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The 2012-13 Colorado Ice Conditions Thread
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By Lee Smith
Dec 17, 2012
You can love your rope but you can't "LOVE" your rope! <br />(Back by Popular Demand.  There you are Mom) <br /> <br />

I think it would be very wise to stay out of Officer's Gulch for a while. From the area description:

Tenmile Canyon is along the interstate just west of Dillon. This area has lots of nice easy to moderate ice climbs with casual approaches. The downside is that most routes are the bottoms of avalanche chutes, so it is only sane to climb here early in the season before heavy snow falls. Preview conditions carefully before jumping on anything here.

Emphasis is mine.

I disagree with Ross above about Mills Lake. We crossed it on Sunday Dec. 16th and the ice was about 14 inches thick. You could have driven a hum-vee across.


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By Dan Cillo
From The Great State -Colorado
Dec 19, 2012
Diesel the Dust

Rigid Designator.
Rigid Designator.


Hadn't seen a Vail Posting in a while. Here is the latest as of Sunday 16th.

Desi - Wet but "In". Should be good to go by this weekend
Spiral - Thin, wet and "In". Not as typically fat as it usually is at this time.
Belfry- Out, didn't look to be lead-able from my glance at the top of sprial. However, I am sure someone would be willing to lead them.
Fang - Out and waterfall conditions
Pumphouse - In
Mixed Routes- Thin, chossy, pumpy and also "In"


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By Shadrock
From Athens, GA
Dec 19, 2012
With friends like this, who needs climbing?

Anybody been on Martha? Scrolled through the thread but didn't see anything. Judging by Rocky_Mtn_High's photos I'm keeping my fingers crossed...


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By Martin le Roux
From Superior, CO
Dec 19, 2012
Stairway to Heaven

Shadrock wrote:
Anybody been on Martha?


Right now any ice that might have formed is probably buried under a couple of feet of fresh snow. Plus more in the forecast.


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By r.f
From colorado springs
Dec 22, 2012

Martin le Roux wrote:
Right now any ice that might have formed is probably buried under a couple of feet of fresh snow. Plus more in the forecast.


Climbed at loch vale this past weekend, ice was thin in parts with some mixed lines, about 3 solid flows, went to hidden falls Fri, had the place to ourselves, mostly again a bit of mixed climbing to get onto the routes. Again only 3 lines with some super cool mixed sections. Awesone ice cave at the top with rappel anchors. Snow wasn't too bad, ankle deep with little to no Avy danger. Ice is a little chandliered and brittle


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By Rocky_Mtn_High
From Arvada, CO
Dec 23, 2012
Lamb's Slide

A few photos for Christmas week!

Fun on the West Gully (Dec 15): Deb tops out P1

Deb tops out P1 of West Gully.
Deb tops out P1 of West Gully.


Our first time to Vail -- some really fun moderate ice!
Lance on Pumphouse Falls (Dec 17)

Lance on Pumphouse Falls.
Lance on Pumphouse Falls.


John on Pitkin Falls (Dec 18)

John on Pitkin Falls.
John on Pitkin Falls.


Yer gonna die!

Yer Gonna Die!
Yer Gonna Die!


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By Rocky_Mtn_High
From Arvada, CO
Dec 23, 2012
Lamb's Slide

Question: we headed out to Notchtop earlier in the week (Dec 15) to check out Notchtop's North Face or Grace Falls. Turns out we were wallowing in drifts and only made it to Helene Lake. The North Face was pretty well covered in snow:

Notchtop North face.
Notchtop North face.


If we had snowshoes, we would have considered the approach to Grace Falls; however, it's not clear to me from the route description and photos where it is exactly. The candidate ice we saw below the North Face were these:

Icefall below Notchtop N face.
Icefall below Notchtop N face.


Ice below Notchtop N Face -- Grace Falls?
Ice below Notchtop N Face -- Grace Falls?


Since these were the only decent ice falls that were visible, I'm guessing one is Grace Falls, probably the one that looks more like a waterfall and less like a slab?


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By Jim Amidon
Dec 23, 2012
J TREE

North Face of Notchtop would be a death route for the foreseeable future.

it's a fall route as in winter continual winds deposit snow on the slopes.....

All it needs is a trigger...

Pretty much like Lee said too about Ten Mile Canyon......

People have died in there climbing ice, and some have lived....all tossed off by avalanches.


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By David Appelhans
From Lafayette
Dec 23, 2012
Imaginate

rcky mtn high, how were avy conditions on West Gully in the park?

Is the park buried under alot of snow now? I was thinking of doing West Gully on Christmas day.


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By Baumer
From Boulder, CO
Dec 24, 2012
Easy Lieback

Anybody been to Hidden Falls recently? The last few posts about it are from a couple of weeks back.


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By Rocky_Mtn_High
From Arvada, CO
Dec 24, 2012
Lamb's Slide

David Appelhans wrote:
rcky mtn high, how were avy conditions on West Gully in the park? Is the park buried under alot of snow now? I was thinking of doing West Gully on Christmas day.


We climbed the West Gully a week ago, and as you can see from the photo I posted on the 16th (previously in this thread), avy conditions weren't bad above West Gully, mostly wind scoured, rather than wind loaded. Since then the Park has received additional snow, and I'd guess you can even ski up to Black Lake, which makes for a wonderfully quick descent. It's also been really windy up there, needless to say, so it's possibly that the wind loading and additional snow has increased the avy danger. Of course, there's only one way to find out for sure, but my guess is that it would be worth the trip up there and that it is still climbable.

Merry Christmas, and climb safely!
John


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By Rodney Ley
Dec 25, 2012

Rocky_Mtn_High wrote:
Question: we headed out to Notchtop earlier in the week (Dec 15) to check out Notchtop's North Face or Grace Falls. Turns out we were wallowing in drifts and only made it to Helene Lake. The North Face was pretty well covered in snow: If we had snowshoes, we would have considered the approach to Grace Falls; however, it's not clear to me from the route description and photos where it is exactly. The candidate ice we saw below the North Face were these: Since these were the only decent ice falls that were visible, I'm guessing one is Grace Falls, probably the one that looks more like a waterfall and less like a slab?

I agree that pic #3 is Grace Falls, but it is far smaller than its possible max size. Pic #2 I saw on 21 Dec and don't remember seeing that ever before, but it is huge. Looks like fun, though. And agreed, N Face of Notchtop is a death trap, the upper slopes are really wind loaded.


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By clay meier
Dec 26, 2012
Thats Me

Ouray? Silverton?


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By jselwyn
From Grand Junction, CO
Dec 26, 2012

Silverton stuff was looking great a few weeks ago...not that it matters currently

avalanche.state.co.us/pub_bc_avo.php?zone_id=7


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By Eric and Lucie
From Boulder, CO
Dec 26, 2012

The Ouray area is very dry. Very little climbable ice outside of the park. The park itself is very thin/unconsolidated. OK top-roping but almost nothing in leadable shape yet.

A few of the routes I looked at:

  • Ribbon & Birdbrain: no ice at all
  • Skylight: super-thin and wet; not protectable
  • Choppo's: same

And a few others I've been told about but have not seen:
  • Bridalveil: very thin, apparently not getting much if any action
  • Ames Ice Hose: not in
  • Whorehouse: in


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By Kevin Jansen
Dec 28, 2012

Is Redstone still dry?


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By Ben Collett
Dec 28, 2012

There is some ice around Redstone. Tomato Chimney is in and has a trail almost to the base. Lots of the ephemeral routes are trying to come in. Marble falls is still too thin to be safe. Did not look at Avacado Gully or Redstone Pillar. People are climbing at Hays.


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By Ryan-Nelson
From Fort Collins, CO
Dec 28, 2012
NCCC

Anyone have a report on The Cables Route?? Also anyone been up dreamweaver recently?


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By Timmy Foulkes
Dec 28, 2012
climbing at EA

Treasure Falls is in lean and mean. Tasty Freeze looked in from the parking area for Treasure but there was a lot of snow on it.

Had a great time on Lincoln the other day. Beautiful day and conditions. Thanks again to those who helped farm.

Does anyone have info on the Glenwood and Aspen areas. Thanks


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By Dave Cummings
From Grand Junction, CO
Dec 29, 2012
me on my redpoint

aside from being fucking arctic, -10 today, ice in vail is forming up nice


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By Kevin Craig
Dec 30, 2012
KC on Fields (medium).  Photo (c) Doug Shepherd

FWIW, Glenwood Falls was definitely formed up on 12/22, but I can't speak for the quality of the ice as we drove past at night.


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By Dave Cummings
From Grand Junction, CO
Dec 30, 2012
me on my redpoint

both hidden falls and glenwood falls looked fat when I drove through today


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By Timmy Foulkes
Dec 30, 2012
climbing at EA

That's great news guys. Thanks for the info.


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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Dec 30, 2012
At the BRC

Silverplume in good condition. Nice and sunny today.


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By MarcDurant
From Boulder, CO
Dec 30, 2012

Took a newbie to Hidden Falls in RMNP today. Main flow and top pillar are pretty chopped up but can be climbed gracefully by hooking instead of swinging. Looked like most of the ice was pretty old except for the pillars on climber's right, which appear to be actively forming. The lower-angle flow on the far left is running wet as always. Trail in is easy boot-pack.


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