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Give ice climbs time to form


Original Post
clint helander · · anchorage, alaska · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 611

What is the consensus here? Just like there is kind of an unwritten rule about not climbing on sandstone after rain, what do you think about waiting for ice climbs to really form before climbing on them early season? 

I know where I live, there are a few climbs that come in early, but then there comes a time when the water feed shuts off. If these climbs are hit hard before they have had a chance to form well, they basically don't grow for the whole season. 

Example: A curtain forms thin early season and, if left to grow, it will become a big pillar. However, if it is TRed to death before it has had time to touch down, it won't really form at all.

Do your favorite ice venues have any type of unwritten code about treading lightly when drips are forming?

Kevin Mcbride · · Canmore AB · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 160
clint helander wrote:

What is the consensus here? Just like there is kind of an unwritten rule about not climbing on sandstone after rain, what do you think about waiting for ice climbs to really form before climbing on them early season? 

I know where I live, there are a few climbs that come in early, but then there comes a time when the water feed shuts off. If these climbs are hit hard before they have had a chance to form well, they basically don't grow for the whole season. 

Example: A curtain forms thin early season and, if left to grow, it will become a big pillar. However, if it is TRed to death before it has had time to touch down, it won't really form at all.

Do your favorite ice venues have any type of unwritten code about treading lightly when drips are forming?

I'd say it's just good ethics to let things form up before climbing.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,795

Around here (New York) the early season is often marked by a few false starts. As such, there's a good chance that the first few, desperate scratch-ups will be on ice that will fall down in a week anyway. Otherwise, I totally agree with you, particularly on long pillars that really need to bulk out and take a month or more to do so. Kicking these off before they're in is really boorish. But so is hacking the everlovin' sh:t out of any route mid-season once the water has dried up. I'm fortunate to live in So. NY where surface seepage USUALLY keeps up all season, so climbs get refreshed regularly. But up north it gets really cold/dry and routes that get hacked up in January (cough*IceFest*cough) generally don't recover until March.

Tom Stryker · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 250

I think if you are LEADING, go ahead when you want. If you are just toproping not so much. I learned to climb ice in Pennsylvania at the Narrows, when stuff comes in you hit it right away, as there might not be another chance. Just my opinion.

Bill Kirby · · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480
Gunkiemike wrote:

 I also think it's easy to tell others what to do but to not that easy practice what you preach. For example, everyone always pulls their big wang out and writes don't TR Dracula in NH... only to lead it once to let their friends TR gangbang it all day. 

 


Tom Stryker · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 250
Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,795
Tom Stryker wrote:

"Get off my ice climb!"

I like the sound of that. Have to start using it this winter.  :-)

Bill Kirby · · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480
Tom Stryker wrote:

 I write cryptic posts that don't any sense. This way I don't offend anyone :) I'll try to articulate my words better this time.

 I guess what I'm saying is I always thought there were a set of ethics, don't wanna use the word "rules", that every ice climber went by. One of them being leave the TRs off certain kinds of ice to let them form. I'm surprised Clint even has to post this subject up for discussion. Well, then again how many threads are there about dogs, babies,  potheads, poopy and TP so on..

 I went on to suggest a solution. Teaching gym to ice crag classes. Ice climbing has exploded in the last ten years But really gotten popular in the last two or three. Everyone's quick to point the finger at gym climbers so maybe a poster hanging on the wall or a class would the answer. I belong to Earth Treks. They have trips every year. Maybe it's on them to teach this stuff? Maybe not.

 Which brings me to my last thought. People do whatever they want. They drive up to the mountains and things aren't as great as the pictures on NEice suggested. You wanna do something so you do what you want not what's right. I used Dracula as an example. Maybe I should've used the Hanging Gardens or Trollville. Both get TRed, both need time to setup. People TR them anyway. What can you do? Get off my ice climb!

 As far as TRing in general goes.. I had lots of opinions on everything. I felt if a party of two didn't lead, follow, rap and leave they were lame gumbies. I went from a healthy guy who acted like Billy Badass, placing as many screws as guides do leading 4s to being diagnosed with degenerative disk disease. Last year if I could follow my partner up a four it was a good day. This year my body's in much better shape. So we'll see how much $hit I talk but I try not to judge what others do. I do wish they would find something else do though!

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,795
Bill Kirby wrote:

 I went on to suggest a solution. Teaching gym to ice crag classes. Ice climbing has exploded in the last ten years But really gotten popular in the last two or three. Everyone's quick to point the finger at gym climbers so maybe a poster hanging on the wall or a class would the answer. I belong to Earth Treks. They have trips every year. Maybe it's on them to teach this stuff? Maybe not.

 

Gyms running intro-to-ice type trips MIGHT JUST be part of the TR'ing-the-ice-to-death problem. Ya think?

But I would be the last person to suggest curtailing Amurica's Right To Climb.  (The folks running group trips DO however have a responsibility to protect the resource as much as possible.)

Bill Kirby · · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480
Gunkiemike wrote:

Gyms running intro-to-ice type trips MIGHT JUST be part of the TR'ing-the-ice-to-death problem. Ya think?

But I would be the last person to suggest curtailing Amurica's Right To Climb.  (The folks running group trips DO however have a responsibility to protect the resource as much as possible.)

  Haha.. No doubt but you could say that about guiding as well. Where do you draw the line? what's the answer? I figure if we sabotage the stock market or release a plague there be more fresh ice to climb.

 Responsible? Being responsible? Ya right! People shit and piss all over the place nowadays. Years ago I heard a guy yell "Could you please not drop ice on me!!!" as he started up Chouinard's underneath another party that was on the second pitch. I'm happy to curtail! Let me know.

 Clint, sorry to hijack.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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