23 Dec Winter is coming?!
Well we had a nice start to our ice climbing season at the beginning of December but some warm weather has made things a bit more interesting and a bit more grim? Hopefully the holiday season can bring us some nice cold temperatures and some fresh snow!
I made it out to June Lake yesterday for a day of climbing on Carson Peak with my long time return guest and friend Dave. We scratched around on some fun ice up there for several pitches, sweeping off fresh snow from the latest storm to find some fun, not too melted out ice up there. As we were climbing and looking down at the valley below you could almost imagine being in a tee shirt hanging out by Silver Lake and getting a tan. Ice climbing in California is something else! But even with sub par conditions we still had a great time kicking and swinging our way up the mountain.
Horsetail Falls has mostly fallen down and will likely need a significant amount of time before it’s back in shape to climb safely. Tatum Falls has also mostly fallen down.
I was in Lee Vining last weekend before the storm and climbed one pitch up the middle of Chouinard Wall and then explored some of the ice above. We were pleasantly surprised by three more long pitches of WI2/3 ice in very good condition. The approach out to the ice was mostly dry with lots of talus hopping. It’s hard to say exactly how this last storm has affected the approach but chances are that it’s going to be a bit more challenging until we get some significant snowfall to fill things in a bit more.
Well I guess that about does it. Not too much to report here other than we have lost a significant amount of ice in the last week with the warm temps. Keeping our fingers crossed we get some cold weather here through the new year!