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2018-2019 Utah ice conditions!!!!!


thehackattacks · · Park City, UT · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 2,856

Moves off the ground of CCC Falls, Pitch 1--2/3/19. Any one ever climb a potato chip?
RonB · · Northern VA · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 265
Allen Sanderson wrote:...The ave danger for all of these climbs is well known. Unfortunately some do not pay attention or are ignorant. I usually figure if the skiing is good, the ice sucks (avy danger). If the skiing sucks, the ice is good. Some days both suck and the golfing is good.

Good rule of thumb. Good day today to ski low angle southerly runs, and tomorrow too. Or climb avalanche free zone.

RonB · · Northern VA · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 265

Anyone available to climb during the week, next week, at Joe's please PM me.

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 14,995

LCC avy closure includes the GWI terrain.  Sounds like evidence of a fairly large slide down the ice with evidence observed yesterday.

Be darn careful out there.  I'd probably avoid ice in any location having ANY avy hazard for the next few days at least.

From UDOT:

Coalpit #1,2,3, and 4 chutes to Perla's Ridge along with the terrain above and on the Great White Icicle from the road to the ridgeline.  

Estimated re-opening 4pm today.

Sean Tropsa · · Draper, UT · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 25

Went up to look at GWI last night (we were thinking about skiing it) Ice is still there but i had some trouble orienting myself because a lot of the trees i usually use as land marks are gone and there is a large amount of debris at and around the base with many mature trees having been snapped into pieces. We walked over to the walk off area and it looks like that probably slid ~monday ish. I would definitely wait for things to settle out and be VERY cautious about going up when things warm up because that slope has definitely re-loaded because there were a few inches of snow on all the debris.
The reminder stands for any of the wasatch ice climbs with snow above them, as things warm up and the sun comes out watch out for wet slides!
On a positive note, all the pitches still looked in and good to go once things settle out!

luke smith · · Salt Lake City, Utah · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 50

Haha the GWI doesn't have any avy danger!! JK like I said previously we saw ACT and Angel of Fear area 'slide' enough times last Saturday that foremost precautions should be taken for a while on anything in the Wasatch - 5" of water weight and the winds we had since Saturday will do weird things to the snowpack.  Not a bad idea to carry avy gear with you for a couple days if plan on going out.

Robert Lindsen · · Salt Lake City, UT · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0

Thoughts on Stairway area tomorrow morning??  

I'm supposed to take some newbies out for some cragging, need an area with shorter, easy-ish access WI3+/WI4 max.  Stairway's apron makes the most sense, but I'm a little concerned about avy danger.  However from what I've heard, Stairway itself doesn't sit in a slide path?  I appreciate any feedback from the community!

Ty Falk · · Huntington, VT · Joined Nov 2011 · Points: 270

Getting your send on hack!!! Good work!

Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,187
Robert Lindsen wrote: Thoughts on Stairway area tomorrow morning??  

I'm supposed to take some newbies out for some cragging, need an area with shorter, easy-ish access WI3+/WI4 max.  Stairway's apron makes the most sense, but I'm a little concerned about avy danger.  However from what I've heard, Stairway itself doesn't sit in a slide path?  I appreciate any feedback from the community!

Stairway is reasonable when there is high avy danger. Not much above but shelves which if they cut loose is going to be spindrift. Just do not venture over to Bridal Veil.

mason boos · · fo co · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 25

Anyone been out to hidden haven recently? Still in?

Brian Crozier · · Boise, ID · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 0

   Guys, thanks for the comments about our debacle on Squash Head on Feb. 2nd. Shane and I want to express an apology to all the climbers present that day for the stress and anxiety caused by our failure to retreat after avalanche activity had become evident.  We have been reflecting all week on how we made that decision, and the life-or-death situation it created for us, and for any potential rescuers. We are very lucky to be alive, thankful to our Lord for watching over us, and thankful nobody else was put in danger as a result of our actions.
    The decision to continue past the 1st belay was made mainly on a misunderstanding of the connected avalanche terrain above the route.  We had first researched this route in 2007, using Google Earth and online sources.  At that time, we concluded (incorrectly) that the diagonal ridge above the route protected it from most of the terrain high above.  In 2007 I recall finding no online accounts of avalanche activity on this route.Of course now in 2019, a Google search reveals several harrowing stories of climbers being avalanched at this location.  Given our incorrect and out-dated understanding, at the first belay we concluded the initial small slides had probably sluffed from the gully locally above the route, and had probably relieved the snow loading from the gully.  Of course, we know now that our understanding and conclusions were flatly incorrect.  We recognize that our thought process violated some pretty basic avalanche safety principles.
    In the critical moment at the first belay, we fell into the trap of twisting old and incomplete information, to fit the answer we wanted.  We wanted to climb.  It was a “nice” day, we’d been anticipating the climb for a week, the presence of other climbers gave us a false sense of security, including two parties that had completed Squash Head just ahead of us, and one or two other parties behind us at the base. We concocted reasons to continue when we should have been focused on the obvious signals to retreat.  When I reached the anchor at the top of the 2nd pitch and was hit by the 3rd and largest slide minutes later, the peril of our situation became fully evident, and we were extremely lucky to survive the ensuing session of Russian roulette as the 4th and 5th slides hit us over the next 10-15 minutes.
    We intend to file a near-miss report with ANAC to ensure the lessons are captured for others to learn from.

Here are a few lessons I learned, some are painfully basic reminders:

  • Any amount of avalanche activity on or near your route is a clear sign to get away and live another day
  • Periodically refresh yourself on available knowledge of a route, no matter you’ve climbed it before.  Including a refresh of recent avalanche reports and alternate descent options.
  • Conservative decisions always, but especially when your knowledge of the area is fuzzy or avalanche training is rusty, as ours is.
  • Carry radios on routes when communication is difficult due to terrain, wind etc.  We were separated by a full rope length and could not jointly devise an immediate escape plan after the 3rd and largest avy hit us.
  • Hard-points for ropes.  Our trailing rope had been moved from a hard-point to a gear loop mere seconds before the 4th avy hit, pulled on the rope, and broke that gear loop.  There is a rope, an ATC, and a few draws/screamers for somebody to find in the spring.
  • Watch out for each other.  A disapproving shout from any of the other climbers at the base would have likely snapped us from our clouded decision process at the 1st belay.  This statement is in no way intended to shirk the blame.  We own our poor decision 100%.  I personally will be more likely to intervene next time I see a climber putting themselves in a dangerous situation.
  • It’s never too late to retreat and accept that a prior decision was incorrect.
Sunny-D · · SLC, Utah · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 700

Thanks for your thoughts. 

zoso · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2007 · Points: 495

Agreed. The humility speaks volumes about climbing. Cocky = dead. 

Mtn Ape XL · · Utah · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 125

Brian Crozier- thank you for your post...good after action report...glad you made it out safely            

Shane Hall · · Salem, UT · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 10

Brian and I have done a lot of thinking and talking since our incident on Squash Head over a week ago. Brian's post does a good job of explaining what we have discussed and the situation during our climb. We made some big mistakes and we hope others will learn some valuable lessons from this. We got very lucky that our outcome wasn't worst and we own each one of our decisions. I believe a lot of us that have climbed long enough have stories of being "lucky". A lot of times it's just one decision or action away from turning a climb into a tragic situation. As climbers we take some degree of risk each time we head out but there's a ton of information out there that can prevent these accidents and near-misses. We owe it to ourselves and others close to us to educate ourselves and share our mistakes as a community. I know I still have a lot to reflect on from what happened and will continue my learning so I can do better out there in the mountains. Thanks for all the comments and be safe out there!  

Mtn Ape XL · · Utah · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 125
Brock Jones · · Provo, UT · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 25

How’s the Willard Waterfall in terms of potential avy danger?

Bryan Ringgold · · Logan, UT · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 102

Hard to say after the storm Sunday night, but the climb is in bad shape. Mostly just water and rock

Brock Jones · · Provo, UT · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 25

Really? I talked to a guy who climbed it on Sunday and said it was in great shape. Did you go look at it after the storm and see it got torn down?

bus driver · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 1,120


BCC driveby report
Storm mountain falls is trying to form. 

The Leisure Route is near the ice to the left of the main falls that leads up to a dihedral. There is probably some ice among the plentiful bolts on the first pitch. 
Scottish gulley had ice to the ground but lots of snow everywhere. 
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Northern Utah & Idaho
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