Hey there Ice climbers – It finally felt like winter arrived today. Cold daytime temps and a light dusting of snow made for a fantastic day out swinging tools. This has been a dry season with warm temps that has toppled all but the thickest ice….Chouinard Falls being the most consistent ice in the state of California is still holding on. Overall the Ice in the Eastern Sierra has gotten thinner since our last report at the beginning of the month. A small storm system on Friday helped the scenery but for the eastern Sierra, but not much in the way of significant addition to our snowpack. The cold temps that it brought along can help the ice. Another storm is on the way later this week so check in on our ice conditions page soon to see how things progress this season.
This report, I was able to put in another Video Clip which helps tell the conditions story a little better than photos and text. It is super interesting to look back at conditions reports and videos from the prior seasons to see the difference.
Please send me photos and updates on your trips and conditions if you are willing to have them shared on this report firstname.lastname@example.org
Eastern Sierra Ice Report Video 1/21/2018
Lee Vining Ice
I am guiding an Ice 101 program this weekend and found some fun ice to climb. The road was manageable with a low clearance vehicle and the approach was not too bad with the recent snow from Friday. There is still high water running through Lee Vining Creek as they are still performing repairs at the Poole Power Plant. The talus field had some snow but overall the approach was not too different than when I was last there on New Years during our last report. Just a light dusting of snow to keep things scenic. The Ice in the narrows has not formed and there is too much water at the base of some of the Narrows dry tooling routes making those even out of condition. The Bard – Harrington has no ice. Main wall is still looking like it is trying to form up but warm temps these past few weeks has made the bottom 1/3 even thinner than our last report. Currently there are long sections that the ice is too thin to take screws but we can keep our fingers crossed that the colder temps will help it form up this season to be climbable. Chouinard is in though still thin and the left corner is still not taking screws and the right side is mixed. All the chains are currently exposed and free of ice. There is fat ice at the top of the canyon that would make a good alternative if there are groups at Chouinard.
Tahoe Ice (Out of Condition)
I was gone for 2 weeks to Tahoe in early January. The warm temps in early January did not help the ice around Lake Tahoe, and the low elevation climbs near lake level thinned out significantly in the past few weeks. Cold Stream, Cascade, Donner, and Eagle Creek Drainage Ice all were too thin to take screws and this past storm system buried much of the remaining lower angle ice.
June Lake Ice (Out of Condition)
SMG Guide Michael O’Conner and I went for an afternoon tour around June Lake to find Ice on Friday. The situation has gotten grim for June Lake Ice. Tatum Falls disappeared, Roadside is back to Summer conditions with no ice at all and Horstail has running water and no climbable Ice.
Lundy Canyon Ice
My Friends Lorelei and Darren Dennis made the trek in to Lundy Canyon on Monday (1/15/2018) They were able to drive all the way to the trailhead in a Subaru (though that may have changed with the recent precipitation) They put in a boot pack for the last 1/4 mile but followed tracks most of the way in. According to Darren “Climbers last weekend climbed some other uninspiring ice 1/4 mile before Lundy Falls”. Sounds like Lundy was fun and they crushed it!!!