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U-Notch in mid-late May

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Re: U-Notch in mid-late May

Postby Vitaliy M. » Wed Mar 07, 2012 4:32 pm

I think this May there will be ice in it (in the U notch) and the shrund will be in terrible shape. When I was there in early Feb or late January U notch was blue ice and shrund was opened wide! V notch seemed like good neve all the way up, with shrund that looked less problematic.
Traverse to sill is a good idea.
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Re: U-Notch in mid-late May

Postby Marcsoltan » Wed Mar 07, 2012 6:20 pm

3Deserts wrote:Okay, it's March, and anything can happen between now and then, but is anyone willing to take an educated and/or wildly uninformed guess as to conditions in the U-Notch towards the end of May? I want to climb it this spring, in snow, with no ice. What doth the SP crew proclaim?

Also, traverse to Sill? Same trip? Thoughts?


On a low snowfall year like this, expect to see a lot of blue ice on U-Notch in May. I did the U-Notch, North Palisades Peak, Polemonium, Mt.Sill (all the same day) on an average-snowfall year in May and there was about 200 feet of blue ice on U-Notch, but had no problem with the shrund. I placed rock protection every 40-50 feet on the right-hand-side rocks, and used long runners, had no screws. The worst part of the climb was getting from U-Notch to Polemonium, very confusing.
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Re: U-Notch in mid-late May

Postby Marcsoltan » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:55 pm

3Deserts wrote:Hmmm. What you both describe is what I was afraid of.

As an ice climb, most accounts I've read describe the U-notch as moderate at worst, and I'm well aware of the ability to place rock protection on the right side, and that the bergschrund can be bypassed on rock. In fact I'm pretty sure I've read more than once that the U-notch makes a good first moderate ice climb in its own right, without requiring a whole lot of ice gear. If I can find someone more experienced than I to lead, and can augment my standard axe with a somewhat more technical second tool, and use my standard Grivel G12s, how advisable or unadvisable would anyone here say this still is as a goal?


That is correct. U-Notch is a moderate ice climb at best. Depending on the season/year, most or all of it is just hard snow at 40-50 degrees. It gets a bit steeper near the top. I think in September or October you will see a lot more ice. It all depends on the conditions. Taking two tools and some screws is a good idea. It makes sense not to have to go right to the rocks to place pro. I did it with only one ice axe and crampons, and as I mentioned before, used some rock pros and slings. To be safe, take a few screws and a few rock pros. You can see U-Notch from the glacier and if there is ice you can see it from there.
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Re: U-Notch in mid-late May

Postby Gafoto » Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:08 am

I'm really excited to see alpine ice early in the season. I went out yesterday to climb waterfall ice and it was a complete mess here in SLC. I have 8 screws so I could be pretty comfortable going up the U-notch. Don't have any rock protection though.

I've seen some pictures of the bergshrund in low snow years and it does look a gaping wound. Does it require a rappel + ice/snow climb up the other side in years like this?
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Re: U-Notch in mid-late May

Postby asmrz » Thu Mar 08, 2012 3:56 pm

No it does not require any rap. There is a by-pass of the schrund on the (climber's) right via a short traverse on rock, easy 5th. Some people take the gap straight up, vertical to slightly overhanging terrain for about 40 feet. Either way goes. Those conditions are most likely encountered late fall (Sep/Oct).
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Re: U-Notch in mid-late May

Postby tadman » Thu Mar 29, 2012 9:04 am

Forgive me if i have got this wrong...A little light on gully climbing.
Dana, North Peak,(Rt) or the North Couloir of Mt Abbott...
All great starter climbs. Beautiful settings, easy car to car in a day, really fun!

Tad
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Re: U-Notch in mid-late May

Postby Vitaliy M. » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:13 pm

tadman wrote:Forgive me if i have got this wrong...A little light on gully climbing.
Dana, North Peak,(Rt) or the North Couloir of Mt Abbott...
All great starter climbs. Beautiful settings, easy car to car in a day, really fun!

Tad


Good advice. Also would like to add Kindergarden chute on Checkered Demon, and North Face on Dade. Both are also good as day hikes.
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Re: U-Notch in mid-late May

Postby mtndonkey » Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:34 pm

Has anyone been up in that area in the last couple weeks after the latest storms? We are looking to do U-notch to North Pal next weekend and trying to get a feel for the snow conditions on the approach. I imagine the route should be pretty decent right now, but I am hoping we won't have to snowshoes/posthole from the trailhead all the way up.
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Re: U-Notch in mid-late May

Postby mtndonkey » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:56 pm

Quick update - the upper 75-100 feet of the U-Notch is pure ice and the left side of the couloir below that is all ice as well. My guess is if we don't get any more big storms, it will be an early ice season this year. The schrund was visible but covered.
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Re: U-Notch in mid-late May

Postby Bascuela » Thu Apr 19, 2012 7:30 pm

mtndonkey wrote:Quick update - the upper 75-100 feet of the U-Notch is pure ice and the left side of the couloir below that is all ice as well. My guess is if we don't get any more big storms, it will be an early ice season this year. The schrund was visible but covered.


Mtndonkey – Thanks for the update. This is a little disheartening to one who is looking for a good snow climb at the end of May. I can only hope that last weekend’s storm filled the couloir a little more.

I know this has been touched on in the past and I’ll research old threads but still wanted to throw this out here for anyone who cares to comment. My partner and I will be up traveling up to the Palisade basin for the first time ever. 6 nights 7 days should suffice so the question is “best campsite”. One would image at the tarn below the glacier would yield the best. Running water would be a MAJOR plus. The tarn has to be frozen until at least early summer and we’ll be up there at the end of May. I noticed the SMC (at least on their maps) have their “Moraine Camp” just up and west of the tarn. I would image possible running water and flatter sites up there?

So, besides a set of stoppers a few ice screws and maybe a second axe? Let’s keep this thread going with updated condition reports. :)
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Re: U-Notch in mid-late May

Postby Bascuela » Thu May 03, 2012 7:50 am

Bumpage for the notch.
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Re: U-Notch in mid-late May

Postby Bascuela » Sat May 26, 2012 8:42 am

As of 5/24/2012:
Snow free to Sam Mack meadow then deep drifts along the glacier trail in the “trees.” Other than that the approach is fine. The bergschrund is passable on the right side with about a 30’ wide bridge. Good snow coverage in the chute with ice of the left side starting about ¾ up. The last 100’ is pure ice, passable on the rocks to the right. Good times.

Image
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Re: U-Notch in mid-late May

Postby mtndonkey » Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:32 am

Bump. Any recent beta? Heading back up there this upcoming weekend.
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Re: U-Notch in mid-late May

Postby aermotor » Tue Jul 03, 2012 1:37 am

Bump for recent beta. Headed there July 20.
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Re: U-Notch in mid-late May

Postby jmcc » Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:22 pm

A pic from Friday morning 7/6/2012:
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