Eric just finished up an ice climbing trip in Lee Vining Canyon. The ice is actually still in great shape despite pendulum swings in temperature. The sun is high, the ice is plastic, the climbing pretty pleasant in the sun but the trail is a melting out creating some big holes so you need to take care to avoid falling into them. Get it while you can.
After climbing the Dana Couloir in late summer conditions, John H. was keen to try out water ice climbing. After a couple of false starts due to warm temperatures in December, we finally were able to make schedules and the weather meet to climb in Lee Vining Canyon. We met at John's hotel in the village of Lee Vining at 7:00am on the 18th. At the Power Station the trail looked to be in good shape, but almost immediately after the second creek crossing our progress was halted - blown snow had filled in the trail and wiped out any sign of it. Tricked by conditions below, I hadn't brought [...]
After living, breathing, and thinking skiing for the last two months, I jumped at Connie's call. She was wondering if I was interested in coming down for the weekend and take Megan, Lohit, and Kartnik ice climbing in June Lake. Of course I was! But just in case, I packed my skis. We spent two days at Horsetail Falls climbing the three different lines on the right side of the flow. Everyone had prior experience belaying from climbing in the gym or outside, so we were able to focus on the specifics of climbing ice, including efficient tool use and crampon technique. On Sunday I introduced mixed climbing as well, [...]