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The 2013-2014 Colorado Ice Conditions Thread
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By Andy Hansen
From Longmont, Colorado
Feb 11, 2014
Intruder, 5.11+. Zion National Park. Photo: Matt Kuehl
Noah8000 wrote:
Fang was fat and hacked. WI4+ condition? There is a good fracture line at the top that acts as a good foothold. Actually though, It's healed a little in the past week and a half. Seemed safe. Use your own judgement. Photo by Jason Kaplan


Thanks Noah. Did you get a chance to get on the Dez? Is that also hacked out?

FLAG
By Cor
Feb 12, 2014
black nasty
Oh Noah… I tried to tell you to go get it while it was good, but you said no way!
4+hacked? Probably wasn't worth the effort now… ;D

FLAG
By Noah8000
From Vail, CO
Feb 12, 2014
The transfer to ice...in this case a horizontal, weird roof since the curtain broke off. Photo by Cody Olsen.
Cor wrote:
Oh Noah… I tried to tell you to go get it while it was good, but you said no way! 4+hacked? Probably wasn't worth the effort now… ;D


Ah come on guys. I'm a puss when it comes to this stuff. It was all about the waiting game for the last month and a half. Whether it's in WI4+ or WI6 condition, the route will leave you smiling. Alex Lowe was THE man! Dez is really hacked out as normal for this time of year. It's super fat and pretty wide. Cheers!

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By Princess Mia
From Vail
Feb 12, 2014
Chillin' at City of Rocks
I was super lucky to get on Ice Palace in Rifle last Thursday.
Super cool!!!


Ice Palace in Rifle.
Ice Palace in Rifle.

FLAG
By seth0687
From Fort Collins
Feb 12, 2014
Leading the first ice pitch of the NW Gully-Thatchtop
Vail Update:

so long as no snow falls there is a great trail up to the Firehouse area and another great trail, should say trench, up to Spiral Staircase and the Amphitheatre thanks to Princess Mia.

Everything was pretty damn fat. Firehouse was a little slushy but it was rather warm on 2/10. Spiral was good, Belfry was also great. The pencil is huge and the eraser has at least three decent lines on it. Didn't have a chance to get on anything in the amphitheatre but there's always next time.

Dezzi-unknown climber....is this you??? taken about 2-3pm on 2/11/14

Unknown climber on Designator, 2/11/14.
Unknown climber on Designator, 2/11/14.


Fang/picture of fracture

Fang as of 2/11/2014.
Fang as of 2/11/2014.


Belfry Area

Backside of Eraser, 2/11/14.
Backside of Eraser, 2/11/14.



Pencil.
Pencil.

FLAG
By The Blueprint Part Dank
From FEMA Region VIII
Feb 12, 2014
Better quality
My partner and I are planning to get on Hidden Falls in Glenwood Canyon on our way back from Indian Creek this weekend. Has anyone been on the falls lately? If so, how's the climb? And also, how was the river crossing? Was it frozen enough to cross with dry feet?

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By Michael Schneiter
From Glenwood Springs, CO
Feb 12, 2014
Goofin' on the Grand after soloing the Upper Exum with my wife.
The Blueprint Part Dank wrote:
My partner and I are planning to get on Hidden Falls in Glenwood Canyon on our way back from Indian Creek this weekend. Has anyone been on the falls lately? If so, how's the climb? And also, how was the river crossing? Was it frozen enough to cross with dry feet?


I haven't heard anything super recent about Hidden but my guess it would be fine. It's been warm and rainy here since Saturday but it stays pretty cold in that north facing gully. Based on other climbs that are getting affected by the warm weather, it should be fun but may be getting soft. The crossing should be casual because the last I knew there was still a Tyrolean up by the power plant.

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By Steven N
From CO
Feb 13, 2014
Last Thursday, it was COLD(-7) but went to Hully gully anyway
1st pitch of Hully.
1st pitch of Hully.


2nd pitch of Hully.
2nd pitch of Hully.

FLAG
 
By Ignacio
From Denver, CO
Feb 16, 2014
At bolt 6 (or 5?)
The Amphiteater area in Vail is still nice and fat. Rigid Designator is outstanding.

See below a picture of the top fracture on The Fang, just posting this since it looks larger than the ones I saw earlier (you can fit a fist or two in that crack). Be careful out there!


Horizontal structural fracture about 3/4 of the way up on The Fang.
Horizontal structural fracture about 3/4 of the way up on The Fang.

FLAG
By richardd
From Loveland, CO
Feb 16, 2014
Not much climbing in FL.
Sorry I don't have a photo, and I couldn't see the very bottom, but a hard man or woman might want to take a look at The Squid in RMNP...It looked pretty good to me today.

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By Martin Barnett
Feb 16, 2014
Does anybody know what condition bird brain is in these days?

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By Andy Hansen
From Longmont, Colorado
Feb 16, 2014
Intruder, 5.11+. Zion National Park. Photo: Matt Kuehl
Lincoln Falls is plenty snowy. Most of the climbs seem to be in. Sickle on a Stick has a huge horizontal fracture and it looks to me like it's just waiting to fall over. Kind of alpiney up there today.

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By Swan
Feb 17, 2014
Anyone checked out the park since the last big snow? Longs Cirque? All mixed up?

FLAG
By Ben Scott
From Fort Collins, CO
Feb 18, 2014
my alter ego
Mike climbing some sweet ice in the Narrows, Poudre Canyon.
Mike climbing some sweet ice in the Narrows, Poudre Canyon.

A nice blog about some Fort Collins Ice.
nococlimbing.org/news/zero-sta...
Enjoy!

-NCCC

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By Buck
Feb 18, 2014
Logging a little air time in the Platte.
Will a 70m rope get you off the Designator? I've used dbs in the past. Just wondering if a 70 will do the job, or end up just a bit short.

Thx

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By Paul Gagner
Feb 19, 2014
Yes, a 70 will get you off RD with rope to spare

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By A.P.Lee
From Boulder, CO
Feb 19, 2014
has anyone gotten on Martha lately?

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By Eric and Lucie
From Boulder, CO
Feb 19, 2014
Anyone been on Hidden Falls in Glenwood Canyon recently? Tracks in place? Ice conditions? Thks!

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By Peteoria
Feb 20, 2014
Can I please hear some RMNP conditions? Ice, snow, share some gravy! I'm headed that way next week.

Ouray conditions:

BBB is in great shape! If you're looking to superman your way up then these are the conditions you want. Bring plenty of screws for the ice!

The Ribbon is OK, first pitch is hacked, second pitch was quite wet

Ice park has seen better days, but there's still good drytooling & ice to be had


Telluride Conditions:

Ames Ice Hose last pitch is stellar & fat! See person climbing the 3rd pitch in the photo and you'll get it!

Ingram looks terrific, but I didn't climb it. The curtain seems to be fully and solidly connected to the cone.

Bridal Veil is here, right side is in ultra easy mode and left side has a large horizontal crack just above the steep part on top of the cone. It's right where the person is in the photo. We rapped down and chose to finish up the right side instead.
Ames Ice Hose, Feb. 18.
Ames Ice Hose, Feb. 18.


BBB is icy! Feb. 20.
BBB is icy! Feb. 20.


BV right, Feb. 14.
BV right, Feb. 14.


BV Left, Feb. 14. Large, horizontal crack where the climber is up high.
BV Left, Feb. 14. Large, horizontal crack where the climber is up high.

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By Taylor-B.
From CO & AK
Feb 20, 2014
Mt. Churchill, University Range
Andy Hansen wrote:
Lincoln Falls is plenty snowy.Kind of alpiney up there today.


The Lincoln Falls area has consistently been at a level 3-4 on the CAIC avalanche danger forecast for the past month. It's terrifying that people have been climbing up there recently. Just look at the avalanche fatalities and accidents that have occurred in the last few weeks.

avalanche.state.co.us/accident...

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By michael voth
Feb 20, 2014
2nd pitch of Womb.
jaws was in, but mushy last weekend. maybe this cold will help

Loch Vale area is looking good….

yellow tears and stone man are fat.

Hot Doggie is fat (see pics from early season, still about the same.)

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By GLD
Feb 20, 2014
Taylor-B. wrote:
The Lincoln Falls area has consistently been at a level 3-4 on the CAIC avalanche danger forecast for the past month. It's terrifying that people have been climbing up there recently. Just look at the avalanche fatalities and accidents that have occurred in the last few weeks. avalanche.state.co.us/accident...

So the entire Front Range and Sawatch Range should be avoided? Please spread the word some more.

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By michael voth
Feb 20, 2014
2nd pitch of Womb.
^^ avoid hot doggie etc.

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By Taylor-B.
From CO & AK
Feb 21, 2014
Mt. Churchill, University Range
GLD wrote:
So the entire Front Range and Sawatch Range should be avoided? Please spread the word some more.

There has been a lot of talk here in the Vail/Summit Zone among avalanche professionals and recreational users that the CAIC forecast has been inconsistent and unreliable this season. For example, early in the season the CAIC rated the avi danger at a level 2 when it was actually a very realistic level 3 and this gave the public a false sense of risk assessment and Ten Mile Canyon was crawling with climbers in every drainage that week. The other blatant example was the "first big" avalanche cycle in January that the CAIC deemed a level 3 danger, while the rest of the western US (UT,WA,OR,ID,MT) was at a level 4, and when the skies cleared in Summit after the storm there were multiple natural avalanches on EVERY peak that you could see from the valley. The statistics of recent accidents don't lie. The CAIC defends their forecasts as not wanting to "cry wolf" to the public; avalanche science is a science and should be mostly influenced objectively with very little subjective opinion involved.

Sorry for the rant, this has been on my mind since December. I hope that we can bury these persistent avalanche issues and enjoy some steep terrain in the near future;)

FLAG
 
By GLD
Feb 21, 2014
Taylor-B. wrote:
There has been a lot of talk here in the Vail/Summit Zone among avalanche professionals and recreational users that the CAIC forecast has been inconsistent and unreliable this season. For example, early in the season the CAIC rated the avi danger at a level 2 when it was actually a very realistic level 3 and this gave the public a false sense of risk assessment and Ten Mile Canyon was crawling with climbers in every drainage that week. The other blatant example was the "first big" avalanche cycle in January that the CAIC deemed a level 3 danger, while the rest of the western US (UT,WA,OR,ID,MT) was at a level 4, and when the skies cleared in Summit after the storm there were multiple natural avalanches on EVERY peak that you could see from the valley. The statistics of recent accidents don't lie. The CAIC defends their forecasts as not wanting to "cry wolf" to the public; avalanche science is a science and should be mostly influenced objectively with very little subjective opinion involved. Sorry for the rant, this has been on my mind since December. I hope that we can bury these persistent avalanche issues and enjoy some steep terrain in the near future;)


I don't necessarily disagree with you about your conclusions but more your method.(though interested to hear more about it offline). Because the rest of the US is at a level doesn't mean we should be (though we should think about why we are different), and because you saw a bunch of slides doesn't mean their assessment was wrong. Obviously, the most important thing is for a backcountry traveler to be aware and alert.

Officer's Gulch is known avy territory, huge fields above the climbs-and unfortunately, I've never climbed there. I'll raise a glass to burying those persistent deep avy's.

FLAG


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