Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Libby Road Cut Ice

Climber Joe Lind
Road Cut  30M WI3/4 with mixed options also
US Rte 2 between Troy & Libby just east of Bull Lake Rd (route info also found in Big Sky Ice Guide)
Forms almost every year
Climber Jason Baker

Yaak River Road Ice

Joe Lind 12-4-14


Yaak Pillar 20M WI4 with mixed options also
Hwy 95 N to US Rte 2 turn on to Yaak River Rd
Ice is on side of road just past Yaak Falls
Fun little bumper belay area.
Forms almost every season

Pyramid Lake Ice

Pyramid Lake Ice
Early season option before snow closes road can be in as early as mid October
Hike to lake ice is visible on far end of lake
Fun day in the hills
Pictures from November 22 2014

Monday, March 23, 2015

2014/2015 Ice Seasons A Wrap

For me at least ice season is over time to move on to rock climbing and bouldering. Not that I don't want more ice I do but this past season wasn't a long one, and a non existent one locally. My favorite local spot never even came in this year ugh! Oh well even with all of the weather setbacks, shoulder rehab and work swamping most of my season. I did manage twenty one days ending in February. After checking conditions even Canada doesn't seem worth the drive for ice in March. I did manage to climb a couple of things that stood out for me one I've wanted to climb for a long time and something I thought looked awesome but never thought I'd get to climb it. Cascade Kronenberg in Field is a climb I remember seeing in a magazine during my first year of ice climbing.  Back then it looked to me as only a dream to be able to climb something like that. I kept climbing over the years and slowly moved up the grades getting out on a bit more harder grades. Cascade Kronenberg is a rare line only in once and awhile this year was one of those. After seeing pictures and reports of it being climbed via the Shooter Bar mixed option two reports rated M6 WI6 in current conditions. In January we headed up to have a look climbed Carlsberg first looking a Kronenberg which looked challenging to say the least. Talked it over and decided to giver! Joe lead the first pitch which was awesome the M6 section was fun! Once I heard a woo hoo and saw him on the ledge I knew it would be my turn next. I got to lead the second pitch steep kinda funky ice my favorite. Great climb super cool to get to climb it after seeing a picture of it all those years ago!
Cascade Kronenberg
Then in February I got to climb Whiteman Falls a climb that I remember seeing in the guide book early in my years as an ice climber also. Then last season I saw a Go Pro video of some one climbing it I was intrigued to say the least. Wanting to give it a shot Joe got us started out that day on the first pitch. I got the second pitch which is what I wanted super fun some tech a little funk. We felt like it lived up to its WI6 rating that day. So I had a short yet successful season!
Whiteman Falls
Hell besides there's always next season!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

To Much Is Never Enough!

Hydrophobia! Humbling & Amazing!
Work and life have busy and the lack of local ice this year is a sad state of affairs. What local ice we had was gone by the first week of January. I got up to Canada for a quick two day mid January which was great. So a month later I was wanting more after talking to Joe where should we go everywhere out west has been warmer than normal Canada seemed most logical but avy danger was off the charts. So low avy is what we sought-after last minute decisions typical the conversation went like this. The Ghost says Joe Hydrophobia he says so after a hasty pack a late night drive a bivy on concrete in a picnic shelter,and an interesting drive into the Ghost. We find our selves at the base of Hydrophobia an impressive piece of ice to say the least. Hard, very little features, and dinner plates from bottom to top and steep did I mention steep. With pumped calves and forearms pulled up over the top of the route. Joe is strong and a routes like this suit him well. I on the other hand am not that strong and prefer techy ice (more features for feet even if ice isn't as good) so Hydrophobia was hard for me. What I learned is technique for a route like this coupled with better calf and forearm endurance well too much of all of these is never enough for me at least! Keep training and trying! Always a work in progress!
Rapping off Hydrophobia you can see Joe's green jacket at midway and our packs down at bottom. 
The next day was my choice and I wanted to go and climb Whiteman Falls in K Country a climb I've wanted to do for a while. Amazing climb I got to do the second pitch which is the one I wanted. Now this climb suited me better more tech less power great climb!
Whiteman Falls

Psyched to climb Whiteman Falls that alone made the trip for me. A Haffner mixed session for our last day before the drive home capped off a great three day trip. Now it's gym and pliceboard some rock to until next ice trip.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Compression Socks?

I had never used any compression garments before but decided to try compression socks for ice climbing this season and have been pleased. I have Smart wool compression socks which are thin and since I already was wearing a liner with a thicker sock using the compression as my liner works great. I noticed that my calves feel less strained and recover faster after a lot of front pointing. Now they are a bit harder to put on but the trade off is worth it. Now if I can just find some compression sleeves for my forearms!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Panhandle Ice?

Is there really ice climbing in the north Idaho panhandle? Well yes there is it may be here today gone tomorrow but there's some out there I'm going to list the two most consistent and accessible ones. Yes there are a few more climbs in the panhandle but the stars have to align or some backcountry travel is required. I live in Hayden Idaho so approximate drive times are from my house. I will be adding a local ice guide page with panhandle ice and other areas in eastern washington and western Montana post.

Chilco Falls 15M WI3/3R with mixed & dry tool options also
10 minute drive short approach
Access issues see below
Forms almost every season can be very brief.
Some seasons are very good, I feel really fortunate to have this area and climb it often when it is in.
Access is an issue so ask a local or go with one who knows the way in. We don't want to mess up the access situation. NO DOGS PERIOD!!! Be respectful of the property owners.
Early season Dec 2011
Copper Falls 70M 1 or 2 pitches WI3
2hr drive may require 4wd  short approach
Forms almost every season can be very brief.
Here's good route info from Summit Post <LINK>
Fun climb you can link with Libby MT (more on this area in an upcoming post) stuff to fill up a day
Dec 2007

Rich Bennett Dec 2007