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Sep 28, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Mt Hood
Hey, does anyone have info/experience on ice climbing in the Sierra between now and May? I'm talking about areas besides Lee Vining. Trying to train for a potential trip to the Alaska Range while living in LA haha. It seems like there's got to be some awesome ice when the conditions are right in the winter, but I imagine a lot of the roads are closed making access difficult.
Also has anyone been up in Darwin Canyon recently and know if there's any ice left in Mendel Right or Left Couloirs or other spots in the High Sierra? I have a 4 day weekend coming up Oct 15-18 and was hoping to get some ice climbing in.

Also I'm looking for partners so send me a message if you want to go on ice adventures.
Clark Hollenberg
From Portland, OR
Joined Jun 19, 2014
105 points
Sep 28, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing!
Most of the alpine ice climbing in the Sierra's is now dead due to climate change. See this rather depressing blog post
-sierramtnguides.com/alpine-con...

North Peak is in (or was) in right now for ice climbing, you can see my blog post for what it looked like a couple of weeks ago
fresnoclimber.blogspot.com/201...

In the Winter, there is ice at Lee Vining and June Lake on the Eastside.

In the Western Sierra there is ice that forms:
near Tahoe (Coldstream Canyon)
Ice in Sequoia - Moorage Daydream on the Watchtower, 5-6 pitches of mixed, WI4
also there is Tokopah Falls
near Huntington lake - Rancheria falls

If you want serious ice experience go to the Canadian Rockies for a week in Dec-Feb, stay in Canmore.
C Brooks
From Fresno, CA
Joined Feb 8, 2015
165 points
Sep 28, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Switzerland
Ice also forms around the Whitney Portal area, but not sure what kind of weather conditions need to exist for it to form/be accessible.

Though Canmore would be nice Ouray would be worth the drive.
climbing coastie
From Wasilla, AK
Joined Feb 2, 2011
67 points
Sep 28, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Bottom of the bottle
climbing coastie wrote:
Ice also forms around the Whitney Portal area, but not sure what kind of weather conditions need to exist for it to form/be accessible.


First thing... it must be cold.


LA is a tough place to live and be a Ice Climber.... learn how to make the drive to Canada in one push.

Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Joined Mar 1, 2008
363 points
Sep 28, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Mt Hood
Yeah, that Sierra Mountain Guides blog is pretty depressing. That's kinda what I was expecting, but just wanted to see what people know. It seems like waterfall ice should still form in the high country during the winter certain times, but knowing where and when it's good and getting past snow covered roads would be a problem.

I'll be making a trip to Lee Vining for sure. Got two years of college left down here before I move somewhere mountainous and cold.
Clark Hollenberg
From Portland, OR
Joined Jun 19, 2014
105 points
Oct 4, 2016
Dana couloir is in now. North peak is in now. Mendel couloirs were in during the month of July (yes ice nine was in this year) probably not anymore. U notch V notch and Clyde couloirs are out of condition currently, but were in during July. Who said high Sierra ice was nonexistent!?!? Matt Cornell
Joined Dec 24, 2013
110 points
Oct 5, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing!
Matt Cornell wrote:
Dana couloir is in now.


Really? I had heard the top was melted out, and rock fall was severe and that a couple was helicopters off not so long ago after being hit by rock.
If you have been up it recently, I would love to hear about what the conditions were like!
C Brooks
From Fresno, CA
Joined Feb 8, 2015
165 points
Oct 5, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Parker Canyon
Parker Canyon

Parker Canyon on a fat snowless year. Right around the corner from Lee Vining (sort of). A true frozen waterfall.
Rude Boy
From San Francisco, CA
Joined Apr 29, 2012
797 points
Oct 5, 2016
C Brooks, I soloed the Dana couloir a few weeks ago and soloed it yesterday as well. It is in great shape. Solid blue ice. Sure the top 200ft are melted out but its just a little loose scree. No dry tooling just 3rd class scrambling. I did not see a singe rock fall the two times I climbed it. Even while it got sun exposure. Always wear a helmet.
Rock Climbing Photo: Dana Coulior 10/4/16
Dana Coulior 10/4/16
Matt Cornell
Joined Dec 24, 2013
110 points
Oct 5, 2016
C Brooks wrote:
a couple was helicopters off not so long ago after being hit by rock.

Where did you hear this???
Matt Cornell
Joined Dec 24, 2013
110 points
Oct 6, 2016
If I remember correctly, I climbed North Dome on Sep. 17. When about half way up a large heli flew directly overhead straight in the direction of Dana from the west. I don't know anymore about it though. Rude Boy
From San Francisco, CA
Joined Apr 29, 2012
797 points
Oct 6, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing!
From Mono country Sherifs office -

September 24, 2016, 16-528, #32 A party of two from Southern California were climbing Dana Couloir when rock fall occurred. A rock hit the female climber on her right forearm, causing a possible fracture. She then slid down the couloir injuring her right ankle. The male was hit by another rock on the head, knocking him out for approximately 5 minutes, and splitting his climbing helmet. The climbers were able to descend the couloir and hiked to Dana Lake where they activated their satellite communicator (DeLorme Inreach). CHP helicopter H20 extracted both climbers from Dana Lake to Lee Vining airport where Mono County paramedics transported them to Mammoth Hospital. Responders were: Barnum (Ops), Casabian (IC), Maxwell, Endo, Brodbeck, Shelby Pracht, Cucura, Drake, Guffey, Greene, Hartstrom, and DeGeorge


Matt - It does look in nice shape, thanks for correcting me. I might try and climb it ASAP!
I had heard is was in awful shape. Problem with rumors!
The rockfall accident probably just highlights that these couloirs need to be climbed fast and very early in the morning before things warm up (which we all know)
C Brooks
From Fresno, CA
Joined Feb 8, 2015
165 points
Oct 8, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Stately pleasure dome
Ice bouldering in the Donner train tunnels FTW!

Rock Climbing Photo: ice1
ice1


Rock Climbing Photo: ice2
ice2


Rock Climbing Photo: ice3
ice3
Bryan Hains
From Redwood CIty, CA
Joined Feb 10, 2016
23 points


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