Thursday, March 8, 2007

Ice Conditions: Weeping Wall (Mar 7)

Climbed Weeping Wall Left-hand today (March 7) with Brian McKenna. A white-ish, sun-leeched crust is providing soft one-swing sticks but you need to chop and dig deep to find semi-blue ice for trustworthy ice screws. I was happy that I brought a handful of long screws (ie- 19 and 22cm) for anchors. Central Pillar and Right-hand Weeping Wall were also climbed today.

I would avoid rappelling down Snivelling Gully as there are lots of free-hanging icicles baking in the sun ready to crash down and sweep the gully. The bolted rappel descent immediately right of Right-hand Weeping Wall is a less hazardous option.

Even though Weeping Wall does not have much in the way of Avi terrain above it, the warm temperatures (+7 C at 12:30) has turned the snow isothermic causing wet slides from seemingly benign features. We witnessed a size 2 avalanche release off of the treed ledge between Weeping Wall and Mix Master that dusted the highway.

By the time we were driving home at 1pm, light rain was sprinkling the windshield. It's getting a little too warm for ice climbing. Need to find high, north facing routes with no avalanche hazard.

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