Hey there Ice climbers – we are having an incredible spring in the eastern Sierra. The snowpack is holding up giving ski and approach conditions a nice base. I was guiding ice in Lee vining canyon on Monday and Thursday this week and found ideal spring conditions. The approach is still filled in really well with snow and we have been able to approach the climbing without floatation. On Thursday at about 3:30 I was able to hike out all the way with only one post hole step. The ice has been hero and plastic in the morning and getting soft on the surface by about 1PM. We have been climbing on Chouinard Falls which has been really great and still taking long screws and many parties have ben on the center lines and caveman on the Main wall.
One interesting change that I noticed on Thursday is that there is now a long horizontal crack on the middle of the main wall running all the way across. Routes on the left side of both walls are thinning out as they are getting sun in the late afternoon.
We will see what happens in the next few weeks but even though the nights are getting shorter, as long as we get some good freezing night time temps the ice should still be good for the next couple of weeks.
Here are some photos from last week….. Hope you get to enjoy the ice with this fantastic spring season.
I should mention that on Monday with the cloud cover and greenhouse effect radiation we saw a lot of rollerball activity and even had some rollerballs coming off the top of the ice flow from above.
The Eastern Sierra Avalanche center is now issuing forecasts only 4 days a week but still worth checking out and paying attention to the wet loose slide activity.