Well, the good news is the world hasn’t ended with the coming of 2012…at least not yet. The bad news is that June-uary is in full effect. With no appreciable snowfall during the entire month of December we aren’t exactly set up to endure a couple more weeks without new snow. Creativity with ski-alternative outdoor recreation has kept most locals busy enough to avoid going stir crazy and I know more than a few folks that are near completing their lists of odd-jobs around the house… something that would never happen if there was any amount of natural snow.
While this unseasonable productivity may have resulted in improved paint on your walls or a tidy garage, the real question is what to do now that you’re caught up on the boring stuff. Answer #1 is ice climbing. It’s a sport that doesn’t get to bask in the limelight of California’s outdoor scene very often, but recently it’s been amazing. The warm days of late are threatening to reduce ice formations, but the nighttime lows projected for this weekend are promising. If the temps do drop back into the low 20’s with daytime highs around 40 there could be some great climbing to be had. Take a look at these pics and make a plan.
The ice at Cascade Falls on the West Shore has been well chronicled on this site, but there are a couple other options. Here are some pics from last week on Donner Summit:
Donner Peak is pure fun, the definition of adventure climbing. The boulders and slabs of jumbled granite provide blocky terrain features and perfect gullies for ice to form. Don’t expect to find ice flows of epic length, but there are plenty of short, steep pitches, low angle formations and dry tooling placements to keep it interesting.
If you’ve already put some miles on your spikes and tools in the Tahoe zone and want to test your mettle further south, hit up Lee Vining. Tioga Pass road is open and you can park relatively close to the vertical ice walls of Lee Vining Canyon.
The ice here ranges from thin mixed lines, to fat easily led bulges.
Still not satisfied? Continue over Tioga Pass and you’ll find a rare breed: Yosemite Ice. Here are a few pics from climber Adam Lawrence to wet your appetite:
Well, hope that inspires y’all to sharpen your spikes and file the burrs off your tools…until next time~