Eastern Sierra Ice Report – February 4, 2018

In Conditions Reports, Eastern Sierra Ice Report by Viren PerumalLeave a Comment


Hey there California Ice Climbers….Things are getting silly this year. Winter is not coming …. and if we were all in game of thrones the white walkers would have all melted away and we would feel silly for buying shovels and snow scrapers and those folks who bought studded snow tires after last winter (yeah I wanted the best chance of getting to the ice) have gotten skunked.

Ridiculous warm temps in February Call for Ridiculous shirts off climbing (Mark Yerdon 3/4/2018)

That said Howie had some great thoughts on his SMG Eastern Sierra Snow report for the year. These are first world problems… no snow to ski or thin ice to climb…..there are bigger problems in the planet…. but not to get too political….The ice that is in is FANTASTIC…..Hero ice that is more fun and plastic and HERO than I have ever seen… some of the sticks barely need a wrist flick. And when do you get to belay with no gloves for ice climbing in Feb 🙂

Overall Chouinard center lines and the ice in the back of Lee Vining (Green Bridge Flow) has been fat. June Lake Ice is disappearing fast and alpine and ridge climbing season is fast approaching.

Hear Goes for this weeks report…..

June Lake (Hot and melting)

I have been avoiding Horsetail this week due to spontaneous icefall – other climbers have gone in there and experienced ice fall and thin ice…. Personally I’m not a fan of hanging ice with loads of water hanging out in the sun…Others seemed to have a higher risk tolerance last week 🙂 Roadside Ice is too thin to climb.


Tatum Falls is melted out in the sun…. Loads of running water on the lower pitch

Tatum falling apart in the sun and high temps (2/1/2018)


North Gulley has been fantastic earlier last week…I guided 2 folks there on Thursday (2/1/2018) and we had really nice conditions but some areas were thin with running water – I brought rock gear

I guided N. Gully on 2/1/2018. Ice was fat though water was running below thin sections. Overall fantastic 3 pitches of ice though falling apart fast. Other climbers ventured into the sun that day on Horsetail though at the risk of spontaneous ice fall.


Lee Vining Canyon (Chouinard Falls is still fat)

Jessica Yerdon working on some footwork drills on day 2 of our Ice 101 (2/4/2018)

Road has been mellow for 2WD low clearance vehicles.



The approach is better than last week with minimal snow and dry talus blocks. The high creek crossing has Icy patches with a slip being consequential. A belay, fixed line, or micro spikes should be considered for climbers who do not have solid footing (or better yet these folks should check out the Ouray Ice Park)

The initial talus field is snow free making easier travel than a week ago.

Water is still being released by Edison and the creek crossing would not be optimal… Mixed climbing routes in the Narrows have running water at the base and still not ideal for climbing (sorry Luke)!


Overall straightforward and easy to follow approach that stays on the Southside of the creek (Mark Yerdon Photo 2/3/2018)

The Boulder Problem has gone from a proud low 5th class move that served as a fun entrance exam into the canyon this season to a step of 3rd class due to a pile of rocks placed by climbers???

You can still avoid the pile of cheater stones and get your alpine bouldering on!

Viren Perumal avoiding the cheater stones placed by climbers to enjoy the once proud V0- boulder problem that guarded the entrance to the narrows (2/3/3/2018) Photo Jessica Yerdon

At least the talus approach is keeping the few and the proud making it to the ice this season and reducing the overall number of climbers at the ice!

.. No ice in the Narrows or Bard Harrington

…Main wall is still thin at the low points with running water behind Ice that is not well bonded at the base


…. Chouinard left and right are thin and not taking screws but rock gear can supplement Ice pro higher up on both sides


….the chains 5M left of the tree route are buried by ice….you will need screw anchors in that location currently


… Chouinard Center lines (4 – 5  rope lines if people know what they are doing) are super fat, fun, sticky, plastic, and HERO!!!!!


There is room for 5-6 distinct ice lines to be climbed (Mark Yerdon 2/3/2018)

Louie Allen preparing his Blue Steel Look for Valentines Day … Single Ladies can contact us for his digits!!!!

Chouinard Falls is Fun Fat and Plastic

Mark getting stoked on the multiple grips of the Cassin/ CampUSA X-Dream Tools

Still Plenty of ice for those willing to make a short hike

Jessica getting stoked on technique and skills training in a pleasant warm environment!!!

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