Howdy California ice climbers,
With not much notable change lately we have been quietly climbing and not reporting, but it’s about time for an update. Ice climbing conditions in the Eastern Sierra have been quite good, and they seem to still be getting better overall with each passing day. We just had a few days of warm temps, and now a decent amount of rain on the snow. In January, we do not expect profound effects on the stability of the ice, but we are using caution out there today and expecting freezing levels to descend in the next 24 hours. As this happens, of course, the snow from the escalating series of storms will begin to accumulate on the approaches to our local ice venues and the avalanche danger can be expected to rise. Definitely bring snowshoes and tire chains for this weekend and early next week, and check in with the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center for the most current snowpack summary to help you plan your climbing days.
In general though, Horsetail Falls is fat. Lee Vining Canyon’s Main Wall and Chouinard Wall are in good form. The Bard-Harrington is still a rock wall and we don’t expect it to form again until another leak miraculously springs in the Edison penstock. For those who fancy trespassing on private property, Roadside Ice in June Lake may be wanting to fall down a bit in the rain today, but if it doesn’t it should be ok after it cools down a bit.
Good luck with the stormy conditions the next few days and enjoy it. Great ice season so far! Here are some recent photos, all from the past week…