Local Ice ’19

A local ice season can randomly pound its way into your life. Bringing snow, cold temps, and social media reports, winter becomes impossible to ignore or resist.
Trouble is, a trip to the grocery store can be full of stress, more so trying to climb seldom formed routes in the Northwest. For those that don’t know: our local ice is a scrappy and well-earned affair that requires great patience and grit to handle less than perfect adventures. We don’t make many magazine covers in our shrubs and moss. When cold conditions happen here though, it can be a treat to explore in the back yard! Heck, I happen to prefer “difficult” ice just to keep it from being boring. More beta after photos. (Some photos by Jenn, Doug)

check back….. I may extend this post as these great conditions play out.

Also THANKS to Dave with Sterling Ropes for loaning me the great Photon ropes to demo!!


1-13-2019 Blast Rock Wall wi3 m3 1 mile past icicle creek road closure
1-26-19 Icy BC area tr 3p to m7. Tope rope heaven
2-3-19 Rap Wall 2p to wi4r . fun, spicy first trip here, WARNING: Central Cascades Buried in snow currently
2-17 Shannon Left, center area 1 p w3 , scary climbing next to live waterfall!
2-18 Oleson Creek ice route 4p, W3+ (attempt at AST, went too far up canyon)
2-20 Loose Lady 3p W5 Fun, steep with great access.
2-21 3 Ring Circus 3p w5. We didn’t have chains so we road walked an extra 3k up to a spicy approach. Route was chandeliered and wet on p1. from top, we walked off climbers left to road. Tough day.

westcoastice.com   archive


Colorado Ice Trip ’19

Feb 8-2019: 2 feet of snow is heading to the Seattle area, and Canmore is -20 for weeks.

Thanks to Lane for figuring out the best place to go during the “Seattle Snowpacolypse”. The “Master of the Air-miles” set us up for my first ice trip, heading to Colorado taking advantage of the warmer temps and far better weather. We last minute planned it and hit some amazing and difficult routes in Southwestern Colorado! Great joy was found..

2/8-13/19 Colorado Ice Trip 17p to M6-WI6 w/lane:

 2-8 Amphitheater Vail 3p to m5 W5+, including Rigid Designator, Cupcake, and 7th! So much fun!

 2-9 Redstone Slabs 3p WI5 Set the booter into this great climb. First pitch(right side) was fiesty and ended up in bushes! 2nd pitch kinda dangerous, 3rd is super good.

 2-10 Skylight 2p M4/5 WI4+ This is an ultra-high quality and unique route up steep chimney, similar to Urs Direct. Not everyday you get to ice climb in such a deep chimney!

 2-11 Bridalveil Falls 3p WI5+ THE Classic steep waterfall, and lived up to the hype. Picked out yet, 3-d, steep, and fun outing. Nice to climb with my old friend Steve, a partner of a few great adventures in the 90s, including the first ascent of the Black Spider wall of Mt. Hood.

2-12 Ouray Ice Park 4p to WI6 M6. Enjoyed it far more than I thought I would. I found unpicked lines and rad mixed in the “Vic” area just moving the rope a few meters over per climb.

2-13 Rifle Ice 2p to WI6. Wow, what a way to end a fantastic trip. Souls on Ice and the last curtain up the canyon were amazing, and steep af!

Outstanding adventure, thanks to Lane(climbing partner and rad photos), Jenn, Steve, Carly, D.Scott, and Walker. Huge props go to Ouray Ice Park for the amazing dream park!!





Canadian Ice/Mixed 11-’18

Early season can hold many great advantages:
Less snow to slog though, lower avalanche hazard, and roads remain open too.

Temperatures can be moderate as the cold may not have settled in yet, routes may come in that may not regularly form or be safe later.

(Maybe?)Slightly less crowds, yet stoke runs high on your first outing of the year!!

11-22-18 Dark Nature 2p WI5-M5 w/ Doug

11-23-18 Whiteman/Redman 4p to WI6-M5+

11-24-18 Candlestick Maker 2p WI5

11-25-18 Urs Hole Direct 4p WI5

These were the things we took full advantage of when we came up to Canada for the 4 day weekend of Thanksgiving this year, and what a pay-off! We saw pictures ahead of time on face book of Dark Nature, an obscure mixed route at Lake Louis. It looked steep and mostly ice. People were raving about it. It figured to be crowded, but since we pulled in at 1pm, the other parties were just getting down when we arrived.

Whiteman/Redman was fantastic again, Doug hadn’t been in there before, and didn’t have to walk the road approach like I had to the previous times. I got to lead the first pitch of Redman after backing off  2 years prior.

Doug hadn’t been to the Ghost River either, and wanted to badly. So after consulting with the Colonel, we hit Candlestick Maker, another route I hadn’t  been to as well. It was an awesome experience, except for the welt I put on my forehead.

I can’t say enough about how cool Urs Hole is as an experience for the first time. More of a mounatineering/spelunking adventure than an ice climb, suffice to say it should blow your mind. What a great trip, thanks to Doug, Jenn, and my family as I did this in the midst of the passing of my Dad. I did do the memorial just last weekend though and it went very well. Thanks Dad, for a wonderful upbringing, I will think of you often.




Goodbye Dad


Our dear friend, and family member is gone.

William St. Clair Wallace
February 22 1936- November 10 2018


A life-long devoted family man, Seventh-day Adventist, Veteran, Scotsman, and so much more, Bill was taken home on a clear fall day, in the presence of his loving family.

His life was a beautiful statement to our short time here on earth.

Diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in October, he fought a brief, fierce battle against the odds. Attacking his lungs and spine, he never got the chance to fight with effective treatment.

Bill was born in Hood River, Oregon in 1936. His parent Floyd and Eda provided a solid upbringing with his younger sister Dolores. He entered and served in the US Army and served in Germany for two years.


During his time in the service, he adopted the first of his two children Greg, Later, back in the states, DeNeice followed as his second child. A few years later he met Ada and became a devoted father of two more children: Angelia and myself (Wayne). Ada and William were married for almost 49 years. Extended family includes eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

My memories are filled with regular weekend outings to the coast, Gorge, Holidays, and many great vacations. Often we would just jump in in the car, not knowing the destination. I will also remember his work ethic, friendly demeanor, and high standards. Ours wasn’t always a perfect co-existence, but he was the anchor for our journey in both good, and times of trouble.


Beyond his immediate family Bill touched many lives in his many years as head deacon at his place of worship, Commander of NW Scotsguard, his workplace, and his service to the community center. The family requests, in leu of flowers or donations , contributions be made to Rockwood Seventh-Day Adventist “Door Replacement Fund”.

Memorial service to be held 12-2-2018 , at the Rockwwod SDA Church 2pm. Reception to follow.



Woman of Mountain Dreams – Red Rocks ’18


Ironically, she is probably dreaming of the city at this point.

This is a story of a great long weekend trip to Red Rocks that ended in me getting beat up by an amazing route!!!

10-12 Willow Springs 5p to 10c: Nadias 9, ragged edges 8, Chicken Eruptus 10b, Left Out 10c/d, black track 9

10-13 Frogland 5.8 6p w Jenn, Eileen, John

10-14 Woman of Mt Dreams, Mt Wilson V-5.11a/b 17p w/Jenn

Right out of the gate, I found the most sandbagged 5.9 for my sweetie and our 2 other friends. Nadias 9 is a consensus 5.10 on Mt Project and a stiff one at that, we elected to pass on p2.

Ragged Edges, Chicken Eruptus, Left Out, and Black Track rounded out this amazing “warm up day”!

Frogland, Glad to have gone early to avoid crowds, fun route and glad we took it “easy” this day because we stuck with our plan of going big the next!

The Dream! (of Mountain Woman), is just that, if huge and amazing routes are your thing. From my very first trip to RR (1997), I had picked out this route as the biggest, proudest  line in the whole area. Was it going to be quality though? Mixed reviews on mt project left me pessimistic.

For 12 straight hours, it greatly exceed my expectations! It was more sustained, steep, and quality than I had imagined. I did spend extra energy being cold, and nervous. The route comes at you and never lets up. Once a ways up it, you must fight your way out of it. Good luck getting to the top before dark. We had gps in case we didn’t, but we got all the way to the creek at dark. Still a long way to go finishing up the 20 hour effort. I was so worked and tired that I slipped between 2 boulders and messed up 3 fingers on my left hand. Though beat and bloody, I felt so lucky to be with a gal that plans trips like this, and has the trust and gusto to get to the top of some of the most amazing climbs I have done. It was our 4th grade V together!! One of my all time favorite climbs to boot.

Eric and Lucie report 2008

Dow report summit post 2013

Riley Rice report

Laurel Arndt has the better description on the Mt project comments. The comments about seriousness are legit, the reports about looseness, not so much. I think the route is getting cleaned up.



Squamish ’18

I love the transformative nature of climbing. In this instance, take a depressing labor strike in my work field and turn it into 5 amazing days at Squamish. It suddenly becomes this great vacation of 5 star routes, eating great food, meeting up with new and old friends. Best of all Jenn joined me for 2 amazing days of it. My favorite of the climbs was Hairpin, Man of Leisure was insane(should be rated R or PG13?) . Huge thanks to Steve for the nice apartment lodging, Jenn, Josh, Kyle, Angela, and Peter for fun times and great climbs!!

26 pitches: 5 multi-pitch. 5 top 100 as follows;

8-31-18 Centerfold, Supervalue 4p to 10c w/Steve
9-1-18 Right Wing 5p 10c
9-2-18 Hairpin direct, mushroom, Man of Leisure 7p to 11a w/Jenn
9-3-18 Peasants route, Pleasant Pheasant, cross trainer 8 p to 11a
9-4-18 Canadian Compromise/ Quagmire Crack 2p 10c solo trax


Colorado ’18 + rough day on the Diamond

“Does climbing ever get anything less than terrifying?” Asked Eric, a local who was doing Yellow Spur on follow for his first outdoor climb ever.

” I wish I could say it does, but isn’t that the sweet spot between abject terror, and fun/excitement? I dont go on the kiddy rides at the amusement park.” I offered.

“I do, ”  said my belay sharer.

“Well, the Spinning Teacups are pretty bad-assed too” I mused.

That, and my vacation itinerary included some of the most astounding climbing I could have imagined. I hope all of Colorado climbing isn’t this sandbagged. I hope Lane and I did a half dozen of the most underrated(in terms of difficulty) climbs in the state!

Of course I have gotten used to the wild grade fluctuations in my hometown paradise crag called Index. I think that just because the Colorado and Index scene grew so fast and spectacularly in their respective histories, limits didn’t seem to apply. It was purely creative and subject to the artists own interpretation. Also, there were some incredible climbers back then, as there is now. They did the same terrifying stunts with shittier gear.

About half of our experiences felt like a scene in a movie starting right off the bat.


Friday 8-10-18 Arrive at Sea-tac just as a plane is hijacked and flown to its dark conclusion. 

8-11-18 Arrive DIA at 4 am, sleep in car until too hot. Shop and drive to Estes Park

8-12-18 Lumpy link-up 6p 10c w/lane Loose Ends, Visual Aids, Loose Ends, Cheap Date, Outlander, All outstanding pitches!!

8-13-18 S.Face Petit Grepon 6p 5.8+ Deserving classic.

8-16 : 4am, Lanes back goes out while getting ready for the Diamond. Rest at high camp.

8-17-18 Casual Route, Wrong (Fields Chimney )start, Longs Peak 12p 5.10a/d.

Things went bad for us several times during this climb, some not easy to talk about, as we are supposed to be a savvy, and experienced climbers. Lanes spinal issues improve, but near the top of the ice(at the wrong start), he slipped and went down about 80 feet before hitting the scree below. He lost large chunks of skin on his thumb, shredding his clothes, and beating himself up in general. I was shocked to find that he wanted to continue. I threw him a rope, and he mini-traxed himself up the rope. Another party came up on our off route line, and had a worse slide down than Lane!! They too were wanting to continue behind us(The wrong way up  the Fields Chimney). I threw a rope to the traumatized moths headed to the next flame. I’ll let mt. project do the talking about the chimney experience that leads to the base of the Casual Route.

Perhaps the opposite of Casual, this steep, amazing line made me impressed with it’s climbing and all of the many parties that compete for its chains each day of the very short 6 week season. We got behind one party and barely in front of another. After enjoying the sweet climbing, we reached the last pitch just the lightning, rain and hail storm hit. I raced across the vertical traverse as it picked up, making it across just as water, and hail poured down the face. Poor Lane lost a few slings following, pulling a back rope through the fixed gear. His self preservation, and years of experience paying off again.


8-18-18 Cosmosis, Boulder Canyon 10a/d Stout, fun!!

8-19-18 Yellow Spur,  Redgarden Wall, Eldorado 6p 5.9+/5.10c Some of the most amazing climbing I have done. Enjoy some pics, some are from Lane, thanks.


Fire on the Mountain, Sloan pk.

“Well, that’s what we do during the summer!” replied Doug to my large list of complaints about my first overnight adventure during the hottest day of the year so far. At the top of my list was the heat. I figured at 7000’+ it would be cooler than the 97 degree temps in nearby Darrington.

FA report from Rad

2nd ascent from Sol

Stephs report 

Ryans report


We did the approach Saturday evening (6-930 pm). We suffered, but drank plenty of water, and it cooled off at the bivy below the snowfield.

Sunday we were off at 630, and immediately noticed a spike in the temps once above the snow. Crap, lets get a high as possible before the sun hits at 11 am! This too was a struggle with sustained, difficult, yet outstanding rock, and also operating as a party of 3. We managed to enjoy ourselves despite the pressure of returning home at a decent hour with reserves to work on Monday. Over half of the climbing was great fun, yet there is just enough lichen to make a negative taint to the minority terrain. With more traffic (hint, hint) it would make for one of the funner alpine routes around!! Hey for “Alpine Climbing”, it doesnt get much better than this in Washington state. Expect some 5.8 runouts, and moderate route-finding difficulties. Expect also a strenuous, and steep outing, especially if hot. Dont, however expect crowds, unless this spray does a number on it?

Back in 2008, while doing an fa of the SE Ridge of Sloan, Lane and I noticed this line, and vowed to return shortly thereafter, It was not long after that Rad and Blake scooped it! I was surprised to recently find out that our report and intrigue did not figure in their ascent. I am relieved that I did not have the duty of doing this line ground up! It was a proud ascent these 2 amazing climbers did, hats off to them!

Mighty Mouse!

“Some call it the best alpine rock climb on the West Coast”

Jenn and I went up to try Mighty Mouse again after getting rained, and crowded out of the area last year.

Again enjoying a warm up day at our beloved Squamish on Saturday, doing the classic: Rock On direct, with several fun parties ahead of us. I am so lucky that Jenn enjoys the same things as I. We have such fun together!

Sunday though we had the Joffre drainage to ourselves and got a fair shake at one of the best crack climbs I have ever experienced. Certainly in a class of top crack routes, this climb will bring nearly all shapes and sizes of crack and even start with some amazing face climbing!

Each of the pitches have a unique magic and mild terror to them. I have run into so many routes this season that carry a certain “Go-For -IT !” while doing the moves. This aggressive approach has worked out in most cases, because there have been good holds after the wind it up, and release of the moves. Climbing in this fashion above thin gear is wild!

The first pitch really sets the table, with strange moves and position that keeps you off balance, continuing its awkward, and strenuousness to the top of the 3rd pitch.

The triple crack pitch(p4) is short and feisty! probably my favorite pitch, insecure moves all the way to the top.

p5 was also super fun!! Trust me.

We split the 6th pitch into 2 pitches for safety, that first 11a crack is stiff and exemplifies the go for it!

The finish is astounding as well, so glad to have the older offset master cams, and a full set of c3’s. I used many of my single set of nuts, heavy on the smaller ones too. Sun, and mosquitos followed us the whole route. Later or earlier start =less sun. Belays/rappels are updated.

Our elderly waypoints: Up at 5am, 6-830 hike in, top at 3pm. car at 630, Seattle 1am

This route gives so much, but it will also take a lot of energy, head space, and time. Big day.

Deserving of the hype it will be a highlight of many climbers’ season.







Ancient Melodies, Exfoliation Dome

With temps in the 90s, it became necessary to build a list of routes that get limited sun exposure, have a higher altitude, AND ease of access. There aren’t that many however. The west faces of Liberty Bell group, and Wine spires meet the criteria, but you will feel the crowds of people and goats.

Research brought me to the Darrington, and to consider the Ancient Melodies route on the NW face of Exfoliation Dome as a shady option to nab a big route with “easy” access. Don’t take the Granite Sidewalk lightly!

Saturday: Sit by the river. rest and relax

It still took a rest day prior to the climb for me to possibly perform. I helped wrap up the mega work project so I was reeling from the week leading up to our plan. We camped at the end of the fs2060 for a prius.

Sunday: Up at 5 am, we had to get up most of the route to avoid the blistering sunny temps we knew would hit (sun hits route just after noon mid July). We simoed the first 3 pitches quickly and had little trouble on the clean lower slabs.

Slab climbing gets little love from climbers in general, but the 4 business pitches on this route were more face climbing than slabby friction. The movement was exciting too, requiring nerve and figuring out the delicate dancey sequences especially with the feet. Pure joy flowed from us as we marveled at the unique features and positions the route offered. The first of the 4 is a slick feeling traverse that has holds appear just when you need them and would be the money pitch on most climbs, but the next pitch is truly the money, with nonstop excitement all the way up to the chains. #3 business pitch is a fun/tips affair that should lend confidence at sending the crux? I was raring to go on the crux, because the route was so good, I wanted to do it justice( and never take the Granite Sidewalk approach again). With loud yells of effort, I did get the crux clean, finding it to be a couple of the toughest foot mantels I have ever done. I was skeptical that a “slab”route could justifiably receive as much love as it had on Mt. Project, but after climbing it: I can see it, and a renewed appreciation for top quality lower angle routes!