Eastern Sierra Ice Report – November 25th, 2015

In Conditions Reports, Eastern Sierra Ice Report, From the Range of Light & Fast by Howie Schwartz5 Comments

Season’s greetings ice climbers!

Once again, the nip is in the air and thoughts turn to climbing frozen waterfalls. That means we are excited to provide consistent, up-to-date reporting on local conditions throughout the season. We guide and climb in the best ice climbing venue on the west coast, and we hope you will get a chance to enjoy the ice here this season.

We have been getting a lot of questions about how the ice is doing. We have had some good early season cold temps alternating with unseasonably warm spells. This has been good for ice development. Lee Vining Canyon is a cold and shady drainage and the early ice is doing remarkably well for November. Though most of the ice in the canyon is still a bit thin, there are lines on Chouinard Falls and the Main Wall that are currently climbable. Novices that are still learning the precision needed for delicate thin ice, and the judgement to assess the ice stability, should probably avoid it until it gets a bit thicker, for safety and to preserve what little there is for the rest of us. At this rate it won’t be too long before we have decent ice conditions for all levels.

If you would like to learn a way to assess the strength and stability of the ice, this instructional video may be a useful resource:

When you unintentionally become an internet sensation

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We will keep this report updated as conditions evolve. Check out these photos and check back with us soon. Happy Thanksgiving from SMG!



  1. I was trying to send you guys some photos of current Coldstream Canyon conditions but I couldn’t figure it out. What would be the best way to do that?

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