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The 2011-12 Colorado Ice Conditions Thread
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By Chris Parsons
Mar 19, 2012

Was at Vail on 3/16. Everything in Designator Ampitheater is still good. The RD and The Thang are still great, as well as the other mixed lines behind The Fang. Should be there for at least two weeks, more there are some clear skies at night with some cold weather.


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By Dave Cummings
From Grand Junction, CO
Mar 20, 2012
me on my redpoint

Scott M. McNamara wrote:
Ouray Ice Park I do not believe Ouray Ice Park is closing on Wednesday, March 21, 2012---as a poster upstream mentioned. I am here now. I believe they are shooting for the end of the month---March 2012. Some lines that take a great deal of sun are closed. The big areas are still mostly open. The ice seems quite nice, albeit a bit beat out. I do not think they are spraying water at night any more (Monday, March 19, 2012), but the big freeze/thaw cyle seems to be working even better---less califlower. The "conditions page" is useful: ourayicepark.com/travel-planner/conditions/ Have fun. Scott Mc


I hope your right, I was told that from one of the employees of the park. If it stays cold there is no reason not to stay open.


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By Chris Sheridan
From Boulder, CO
Mar 25, 2012
Chris setting up the rappel in the Southeast Gully of Arrowhead.  If anyone cleans that stopper and pin, I'd be glad to have it back.

Well it was crazy dry up in RMNP today. We climbed the NE ridge of Notchtop as a dry (mostly), warm, sunny rock climb. There was still plenty of snow on the E face of Notchtop and a little ice, but hit it way early if your interested. Looking across the valley, there was about as much snow in the right Ptarmigan finger as there was when I climbed the route last July. And there were mosquitoes out. Really, in March!

Overall there's continuous snow from the trailhead, but the snow is very well consolidated and no floatation was needed. North Facing aspects have been swept clean of snow by the crazy winds we've had an overall look to have about as much snow as they typically have in June. East facing aspects are reasonably well filled in with good firm snowpack. Now might be an excellent time to climb route where a a good firm snow pack can make a lot of difference (E Face of Taylor comes to mind).

South facing rock routes are dry and ready to go, so if it stays warm, climbs like the petit will be just like your average summer day except the snow at the base.

North facing route that hold a lot of snow are likely coming into good shape(Hourglass couloir, Hallett Chimney). I didn't get a direct look, but based on stuff I saw at similar aspects and elevations, Hallett chimney would be worth a go. Unless we get some more spring snow, it likely woln't last long this season. Routes that don't hold a lot of snow (Vanquished, Sister Sweetly) probably have slimer than normal changes of coming in to shape at all this season.

On the drive home, I got a decent view of Meeker and Longs, Dreamweaver is just a thin line of snow. the upper half of Fields Chimney looks completely dry.


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By Leo Paik
Administrator
From Westminster, Colorado
Mar 26, 2012

From the road: S. St. Vrain - gone; Clear Creek Canyon (US 6) - gone; Silver Plume - gone; I-70 Sickle - super rotten, Officer's Gulch - still ice, but no idea about snowpack; Vail - looked decent and blue, but Fang is still missing 60-70'.

Also, if anyone is considering 10th Mt. huts, Fulford Rd. is melted out for ~1 mile. There is snow on the packed trails, but off the packed stuff, you sink. New York Mountain has snow to ~tree line plus ~200', but then it's rocks.

Snow to ~treeline.
Snow to ~treeline.


Summit ridge to New York Mountain showing the super lean snowpack.  Yikes!  Also, you may see the bootprints out on the cornice.  Double yikes!
Summit ridge to New York Mountain showing the super lean snowpack. Yikes! Also, you may see the bootprints out on the cornice. Double yikes!


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By Ben Fullerton
Mar 28, 2012

Chris Sheridan wrote:
Well it was crazy dry up in RMNP today... On the drive home, I got a decent view of Meeker and Longs, Dreamweaver is just a thin line of snow. the upper half of Fields Chimney looks completely dry.


So do you think Dreamweaver is ever going to come in at an ice climb this spring, or there's just not enough to feed it? I was really hoping to climb it this year in icy form. This year is just a bummer all around...


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By Chris Sheridan
From Boulder, CO
Mar 28, 2012
Chris setting up the rappel in the Southeast Gully of Arrowhead.  If anyone cleans that stopper and pin, I'd be glad to have it back.

Dream weather probably isn't going to come into ideal shape this year, but I think alpinism isn't about confronting idea scenarios, its about adapting. Every weather anomaly presents unique opportunities. For instance, it hasn't snowed much for a good long while, so the snowpack is much more firm then it usually is this time of year, and because the days are still relatively short, the snow pack stays more firm for most of the day. So right now is a unique opportunity for a multi-day linkup of routes that would typically be done later in the year, without having to stop climbing at 3pm when the snow gets too soft.

Maybe check out Quicksilver on Taylor for a good alternative to Dreamweaver.


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By Nick Venechuk
From Golden, CO
Mar 29, 2012

Anybody have conditions or beta on Flying Dutchman? Saw a pic from a week or two ago and it looked full but I'm not sure if the snow's firmed up enough to avoid posting.


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By Brian Stefanovic
From Fort Collins, CO
Mar 29, 2012

Nick Venechuk wrote:
Anybody have conditions or beta on Flying Dutchman? Saw a pic from a week or two ago and it looked full but I'm not sure if the snow's firmed up enough to avoid posting.


The snow is in fine shape, just get on it early. It is fairly well protected and north-easterly facing. I'm not sure if there is any ice at the crux. It might just be a rock climb.


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By Noah8000
From Vail, CO
Mar 29, 2012
The transfer to ice...in this case a horizontal, weird roof since the curtain broke off. Photo by Cody Olsen.

The Dutchman is in good shape. Talked to a couple others that did it. No ice though.


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By Eli Helmuth
From Estes Park, CO
Mar 30, 2012
Eli on the FA of Grizzly (M9) at the Den.

Looking at Dreamweaver from my office and it's mostly devoid of snow. It typically fills-in with the March- May snows which could still fall and along with the north face of Longs which is rarely snow covered mid-winter but usually fully covered by late spring. This is hopefully just a warm break before we get a a few more meters of spring snow. Otherwise, this area is going up in flames.


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By ozman
From CO / NM
Mar 30, 2012
Hyalite shots

Anyone been up to Eureka lately and seen what the ice is like?


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By Adam Derick Andrade
From Silverton, CO
Mar 30, 2012
the creek

skied Handies a couple days ago and took these photos of the conditions in Eureka on the way back down.

make of it what you will...


Stairway and Hwy 66.
Stairway and Hwy 66.



STH.
STH.




Larry and Moe.
Larry and Moe.




Hoser's.
Hoser's.




Hwy 66.
Hwy 66.




Goldrush.
Goldrush.




First Gully.
First Gully.




Curley Joe.
Curley Joe.




Burns Gulch.
Burns Gulch.


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By Ryan N
From San Louis Obispo
Apr 2, 2012
RJN

Drove by officers gulch three tiers looked good higher stuff gone and vail today. From the road all looks good fat and blue. Never climbed officers looking to do three tiers anyone done it recently?


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By perropirana
Apr 6, 2012

Anyone has info on STH conditions?
thinking for next weekend if it doesn't melt
Thanks.


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By perropirana
Apr 6, 2012

Anyone has info on STH conditions?
thinking for next weekend if it doesn't melt
Thanks.


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By Chris Sheridan
From Boulder, CO
Apr 9, 2012
Chris setting up the rappel in the Southeast Gully of Arrowhead.  If anyone cleans that stopper and pin, I'd be glad to have it back.

I climbed Alexander's to the Eighth route yesterday and found surprisingly good ice on both routes. The bottom right variation to the Eighth route was surprisingly good with interesting thin ice/mixed climbing for the first half of the pitch, followed by perfect and steep alpine ice through a short chimney. The snow in the area is mostly firm making for fun travel.

On the way in, Martha looked to be in decent shape, with a few dry sections to spice things up.


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Apr 9, 2012
Bocan

Ryan N wrote:
Drove by officers gulch three tiers looked good higher stuff gone and vail today. From the road all looks good fat and blue. Never climbed officers looking to do three tiers anyone done it recently?


Officers gulch still has ice, however I'm not sure if I'd climb on it. It hasn't been fed in a while and there's been alot of 50 degree days, so it's got that nice white sunbaked color. Might be doable, but only if you are driving by at 6am.

But avy danger is low...haha!!!


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By George Barnes
From Westminster, CO
Apr 9, 2012
Jones Pk

Lincoln Falls is still in and fat as ever. This might not be a surprise, but driving past the winter gate to the summer parking lot was for me!

Partner dropped a 19cm BD Turbo Express (old model) on the walk off. He'll buy you a beer if you find it. Large "4" marked on the hanger with yellow paint pen.

Lincoln Falls, 4-8-12.
Lincoln Falls, 4-8-12.


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By ozman
From CO / NM
Apr 10, 2012
Hyalite shots

I climbed STH on 4/1. It had pretty decent sticks the whole way (especially so on the right side). Some horizontal cracks but that thing gets super fat and low angle so its not that scary.


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By Mike Pharris
From Longmont, CO
Apr 10, 2012
Climbing above Black Lake

Anybody seen the North Face of Longs in the past few days? How dry is it?


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By Chris Sheridan
From Boulder, CO
Apr 10, 2012
Chris setting up the rappel in the Southeast Gully of Arrowhead.  If anyone cleans that stopper and pin, I'd be glad to have it back.

Long's Peak on 4-8-12.
Long's Peak on 4-8-12.


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By Andrew Mayer
Apr 12, 2012
top of mt. lady washington - rmnp

Anyone have recent info/pictures of dragon tail or dead elk on flattop mt up in the park? specifically coverage in dead elk? thanks.


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By John Fatseas
From Denver, CO
Apr 12, 2012
Lake City, CO <br />mixin it up

Anyone have conditions on Vail? Trying to go this weekend. Thanks.


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By Rocky_Mtn_High
From Arvada, CO
Apr 13, 2012
Lamb's Slide

mantana wrote:
Anyone have recent info/pictures of dragon tail or dead elk on flattop mt up in the park? specifically coverage in dead elk? thanks.


As of last weekend, Dragons Tail is in nicely for a fun snow climb.

Dragons Tail on 07 Apr 2012
Dragons Tail on 07 Apr 2012


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By Captain America
From Longmont, CO
Apr 13, 2012
.

Alexander's Chimney still in classic mixed condition, climbed 4-12-12, see route page for details. Also, my partner dropped a camera near Chasm lake, and Notch guys who picked up my black water bottle, thx, please give me info for pickup. Steve


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