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Utah Ice Conditions '12-'13

cdec · · SLC, UT · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 543

Enticed by Matt's photos we got on the Fang today 1/23 an nearly got the chop. Avi danger was low. It was cold, beautiful and windless but the climb avalanched from above the 3rd pitch.
I was at the 1st pitch anchor on the left and my buddy was 100' out, no gear, left of center at the first bit of ice in the snow gully placing a screw when it went.
He heard it coming, yelled avalanche, grabbed the tools, ducked and hung on. Debris was large pieces of dirty ice that entrained a lot of loose snow. The thing roared on for a good while and was nearly full width of the lower end of the snow gulley, wall to wall. It lasted long enough for me to think that if the rope went slack I needed to reel in as much as possible to keep him from hitting the ground. And then to wonder what would fail if i did catch him.
It stopped, he stayed put and was unhurt but packed with snow. The big deadly pieces went over his head due to the step he was below. Fairly certain part of the stream bed above let loose.
Had we been anywhere else on the climb things would not have been ok.
I know that first pitch gets top roped from time to time. Be careful, move fast.

Michael Layton · · Sonora, CA · Joined Apr 2007 · Points: 95

f*k!

GWI let some big drifts loose today, wondering if anyone else noticed....guess they did

Tom Hunt · · SF CA · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 35

Wow cdec, glad you guys are ok! Not the best place to be when that thing rips. Hard to believe your bud had enough cover in that gully or that nothing snagged the rope and took him for a ride.

Was on the Fang many years ago while shooting some pics of a friend half way up the first pitch when the sky went black. I dove towards the base where my other friend was anchored and got blasted for some time before things settled down and we dug ourselves out. The gully pitch got nailed so hard crampons barely penetrated the compressed snow. The huge snow debris cone below the first pitch was full of rocks, ice, tree remnants, and any gear we didn't have cliped in. It's been a very long time since I've been on that route but I remember thinking that we were damn lucky to be in one of the few places on the route where one could survive such a thing. The fact that you guys came out unscathed from that location is amazing.

MoonMountainMan · · Bellingham, WA · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 275

Wow! Glad to hear you guys go out of that ok. Thanks for posting. Its a good reminder that those ice flows are funnels for a lot of the mountain above. Be safe out there everyone

RonB · · Carter Lake, CO · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 265
cdec wrote:Enticed by Matt's photos we got on the Fang today 1/23 an nearly got the chop. Avi danger was...
Reading the prior posts, I was just thinking it was safe to venture up on the Fang at the moment. Maybe it was just a bit to warm up above the 23rd, and prior day, and snap! I've had some dodgy ice experiences (thankfully, not as scary as yours) on 32-32+ days. Maybe I'll wait for slightly colder temps. Thanks for posting...
aschmidt · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 10

Sketchy, glad to hear it wasn't worse. One thing to remember during these inversions is that while one may be freezing one's ass off at the base of the climb, the top may be basking in 40-degree temperatures. This can be a problem in long drainages with avi danger above or on Stairway, where hanging daggers can collapse far above you.

cdec · · SLC, UT · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 543

It was 16 degrees at the parking lot and still plenty cold on the route. I knew it was warmer up high but still cold. Knowing the history of the route i was keeping an eye on the cloud cover as well. It was very cloudy all morning and I wasn't really worried about green housing.
I don't really think it was a function of warming more just one of those things. Ice falls down.

Garret Nuzzo Jones · · Carson City, NV · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 1,441

Climbed White Nightmare this morning in the dark. If we had seen what things looked like in the light I might have made a different decision. It's amazing how fast the ice has deteriorated in this weather. It's extremely drippy, soft and falling apart in places. There's a tremendous amount of rock and ice falling in the Bridal Veil Area.

Bridal Veil Falls 1/25/12

Plan on a different activity until the temperatures plummet for a few days.

Kevin Hansen · · Melba Idaho · Joined Apr 2008 · Points: 130
Garret Nuzzo-Jones wrote:Plan on a different activity until the temperatures plummet for a few days.
I think I will take up something safer like Jai alai.
youtube.com/watch?v=Bo4L83V…
steve lindsay · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 85
scott cooney · · La Casa Taco · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 85

due to the weather went north thinking it'd be a lil cooler up in logan, hoped on Last chance falls. bottom as of yesterday morning is melted out completely but the top was still leadable

last chance falls 1-28-2013

mixed dry tooling start

Sam Cannon · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined May 2012 · Points: 924

I dropped a screw somewhere in the snow coming off of "Backoff" in Santaquin. It's a 16cm BD express (with the blue crank). If you find it, please let me know, ty.

Sunny-D · · SLC, Utah · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 700
scott cooney wrote:due to the weather went north thinking it'd be a lil cooler up in logan, hoped on Last chance falls. bottom as of yesterday morning is melted out completely but the top was still leadable
You must have got there right after we left. We climbed it and spent the rest of the morning looking for the other elusive ice in Logan Canyon. We didn't find anything else to climb. Beautiful setting though.
scott cooney · · La Casa Taco · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 85

You must have got there right after we left.
.
I knew I was climbing hot on the heels of someone, we got to the base right as the snow started flying and by the time we finished TR laps it was piling up so we called it a day

Nathaniel Holt · · Salt Lake City, Utah · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 130

Has anyone been up stairway the last couple days? Since it rained yesterday I am a bit worried about ice and rockfall conditions. I was thinking of going in the morning but just worried everything has fallen down or will be falling down tomorrow.

Ben Brutsch · · Lindon, Ut · Joined May 2012 · Points: 5

Climbed the apron this morning. We had absolutely nothing falling down and the ice was perfect plastic. No idea what the day today did to it.

Nathaniel Holt · · Salt Lake City, Utah · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 130

I went up there this morn... Due to the warm temps yesterday and the fact it stayed pretty warm all night coupled with the weather conditions we decided to wait for a better day. It was snowing a ton and it would have been hard to tell the integrity of the ice.

Guess Ill just have to wait for another day. Plus, I think with all the snow blowing around would have made for miserable climbing ;) ha!

Dennis Poirier · · Grand Junction, CO · Joined May 2010 · Points: 45

Any idea what the conditions have done in the last few days of this rain/snow? Anyone been out this week? Also, anyone been over to Maple Canyon?

Kevin Volkening · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 125

Anyone been to Joe's lately? Looking like it could be on the warm side for the weekend?

Michael Ringsred · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 0

Go to hyalite best conditions anywhere in the US right now.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Northern Utah & Idaho
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