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California Ice Conditions

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the Golden State. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the California Climbing Partners forum.
 

Re: California Ice Conditions

Postby The Chief » Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:03 am

Vitaliy M wrote:So, any way to TR photoshop? Or anything else worthy in LVC?


Your kidding right....do you even know how many pitches PS is, in full conditions, as it is in now????


DO you have a 400 Meter rope???
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Re: California Ice Conditions

Postby The Chief » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:01 am

Everything on Main Wall (nothing less than WI4 currently) entails double 70's for a single run TR. Problem is that all chains are completely covered and any TR's require a fresh V-Thread backed up by a doubled up Screw Anchor.

Are you guys versed in setting up this type TR Anchor up?
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Re: California Ice Conditions

Postby The Chief » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:21 pm

I construct my TR V-Threads with a double screw back up in the following manner...

Drill and and tie a V-Thread (Utilizing 1" tubular or 7mm cord with about 12-16" of hanging line, tied with a Water Knot or Double Fishermans accordingly), attach 2 reversed direction lockers. Then place a (2 total) 16 or 19 12" above it at the 10 O'clock and the 2 O'clock position. Apply an equalized Cordelette to the V-Thread Lockers from the two screws, which ultimately equalizes the entire set up and act as a double back-up as well in order to share the static load of a TR situ. When done, the last person cleans the screws/cordelette and RAPS rather than Lowers off the V-Thread, as that action puts less of a load on the V-Thread. Putting the two back-up screws above @ an angle, and not to the side, ensures that they will remain in situ and take the load if the V-Thread were to fail or pull.


There are different techniques to set this type situ up. I have found the above manner to be redundant and far more secure/positive.

PS: I have been known to make two V-Threads prior to applying the two screws as well. Equalizing the entire set-up with a long cordelette.
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Re: California Ice Conditions

Postby x15x15 » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:50 pm

wow, now this thread has turned into how to anchor/ ice climb 101! kinda scary if you ask me... maybe some of ya should just slow down and take the time to get the experience to be safe... just saying... but what do i know, i am just a sackless city slicker weekend warrior...
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Re: California Ice Conditions

Postby The Chief » Tue Jan 18, 2011 2:56 pm

x15x15 wrote:wow, now this thread has turned into how to anchor/ ice climb 101! kinda scary if you ask me... maybe some of ya should just slow down and take the time to get the experience to be safe... just saying... but what do i know, i am just a sackless city slicker weekend warrior...


So tell us, how did you get all your grand "experience" on the weekends?

Hmmmmm, just saying.

Never mind....



rhyang wrote:It's not completely unusual to see parties toproping lines on the Main Wall, but these also need to be led, and you will need two ropes. Some of the center flows have fixed anchors partway up (see the Eastern Sierra Ice guide, available at REI, MMS, Wilson's, etc.) but last time we were there these were buried and people were making anchors with screws.

Vitaliy and Shane: my recommendation is this -- do not toprope on the Main Wall unless you are with a competent WI4 leader.


Last week (Weds) there were four TR's going on the Main Wall. The party at play were a group of regular locals and utilized the same set up I described above as the bolts/chain anchors on the Main Wall ( that you share of Rob in SP's guide) are indeed ALL buried under 2 feet or so of FATASS ice. Three of the four were actually ADVANCED single rope solo systems.

PS: The Main Wall can currently be Rapped to the mid section where as of last Thursday, there were five differently located in situ, solid double V-Threads that some competent local folks had placed for TR situs.

Am out the door to get on "Freedom" on the B/H. Got word last night that it is in a looking pretty good and very solid. As was the Reg B/H Wall Route.
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Re: California Ice Conditions

Postby granjero » Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:46 pm

Vitaliy M wrote: We do not want to get into something we can't do safely. It endangers us, and others.[/quote="Vitaliy M"]

rhyang wrote:Vitaliy and Shane: my recommendation is this -- do not toprope on the Main Wall unless you are with a competent WI4 leader. And I agree with x15: this is serious shit. Slow it down, way down. If you are not patient enough to acquire the skills and apprentice yourself, you don't belong on the ice.


"It's a meritocracy out there, with gravity as the auditor. Inconsistency, incompetence, and lies are all cut short by the ground. It will stop you if you can't stop yourself." -MFT

Seeing what I have seen recently, it may only be a matter of time before dire straits become a harsh, bloody reality. Taking rock, ice, and ski courses from any of the high quality guiding outfits in the Sierra would be beneficial in myriad ways. Don't be surprised if you don't even realize until 3, 8, 12 years later how much you actually learned...

But within lies the beauty of climbing. None of us are going to be on the field in a Superbowl, none of us waiting, crouched and poised and ready to explode forward, for the gun at the 400m sprint, nobody sprinting in the big ring catching the breakaway group atop Alp d'Huez, and we're likely not dropping in for the FIS win at Kitzbuehl. But we are all free to hop on any rock climb anywhere (in-progress projects notwithstanding) or ice climb, or alpine route regardless of difficulty, location, or history. Anyone is free to try. Corollary to this is to also accept and suffer the possible consequences of failure whether that means leaving gear, hubris, or your life behind.

Ice is truly the king discipline in that even top roping can have disasterous outcomes, let alone being on the sharp end. A slip and then a crampon in the calf? Drop your tool? TR anchor failure? Many old school ice climbers probably know a few people who took one whip and hung 'em up after that.

Long story short, be careful and take your time if you truly value your life and the lives of those whom you chose to enjoy the mountains with. The mountains are not going anywhere, and as skills and respect increase you will only enjoy being in their presence more and more and more...
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Re: California Ice Conditions

Postby SKI » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:24 pm

rhyang wrote:Dude, this is California... you don't really need to ice climb every frickin' weekend


Man, Rob no offense but yeah, this IS California and the ice here, as im sure you already know, is about as finky and sparse as little green men on the moon. Because Shane, V and I share the same goals, I can empathize with their desire to spend as much time on the ice as physically possible. Milage counts on the blue stuff and days, to me, spent at costco when there's no reason not to be swinging tools are days wasted in a relatively short life.

There's no reason why someone shouldn't be able to ask (as the Chief explained, thank you) how to set up these top ropes. A good V-Thread will hold bomber as will ice screws. It's pretty damned obvious when you have it wrong and you know about anchors.

For shame, hire a guide????? Great advice, but dammit, we are the mortal poor out here!

granjero wrote:"It's a meritocracy out there, with gravity as the auditor. Inconsistency, incompetence, and lies are all cut short by the ground. It will stop you if you can't stop yourself." -MFT

Seeing what I have seen recently, it may only be a matter of time before dire straits become a harsh, bloody reality. Taking rock, ice, and ski courses from any of the high quality guiding outfits in the Sierra would be beneficial in myriad ways. Don't be surprised if you don't even realize until 3, 8, 12 years later how much you actually learned...

But within lies the beauty of climbing. None of us are going to be on the field in a Superbowl, none of us waiting, crouched and poised and ready to explode forward, for the gun at the 400m sprint, nobody sprinting in the big ring catching the breakaway group atop Alp d'Huez, and we're likely not dropping in for the FIS win at Kitzbuehl. But we are all free to hop on any rock climb anywhere (in-progress projects notwithstanding) or ice climb, or alpine route regardless of difficulty, location, or history. Anyone is free to try. Corollary to this is to also accept and suffer the possible consequences of failure whether that means leaving gear, hubris, or your life behind.

Ice is truly the king discipline in that even top roping can have disasterous outcomes, let alone being on the sharp end. A slip and then a crampon in the calf? Drop your tool? TR anchor failure? Many old school ice climbers probably know a few people who took one whip and hung 'em up after that.

Long story short, be careful and take your time if you truly value your life and the lives of those whom you chose to enjoy the mountains with. The mountains are not going anywhere, and as skills and respect increase you will only enjoy being in their presence more and more and more...



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No need to resort to nostalgic mountain prose juuuuust yet!
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Re: California Ice Conditions

Postby fatdad » Tue Jan 18, 2011 7:44 pm

I'm glad that everyone is getting out there and enjoying the ice. I wish I could say the same. At least I got out to Stoney Point yesterday for a couple of hours, which felt AWESOME. However, I really wanted to respond to remind everyone about the all to important but all too easily forgetten access issue.

I wanted to chime in mostly because it seems that if you're TRing the Main Wall, you probably should be considering other options, even Chouinard Falls right next door or Horsetail, etc., etc. Buying really long ropes and encouraging folks to TR really long climbs that they probably couldn't safely lead and were always lead before the advent of really long ropes, in my opinion, will only prompt less experienced climbers to use an area that they should probably postpone until they've acquired additional skills.

Is this an effort to beat on less experienced climbers? Absolutely not. We were all there once. However, less experienced climbers also lack a particular mountain sense and underestimate conditions, their own skill, etc. That is what made us all inexperienced at certain points in our careers. For example, on Supertopo a couple of weeks back, someone asked about climbing in LVC immediately after that huge dump of snow, and the community there wisely counseled them about the very obvious avalanche conditions and advised them to wait a good while before visiting. Even someone with a season under their belt would've known better. Someone stepping right out of a gym wouldn't. This isn't just a safety issue; it's an access issue.

I think it's important to remember that everyone visiting LVC has to access DWP property. As a lawyer, I can state with a good amount of certainty that one accident, one rescue could easily prompt DWP to question their hands off policy toward ice climbers. When the community of climbers was much smaller, they used to do a pretty good job of policing themselves. Now that climbing has become so accessible, it' not a bad idea to stop and remind ourselves that we need to be careful of how and where we climb, not only for our own sake, but for the sake of other climbers who want to enjoy the area.

Sorry for the rant.
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Re: California Ice Conditions

Postby fatdad » Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:49 pm

AlpineAffinity wrote:it is clear that there is some sort of vendetta against the younger generation of climbers- people that are looking to break through the learning stages and learn as much as possible, spend as much time as possible, go wherever it is and do whatever it takes...

Shame on you, Rob. A line was crossed here man. If everyone held the same voiced opinion as you, we wouldn't have 13-year olds on Everest, much less any "20-sumthins."

What utter nonsense. I understand you're young and ambitious. We all were (or are). I did my first leads at Tahquitz at 14, lead 5.10 trad at 15, did the NW Face of Half Dome at 16, Zodiac at 19. I'm not mentioning that to beat my own drum. My point is that I didn't ask to change the rules of the game when trying to get better.

I didn't buy super long ropes so I could TR stuff that people before had always lead. Back then people didn't TR stuff before leading it because it was considered bad form, so I didn't. You sucked it up and went for it on lead or climbed something else. You didn't add bolts to things that didn't have bolts because if someone before you climbed it without, you should too. If you didn't have the physical or mental skills to do a climb, you went somewhere and acquired those skills and came back and made the climb proud. Those are the "learning stages" you're claiming to want so desparately. You're not going to get there hanging on an ever longer series of TRs. That is not "doing whatever it takes." That's weak sauce. The problem some folks have with certain younger climbers is that they have an entitlement attitude that they should be able to climb whatever they want in whatever style and if someone begs to differ the first response tends to be is that you're being elitist or harsh just to stick it to them.

Rob's urging caution came from the right place. Ice climbing can be dangerous. He's been hurt bad and knows how long the path to recovery is. Heck, I blew out my knee in my early 20s it was two years before I could climb anything, and several more before I was at pre-accident shape. You don't want to go down that path.

My last post tried to emphasize the need to look beyond specifics to bigger issues like access and keeping the area safe for others. That's all I was trying to say. My apologies for the digression.
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Re: California Ice Conditions

Postby Fire4x4 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:08 am

WOW... I’ve been gone 2 weeks and got back on SP today and saw this thread thinking SWEET!!!! The ice Must be GREAT in Cali if there are 8 pages worth of postings, even if Tahoe has seen record heat the last couple days.... Opened up the thread and... BUMMER, what a disappointment :(

Not that all of the bickering doesn’t have its place. Chief, thanks for the quick, down and dirty anchor lesson. But please, can we start a new thread for actual Ice Conditions???

Vitaliy, was Eagle Lake still frozen last weekend? Thinking about going up Thursday despite these spring like days.
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Re: California Ice Conditions

Postby SoCalHiker » Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:10 am

Guys, can we stick to the topic on hand again... you don't want a hiker to moderate climbers, so don't make me have to :wink:
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Re: California Ice Conditions

Postby x15x15 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:23 am

the chief

So tell us, how did you get all your grand "experience" on the weekends?


by making my weekends mon-fri, and definitely not on the internet... lots of reading of books, not internet fantasy, and lots of experience...

oh, i forgot... nevermind...

This thread is like "as the world turns" and is quite entertaining... carry on folks...
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Re: California Ice Conditions

Postby The Chief » Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:42 am

Internet fantasy is clearly your game X15. 2 pages of dudes ass slapping and spraying on one another over on the Tahquitz Ice thread, all over doing one line.... damn! Come on. Ya'll act like it's the first time ya ever did a "mixed" moderate climb. Jeeeez Loueeez already!


Back to the thread...



When I did the Black Dike (NEI4) for the first time on Canon, my partner and I were 18 yrs old and had a whopping 3 days of self taught experience (Frankenstein Cliff & Sundown Ledge) under our belts. We got our Forrest Harnesses, ten Salewa <C> 21cm's , 6 Warthogs and pound ins, our <C> North Wall Hammers & Forrest Short Hammers, assorted two dozen pins, biners, tied 1" slings, etc., our brand new Edelrid 11mm 50m and off we went. Completed the route in a full on New Hampshire winter storm, pounded in some fixed pins, along with 6 of <C> screws and rapped, ten half lengths to the base.

Two days later we went into IME and reported our ascent to Rick Wilcox. He informed us that we probably had the ninth or tenth ascent of that route. We stayed in N. Conway for another ten days and ended our trip with ascents up Repentence and Remission... both NEI 5+.

That was 34 years ago. No one showed us how to do any of this Ice shit.... we did all on our own. Most Ice and Aid climbers back east at the time, learned the tricks of trade mostly on their own as we chose to.

I shared those good ole days stories with my local friend, Bruce Lella, a couple of weeks ago over a cup of coffee. He started laughing and quickly responsed... "Nothing new. So did I and everyone else that I started climbing Ice and Walls with in Colorado back in the early 70's."

Just saying.

EDIT: Addition...
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Re: California Ice Conditions

Postby kevin trieu » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:38 am

I have "TR" the Main Wall from the top once. Set up an anchor from the top from one of the pine trees then lower your partner down the length of the rope then let him climb up. One problem with this is that he has to make it up. Another problem is that someone might be leading the route you are on.
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Re: California Ice Conditions

Postby The Chief » Wed Jan 19, 2011 4:54 am

There are two sets of Chain Anchors on top of the Mail Wall. Both sets are new shiney Fixe bolts/hangers w/chains. We replaced them two years ago.

The 3/4's Anchor about 35 feet to right of the 1st p anchors on Staircase are clear of ice and accessible as well.

Double sets of 70's will allow ya to TR the wall from both upper sets of anchors.

Double 60's will allow ya to TR from the 3/4 anchors. Cept ya gotta rap down to em from either of the upper Top anchors.

BTW: All the wands are in situ. Also got some very positive feedback today from some visiting folks as well as two local crews and the Poole Plant Sup who just happen to be at the House doing some maintenance on the turbine.

"Freedom" was thin in places with two 30-40 foot runs on the 1st P. The 2nd & 3rd Ps were pretty healthy and took 13's and 16's and med stoppers. Loved it and had a blast. Will be back out there tomorrow.

"Freedom" today.....
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