now. Climbable, but bring the goretex.

Ottawa: Took a lot of damage with the recent thaw. Two large longitudinal grooves in the upper portion with a good bit of running water underneath them. The actual fall is far thinner than 2 weeks ago. Hopefully will thicken up a bit over the next few days, but I would not climb it until it does.

Didn't check out Tonti or Lasalle.

Most of the pools are pretty frozen still. Couple of thin spots around the bases, but nothing to worry about.


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By Woodchuck ATC
Feb 26, 2014
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

BenCooper wrote:
As of 2/25: Wildcat: very climbable on left side, with some new surface ice having formed with the recent melt/freeze cycle. Right side has thickened up considerably since last month, but center and right are pretty wet right now. Climbable, but bring the goretex. Ottawa: Took a lot of damage with the recent thaw. Two large longitudinal grooves in the upper portion with a good bit of running water underneath them. The actual fall is far thinner than 2 weeks ago. Hopefully will thicken up a bit over the next few days, but I would not climb it until it does. Didn't check out Tonti or Lasalle. Most of the pools are pretty frozen still. Couple of thin spots around the bases, but nothing to worry about.


Thanks Ben for the update! BE sure to go on climbingcentral.com and add yourself and updates there too in ice forums.


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By Zach Parsons
From Milwaukee, WI
Mar 2, 2014
Tying in at Cox Hollow

Ottawa on 3/1/14. Standing water around the base, and running water on the right and middle lines (Gore-Tex mandatory). Still definitely climbable, though not sure how much longer it will last. Heard from another group that Wildcat is in similar condition.

Ottawa 3/1/14
Ottawa 3/1/14



Ottawa 3/1/14
Ottawa 3/1/14


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By Woodchuck ATC
Mar 2, 2014
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

WOW,,,that right side doesn't often form good enough to climb from bottom straight up. Did you get on all of it yesterday.? Looks great..thanks for sharing the pics,,reminds me of some awesome ice 20+ years ago in Ottowa canyon.
Nothing more fun than a spring meltdown, in full body Goretex and heading straight up through the streams of water on styro ice.


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By Zach Parsons
From Milwaukee, WI
Mar 3, 2014
Tying in at Cox Hollow

Woodchuck ATC wrote:
WOW,,,that right side doesn't often form good enough to climb from bottom straight up. Did you get on all of it yesterday.?


Yep, climbed pretty much every variation. The right side had the best ice, but the first 15 feet or so were like taking a shower.

We ended up dropping that rope through the hole, climbing the back of the falls (good ice there too!) and emerging from the hole.


The back side
The back side

The front side, pulling a Miley
The front side, pulling a Miley


Rebirth
Rebirth


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