Ice Climbing Conditions

IMG_0432[1]-2We had a productive weekend of ice climbing! The weekend before last, just about everything was in on Mt. Willard and Mt. Webster, however we had a warm-up and some rain mid-week that took out a lot of the ice. The good news is that with all of that moisture followed by Saturday and Sunday’s cool temperatures meant the ice was building once again. There were only a few routes that were in this weekend but we made the best of them. On Saturday we climbed a spicy Left Hand Monkey Wrench (fat on bottom and a bit of rock/ice on top) to the cleft. Due to the nature of the cleft we waited quite a while before starting up so we didn’t get pummeled by falling ice from the party above. The ice was brittle but the route was fairly fat.
On Sunday we climbed the slabs below the cleft which had plenty of good ice to be climbed. We considered climbing Upper Hitchcock which we scouted the day before but was told the upper pitch of it wasn’t looking too great. We decided to shoot up the cleft again. This time, the ice was even fatter and we had a wonderful climb to the top.
It looks like this week will bring a lot of precipitation and cold temps so we will be in great shape when the weekend rolls around. Here is our report from last weekends climbing on Willard..

Note: The approach gully from the tracks to lower hitchcock is a mix of running water, ice, and vergalassed rock. It was a bit of a nuisance to get up unless you wear your crampons or microspikes. The descent trail off Willard is 100% ice so crampons or microspikes are essential.

Left Hand Monkey Wrench – IN but a little trickier than usual at the top.
Slabs to the right of LHMW – IN
Lower Hitchcock – not sure but probably a bit thin.
Upper Hitchcock – Lower pitch is IN but the top-out is sketchy.
The Cleft – IN
East Face Slabs – IN
East Face Slabs Right – IN

Other things will be building this week.