Tokopah Falls, Sequoia National Park Climber's Log

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asmrz - Nov 19, 2010 12:32 pm

Ice Climbing 101 class

Bill Krause who did either the first or second ascent of the Watchtower Gully (Moonage Daydream) told me about the icefall in the early 80s. I was a member of the SCMA then and over the years we conducted classes in basic ice climbing there. Some memories, Mr. Gardner Sr. called me to enroll his 14 year old son Grant and his 16 year old friend Brandon Thau for the class. We had age 17 as a limit for attendance. Mr. Gardner told me that the boys were very mature for their age and would be no trouble. Grant and Brandon were the only people in the class who asked probing questions about how to move over the ice and ice bouldered with me in the afternoon. Next morning, before the class started, they climbed the WI4+ on the extreme left side of the fall, with ease. They were just kids, but could they move (even then). Of course, if you know the names you know how good these "kids" became. Miguel Carmona and I skied to the Pear Lake hut and decided to ski up the bowl above the fall to shorten the approach. Three days later, coming down, we found the whole bowl avalanched over our old tracks, rather sobering. In 1999, during a huge wet storm, a large tree got uprooted and fell on our tent. Gerry Cox, Lou Wilson and I escaped sure death because the tree never made it all the way down, it was blocked and wedged in other trees. Nonetheless, it was extremely scary moment. The ice is mostly thin at Tokopah, climbing later in the season is better, sometimes March has the best conditions. Just watch the wet, deep, avalanche prone snow after a storm.


rhyang - Mar 24, 2006 5:23 am Date Climbed: Jan 29, 2006

Tokopah Falls  Sucess!

Mostly just bouldered WI2 here, but got & gave a belay on a WI3+ line.

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