Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ice Conditions: The Playground (Nov 14-15)

Well, there is no ice to report at the Playground but then again there is never ice at the Playground. This crag was developed last year by a couple industrious locals, Eric and Pat, solely for drytooling. I ended up guiding there two days in row, which was fun for everyone. There are some great intro drytooling routes in the M5 to M6 range that have excellent positive hooks and easy moves. The crag is located on Grotto Mountain on the right-hand side of the drainage coming from the eastern grotto.

Approach Beta: To get there, park at the Rat's Nest Cave parking, which is found at the far east end of the mining scar. It is on the right-hand side when driving east along the 1A just before the road really starts to curve. The parking area is ringed by boulders. From here a good trail leads up hill. A couple hundred metres out of the car park, you will see the powerlines up ahead. About 100m before the power lines, a small trail with flagging tape branches off left. From here a combination of game trails and old roads head west above the mine scar and eventually into the drainage and up to the crag. The entire path from the Rat's Nest trail junction to the crag is flagged with yellow and pink flagging. If you miss the first flagging and go all the way to the powerline cutline then simply turn left and follow it downhill where you will regain the correct route and pick up the flagging again.

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