High Sierra Couloir Report

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marky

climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Aug 9, 2006 - 10:10pm PT
What have folks seen? Anyone willing to make a forecast of how the classic gullies will look in late September?
BCD

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Aug 10, 2006 - 07:40am PT
I was snowboarding on the north side of Conness two weeks ago. No ice showing anywhere. The snow is kind of freezing at night, and turning to corn/slush during the day.
eeh

climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Aug 10, 2006 - 08:18am PT
Climbed the north couloir of Mt. Gilbert in late July. There was about one pitch of "ice" and the rest was snow. Things are melting fast....climate change?
marky

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 11, 2006 - 09:26am PT
thanks. anyone else?
stich

Trad climber
Denver, Colorado
Aug 11, 2006 - 09:31am PT
I can't go climb your couloirs. Lost my mountain axe. It was weird. I went and did the Navajo snowfield, hiked back to the car, drove home, went inside and the axe was gone in the morning. No kidding.

Then I found the pile of burned clothing behind the apartment and the scars on my arms.

I shouldn't be talking about this I think.

Errrrrr.
Ksolem

Trad climber
LA, Ca
Aug 11, 2006 - 09:33am PT
We were up at Feather Peak a few days ago. All neve snow, no ice. My buddies climbed it anyway and said there is at least 36" of snow over the ice all the way up....


Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Aug 11, 2006 - 10:05am PT
What was this past winter like in the Sierra? A lot of snow? What's the snowpack like now?
Gary

climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Aug 11, 2006 - 10:10am PT
A lot of late snow, Patrick. The snow is still lingering in unusual places for this time of year.
eeh

climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Aug 11, 2006 - 10:13am PT
Last winter we had record-breaking snowfall. One of largest amounts of snow we have ever received in a season, depending upon which data set you use. A few higher lakes just recently melted out and the mosquitos are still in full effect, if that gives you an idea of the amount of snow left.
Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Aug 11, 2006 - 10:14am PT
Late snow, end of season pack 120% Tahoe north, 100% normal central and slightly below in the south. But it continued relatively late with a cool spring

DMT
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Aug 11, 2006 - 02:10pm PT
Thanks people.
hossjulia

Trad climber
Eastside
Aug 11, 2006 - 02:57pm PT
The Tioga Pass area seemed to be the epicenter of the storms, recieving 200% of normal snowpack, or something over 700 inches.
check out www.esavalanche.org and go through the old avy reports for spring, interesting, albiet scary stuff!

There was a young fellow in a couple of days ago who skied , I think, The North Peak coulior. He said it was firm, with runnels in it, and some sun cups.
Ultrabiker

Ice climber
Eastside
Aug 11, 2006 - 06:31pm PT
If the Day/Night variable temps continue as they have around here, we may see some "Classic" Couloir Ice, MAYBE, begin appearing in late Sept on the following Classic's:

NP East and West, Gilbert, Smrz, Knutson, Harrington, Moynier, Feather(Big MAYBE), Mendel Rt Side and cross your fingers, ICE NINE may even be in and out for a couple of days in very late Sept.

So far, as KSOLEM mentioned, there is a top layer of at least 24-36"s of this years snowpack/neve still covering many of the Sierra Classic's Ice.
marky

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 24, 2006 - 05:34pm PT
has anyone looked at anything lately?
T2

climber
Cardiff by the sea
Aug 24, 2006 - 09:08pm PT
Here is what the V notch and the U notch looked like last weekend Marky.


Ultrabiker

Ice climber
Eastside
Aug 25, 2006 - 05:32am PT
"ICE NINE" is DOA for this season...so far. Pray for a drip in the next couple of weeks! Same for "Moynier"...ahhhhhhhhhh! I need my Ice fix soooooooon!
10b4me

Trad climber
California
Aug 29, 2006 - 09:43pm PT
anybody been up the Dana Couloir lately?
what's the 'schrund like? neve or AI?
james Colborn

Trad climber
Truckee, Ca
Aug 30, 2006 - 07:51am PT
Dana Last thursday with a party of three. One in the party was not so solid so we roped up and simul climbed it in one long pitch. It's low angle enough to use a long axe. Neve frozen corn snow conditions prevail, w/ one small patch of ice on the upper right of the couloir. The Schrund is bridged in three places, left, center, and right side. We went for the center. The route is very moderate, with lots of scoops for rests, if your solid I reccommend soloing the route. As with most climbs in the backcountry the approach is more brutal than the climb.

Mick how about posting some of the photos. James
Patrick Sawyer

climber
Originally California now Ireland
Aug 30, 2006 - 08:58am PT
That 'schrund on Palisade Glacier looks larger than I have seen it before. T2 did you climb either notch and if so what was the 'shcrund like to cross?


I can't believe the last time I was on the Palisade Glacier was in 1973 (U-Notch and North Pal).
clustiere

Trad climber
Durango, CO
Aug 30, 2006 - 12:04pm PT
Did V notch two weeks ago and it was perfect nieve, the center was starting to ice up and that will likely continue for a while. The U notch was nieve too and the right side was icing up. The nieve was sweet, like ice climbing but easier, definately not a slog!!
bearbnz

Trad climber
Bridgeport, CA
Aug 30, 2006 - 03:14pm PT
Here is a photo of the North Peak couloirs from Monday August 21. Definitely snow, but firm snow in the A.M.
Ultrabiker

Ice climber
Eastside
Aug 30, 2006 - 06:25pm PT
WOW!!!!! Check out #2 or the Center Couloir!!! Looks like the funnel up top (2/3rds of the way up and can't be seen clearly) goes through!!! BEARBNZ's, did you notice if that is true. If it is, that is a fine line and goes @ WI4+/5 with an 80deg 5-8' wide by 40' long deep channel that only forms once every, well, last time I saw it/did it was back in 98'. Got to go SOLO it...maybe tomorrow!
marky

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 19, 2006 - 12:07pm PT
anyone checked out Mendel N Face lately? Palisades?
Scott_Nelson

Trad climber
San Diego
Sep 19, 2006 - 12:18pm PT
I heard Ice Nine was melted out as of July. = (
Too hot this summer I guess.

Other coulouirs look to be shaping up.
Mick K

climber
Northern Sierra
Sep 19, 2006 - 12:36pm PT
James: I just came across this thread today. Here is my attempt at posting a photo of Mt. Dana [edit: I finally figured it out]. If you can see from the picture the differnce between the old ice and this year's neve. With the current cold temps I would say that most gullies will be very nice neve. If you want the old ice you have to find a gully that did not retain the snow pack form last years record season.





rhyang

Ice climber
SJC
Sep 19, 2006 - 01:07pm PT
The impression I get is that the gradual transformation from snow to neve to ice is only one part of the picture. Melt / freeze cycles and rainfall helps that process.

I was up in the east couloir of Split this past June with someone who swears he had seen ice in it four years before. Only it was too warm and we found a waterfall where the steep ice would be formed (in colder temps). However, last November there was a nice pitch of WI3 there (see pics on summitpost - I've met all the guys who climbed it last Nov).

It probably requires snowmelt and colder temps to form the steep ice in Split's east couloir and maybe Ice Nine & Moynier too. Potentially all these may re-form later in the season with the return of colder weather. But I have never been up any of these. Just my guess.
ADK

Trad climber
Reno, Nevada
Sep 19, 2006 - 01:49pm PT
Soloed the dana couloir on saturday car to car 4.5 hours. There is not much blue ice, mostly neve. The schrund is easy to cross on the left side and there are many rests along the way. I was running pretty late on accident but id recommend it for an amazing sunset
addiroid

Big Wall climber
Long Beach, CA
Sep 19, 2006 - 04:06pm PT
Did North Peak last weekend. It was neve. The schrund was passable on the left with about a 6' climb on vertical styrofoam or a shitty rock/neve chimney/ow on the left. Pretty solo'able for someone who knows their sh#t (not me) when it comes to ice. The rest of the route was nice with the final third being easy enough to grab the top of the shaft of the tool, and walk up on all 4's.

Great to run up the NW ridge of Conness too after that!!

marky

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Sep 20, 2006 - 10:13pm PT
bump
crotch

climber
Sep 20, 2006 - 10:46pm PT
Both the St. Jean and the central coulior on Split are melted out as of 3 weeks ago.
rhyang

Ice climber
SJC
Sep 25, 2006 - 11:27am PT
Thanks for the beta about Split. When you say 'central' couloir do you mean the East couloir (the one with the chimney pitch) ? Which part appeared to be melted out ?

(oh, and bump :)
crotch

climber
Sep 25, 2006 - 01:44pm PT
re: Split Central- I was referring to the couloir between the two Galen Rowell aretes (NE Arete and NW Arete) in the 100 Sierra Classics book. OK, back from a look on Summitpost. I'm talking about the E. Couloir. Sorry for the confusion.

There were patches of snow covering maybe 20-40% of the E. Couloir, but mostly dry rock, especially down low. I'll try and post a pic some time this week. I was surprised because from 395, it looked like the couloir might be "in".
crotch

climber
Sep 25, 2006 - 08:10pm PT
Split E. Couloir in August.

rhyang

Ice climber
SJC
Sep 25, 2006 - 09:17pm PT
Thanks ! Well, I guess the approach would have sucked anyway...
forjan

Ice climber
Los Angeles, CA
Sep 26, 2006 - 11:54am PT
crotch,
Sh*t! I was gonna with rhyang in early November to do this one. What date exactly in August did you take this pic of Split Mtn's East (Central) Couloir?
crotch

climber
Sep 26, 2006 - 01:58pm PT
It would have been labor day weekend.
rhyang

Ice climber
SJC
Sep 30, 2006 - 06:46pm PT
Soloed the left couloir on North Peak today : all neve, 45-ish degrees, two melted out spots (probably class 3 or so).

Bottom half of right couloir looked like it was still neve, but didn't see much more than that - wanted to beat any incoming weather. It was all neve when I soloed it on 10-Sept.

I can never figure out what's going on in that middle couloir :)
rockermike

Mountain climber
Berkeley
Oct 1, 2006 - 01:39pm PT
North couloir on North Peak Sep 23 (right most route). Frozen styrofoam the whole way. 15 foot vertical step crossing the schrund then smooth sailing. Fun. Good link-up with north ridge of Conness if you are in shape (found outI'm not) :-) 17 degrees at saddleback lake the previous night. Burrrr..
10b4me

Trad climber
California
Oct 1, 2006 - 09:10pm PT
went in to solo the Dana couloir yesterday. very little ice, weather was threatening, and there were two people moving pretty slow on the route. decided to cancel the climb.

salad

climber
San Diego
Oct 1, 2006 - 11:35pm PT
any info on Gilbert?
crotch

climber
Oct 3, 2006 - 10:20pm PT
We climbed the Cats Ears Couloir on Mt. Dade on Sunday. Mostly neve with a few patches of ice. Schrund is not a problem. There's a loose class 3 rock band about 100' above the schrund. As we reached the top of the couloir the skies opened up and didn't let up until the next morning. I'd guess that a foot or more of fresh snow fell above 12,000' in the Rock Creek area this weekend.

The previous weekend, we climbed Dana & found perfect styrofoam with about 75' of optional blue ice in the middle of the gully.
markhusbands

Mountain climber
Mariposa, CA
Oct 16, 2006 - 08:54am PT
Any recent info on the Mendel Couloirs or V-notch Couloir?
cybele

Ice climber
finally, west of the Mississippi
Oct 18, 2006 - 10:49am PT
Bump. Anybody have any more info? Thanks.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Oct 18, 2006 - 11:48am PT
Huh?...Smrz? Knutson? Harrington (I'm guessing maybe Split Mt.)?
TYeary

Mountain climber
Calif.
Oct 18, 2006 - 12:02pm PT
I was on Gilbert Oct.,2-4. It was in good condition. Sorry no pics. Snowed 2-3 inches on us at camp. A bit more above. Made the moraine approach very tedious.
Tony
travelin_light

Trad climber
california
Oct 18, 2006 - 12:28pm PT
TYeary,
When you say, "Gilbert was in good condition," do you mean alpine ice? snow,styrofoam?
tdoughty

Mountain climber
descanso, ca
Oct 18, 2006 - 01:23pm PT
N. Gully, Mt. Emmerson 10-8-06

markhusbands

Mountain climber
Mariposa, CA
Oct 18, 2006 - 04:40pm PT
well, looks sort of icy above the cups.
markhusbands

Mountain climber
Mariposa, CA
Oct 19, 2006 - 03:45pm PT
any recent trip reports to mendel or the palisades?
travelin_light

Trad climber
california
Oct 19, 2006 - 03:54pm PT
ha! Funny you should say that. My buddies went up to the U-Notch last weekend. There was so much snow I guess it took five hours to reach the coulior from the moraine. I guess there was some ice (i have not got the details yet). They did two pitches and got stormed off. They said it was cold as hell. you boys out there? post up!
markhusbands

Mountain climber
Mariposa, CA
Oct 19, 2006 - 04:31pm PT
not encouraging...
TYeary

Mountain climber
Calif.
Oct 19, 2006 - 06:27pm PT
Gilbert had about 2-3 inches of fresh, wet snow over alpine ice. Short streach of water ice in the middle section. Some black ice as well. Upper half was all ice covered by a few inches of snow. All in all pretty nice. I hear it snowed again dumping more snow so perhaps the game's over for this year.
Tony
ADK

climber
truckee
Oct 23, 2006 - 04:50pm PT
Anyone know if the colouir climbing is still good for this coming weekend? Any specific info would be appreciated...thinking of going down the east side for a sat. climb.
dave

climber
Earth
Oct 23, 2006 - 06:02pm PT
Did N.E. Couloir, North Peak yeaterday. Mostly styro foam/ neve some patches of harder stuff. I put in a couple of 22cm. screws which seemed to bite into something inspiring. Fun, no wind and a beautiful day.
ADK

climber
truckee
Oct 24, 2006 - 12:12am PT
Thanks Dave
marky

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Oct 24, 2006 - 12:26am PT
did Dana couloir yesterday. mix of frozen snow, alpine ice, and dinner-plating water ice. would have been a romp had I not been sick.
rhyang

Ice climber
SJC
Oct 24, 2006 - 08:40am PT
hey Mark - when you say 'alpine ice' I assume you mean neve ? How much water ice was actually present ? Got any pics ?
rhyang

Ice climber
SJC
Oct 29, 2006 - 08:41pm PT
Answered my own question - went and soloed the Dana Couloir this morning. Lots of hard neve, a couple hundred feet of blue ice in the top half or so in streaks and patches, some pockets of fresh snow (well relatively fresh anyway), and some aerated whitish ice here and there.

Seemed like it would be fairly easy to avoid most of the ice in the couloir if one so desired (and I did not :)

Solstice Couloir looked like it was still filled in to the top. When I soloed it on 9-Sept it was all neve, but I thought I caught a glimpse of blue up high this morning ... maybe it was just a shadow ...
McC

Trad climber
Livermore Ca
Oct 31, 2006 - 12:08am PT
Hiked the right-most of the three couloirs left of the summit of North Peak on Saturday-10/28. Neve with no ice exposed. Some exercise but no adrenaline. Left-most gully had rocks exposed in 2 places -- looked easy to get over or around the rocks. Upper prtions of the middle gully appeared entirely melted out. Nice views from the top -- another beautiful day in the Sierra.

Friends of a friend climbed Ice 9 in mid-September. Sounded and looked like even less ice than 9/04 when I last climbed it -- so little ice to get over crux chockstone that they took off their crampons to climb up to and through the crux, and about 50 feet higher. Said they found the most beautiful line of ice had "ever laid eyes on. The ice was FAT, crystal clear, and there was no evidence of anyone ever having climbed it." Nice job Brian and Calvin!
marky

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 8, 2006 - 01:33pm PT
any news? thinking of getting a last blast in this weekend. Mendel? Palisades?
rhyang

Ice climber
SJC
Nov 13, 2006 - 12:14am PT
We saw ice in the couloir on Mt. Gilbert on Sunday, perhaps 2 or 3 pitches worth.

But it depends on how much you want it. The approach slabs weren't too bad, even with a dusting of snow from Saturday's storm, and this melted off during the day. The several inches of freshies and ice on the seemingly endless talus was what really sucked though.

I understand that another system is coming in Monday. Oh well... the mountain will still be there next year.
rockermike

Mountain climber
Berkeley
Nov 17, 2006 - 08:42am PT
Your right about Gilbert. We went in all the way to the base Wednesday (11/15). Beautiful water ice up high but miles of post-holing in one to two feet of fresh snow over big talus fields. What a stressful work out - one wrong step and you'd drop in up to you neck between two huge boulders. Then we got to the base of the couloir and started getting big "thawamps.." as the wind-packed powder slab settled over sugar snow. Time to turn and run... What a disappointment.

Next year I'll be back.
rhyang

Ice climber
SJC
Nov 17, 2006 - 12:41pm PT
Yep, sounds familiar ... but it was great to be out there anyway.



Curse you Red Baron ...
Scott_Nelson

Trad climber
San Diego
Dec 23, 2006 - 03:05pm PT
What shape do you think Gilbert would be in right now? The approach might be less tedious with snow covering the boulders?
marky

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 8, 2007 - 10:28pm PT
It's getting to be that time... anyone with info?
Misha

Trad climber
Woodside, CA
Jul 8, 2007 - 11:48pm PT
As of July 2, Kindergarten Chute is starting to form and Checkered Demon is partially melted out (and looks mighty ugly)
rhyang

Ice climber
SJC
Jul 9, 2007 - 09:22am PT
Ice in the V-Notch, as of 1-July

(marky - weren't you up on Sill with Mike around then ? Didja see the U-Notch at all ?)
eeh

climber
East Side
Jul 31, 2007 - 03:36pm PT
FYI. Mt Gilbert is done for the year. It is totally melted out and nasty in the middle section, which was just thin last year. Mt Thompson has lots of crevasses, several quite massive, on the snow field/glacier leading up to the couloirs. We didn't end up climbing the couloirs for various reasons, but it is questionable as to whether they even go to the top. I really hope it snows next winter!
ADK

climber
truckee
Aug 24, 2007 - 08:58am PT
bump.
Mike Dahlquist

Trad climber
Berkeley, CA
Sep 4, 2007 - 08:28am PT
Anyone go up to Palisade Glacier for Labor Day weekend? I was thinking about trying to climb the V-Notch or U-Notch next weekend but I'm hoping they don't resemble the North Face couloirs on Norman Clyde Peak, which were ugly and full of mud on Sunday. If anyone climbed either Notch or even looked at them let me know what you saw. Thanks!
marky

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Aug 21, 2008 - 10:31pm PT
anyone have any recent info?

klinefelter

Boulder climber
Bishop, CA
Aug 22, 2008 - 08:18am PT
A depressing view of Palisade Glacier from last weekend.
GDavis

Trad climber
SoCal
Aug 22, 2008 - 08:34am PT
How's dana looking?
BCD

Trad climber
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Aug 22, 2008 - 09:50am PT
Feather Peak on Wednesday the 20th:

Dingus Milktoast

climber
NorCal
Aug 22, 2008 - 09:57am PT
Was up at Conness a couple weeks back - the Dana Couloir is definitely still filled in. Ed Hartouni was up on the Plateau about 3 or 4 weeks ago. He might be able to fill you in on whether it was neve or ice.

DMT
GDavis

Trad climber
SoCal
Aug 22, 2008 - 10:53am PT
Yee-haw!
Brian Granger

climber
Aug 22, 2008 - 07:47pm PT
Has anyone attempted or been near Mt. Emerson North Couloir and/or Checkered Demon couloir (Peak 13112') in the last couple of weeks? Is there a climable snow/ice line that leads nearly to the top? If the routes have reasonable ice coverage, I'd like to climb them next weekend. Looking for a partner if anyone is interested?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 23, 2008 - 11:58am PT
looks dirty, whatever it is...
Dana Couloir
bradL

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe, NV
Sep 2, 2009 - 05:29pm PT
Anybody been in a couloir lately? I'm going to climb the V-Notch in late September. Hoping for quality ice-cube-blue ice.
Tork

climber
Yosemite
Sep 2, 2009 - 07:11pm PT
Feather Peak was looking thin!

Logdog

Trad climber
Sierra Nevada
Sep 2, 2009 - 07:19pm PT
THe Dana and north peak couloirs are looking to be in good shape by september. All were mainly snow with small patches of ice starting to show as of mid August. Anybody have any info/ pics of the palisades this year?
Blue Eisele

Big Wall climber
Reno, NV
Sep 2, 2009 - 10:08pm PT
bump
bradL

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe, NV
Sep 5, 2009 - 09:55pm PT
bump...
10b4me

Ice climber
the reticient boulder at the Happies
Sep 6, 2009 - 12:21pm PT
a friend of mine is up there this weekend. he is scouting out the couloirs on Dana, and North Peak. will report once he gets back.
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Jun 8, 2010 - 09:35pm PT
Keeping an eye on this one.
apogee

climber
Jun 8, 2010 - 10:21pm PT
Keep on keepin' an eye until about September...
marv

Mountain climber
Bay Area
Aug 5, 2010 - 06:51pm PT

any info? thinking of warming up on dana and north peak this weekend
The Chief

Trad climber
from the Land where Free Mongols still roam!
Aug 5, 2010 - 10:28pm PT
"Ice Nine" & "The RT Side" are dry as a bone as of yesterday....

10b4me

Boulder climber
The End Is Near Retirement Home
Aug 5, 2010 - 10:29pm PT
both those should be ok, although there might be more neve than ice.
btw, the Checkered Demon looks like it is melted out.
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Aug 5, 2010 - 10:47pm PT
man, it was brutal up there the other day!

Credit: Reilly
The Chief

Trad climber
from the Land where Free Mongols still roam!
Aug 5, 2010 - 11:10pm PT
both those should be ok, although there might be more neve than ice

I certainly hope that you are not referring to Ice Nine or The Rt Side... we went to the base of both looking and hoping and nada, just this past Tuesday.

Ended up climbing directly to the left of Ice Nine in doing so most likely made an FA of the NF of Mendel. Seven pitches of 5.9 very loose shet.
Jay Hack

Trad climber
bellingham, Washington
Aug 6, 2010 - 06:45am PT
Wow, that just blows my mind that in a year that the Sierra snow pack was 143% of normal, that Ice Nine and Right Mendel are already melted out. Nice up close pictures though, thank you for the update.
crøtch

climber
Aug 6, 2010 - 11:21am PT
Checkered Demon is melted out.

Kindergarten Couloir is holding snow from bottom to top.
Hoots

climber
Toyota Tacoma
Aug 18, 2010 - 09:21pm PT
Anybody know how North Peak or V notch is looking right now? Thanks!
marv

Mountain climber
Bay Area
Aug 19, 2010 - 09:33am PT
bump
Brian

climber
California
Aug 19, 2010 - 10:43am PT
Chief,

Thanks for saving me the hike over Lamarck Col!

Brian
GDavis

Social climber
SOL CAL
Aug 26, 2010 - 02:00pm PT
Anyone head up the U/V notches? How do these look? Would they be in decent shape, in yer opinion, in a week? Anywhere else that is? Looking to do my first sierra coulior this season, any ideas help! Thanks!
rhyang

climber
SJC
Aug 26, 2010 - 02:07pm PT
Saw some pics of the Kindergarten Couloir (left chute on Checkered Demon) from earlier this month -- looked good. Only did it once in 2005, but it seemed about the same steepness as the Dana Couloir. I'd probably give it another several weeks though.
BMcC

Trad climber
Livermore
Aug 26, 2010 - 02:42pm PT
The Chief - THANKS for the pics of Mendel right and ice nine in your 8/5/10 post.

I've done the both routes on Mendel a bunch of times and seen them more diminished each time (gave up on the right side years ago). Never, ever have I seen them so melted out and so grim as in your pictures. Very, very sad. You've squelched my thoughts about trying to convince someone to do ice nine with me this year. Dang it, but thanks.


CURRENT CONDITIONS??

In another thread, I recently posted some pics and a TR from N Pk, Dana, and U Notch from 3 weeks ago (8/3-5/10). My observations of the conditions back then:
N Peak – fun styrofoam snow with some ice.
Dana – sloppy snow over old ice with some rock debris already making its appearance.
U Notch – soft, almost sloppy snow with some ice up high in the couloir – lots and lots of loose rocks ready to launch.

Conditions are perhaps now better and more icy than then. Probably getting better as the season progresses. Hit them before the sun shines on 'em and have a good time. Helmet and good luck suggested.

Another observation: hiked the sunny north couloir (original route) on Mt. Abbot (13,704') on 8/16/10. Ski poles and approach shoes were adequate for the relatively mellow suncupped snow. Party of 2 who came up as I was descending used their crampons and axes.

With last winter's decent snowfall, it's amazing to see Mendel so dry in The Chief's pictures. Dang.
BMcC

Trad climber
Livermore
Aug 27, 2010 - 01:00pm PT
Though I don't think this is one of the classic Sierra couloirs, here are a couple of Mt. Abbot pics showing the snow (not ice) conditions from 8/16/10:
Mt. Abbot (N Couloir splits the face just right of the summit)...
Mt. Abbot (N Couloir splits the face just right of the summit) and Petit Griffon (rock spire in the col between Abbot and Mills) - 8/16/10
Credit: BMcC
Mt. Abbot - view looking down the N Couloir from the summit ridge - 8/...
Mt. Abbot - view looking down the N Couloir from the summit ridge - 8/16/10
Credit: BMcC
Flanders!

Trad climber
June Lake, CA
Aug 27, 2010 - 01:55pm PT
did the Feather Peak Coulior on 8.26.10

The Royce Lakes at the base of Feather Peak
The Royce Lakes at the base of Feather Peak
Credit: Flanders!
Feather Peak Coulior on Aug. 26, 2010
Feather Peak Coulior on Aug. 26, 2010
Credit: Flanders!
great ice in the upper part of the Coulior
great ice in the upper part of the Coulior
Credit: Flanders!


Doug
rhyang

climber
SJC
Aug 27, 2010 - 02:41pm PT
Beautiful shots Doug !
rhyang

climber
SJC
Sep 16, 2010 - 10:32pm PT
Soloed the Dana Couloir this morning -



Bergschrund is open, but there was a good snowbridge on the right hand side. The ice now stretches all the way across the couloir, but less so on the left. Beautiful textured ice, clear as glass in some places.

superbum

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Oct 2, 2010 - 08:24pm PT
Any up to date info on Feather?

Or any other Sierra Ice?

Let's keep the beta buoyant!

vic

10-02-10
superbum

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Oct 2, 2010 - 08:26pm PT
sorta recent:

http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Feather-Peak-North-Couloir-lots-of-pictures-9-12-10/t10772n.html
BMcC

Trad climber
Livermore
Oct 2, 2010 - 09:28pm PT
Took several North Peak couloir pics on Sunday-9/26/10 while hiking the N Ridge on N Peak.

Conditions:
The ice in the right couloir looks very nice.
Left couloir has lots of exposed rock and debris in its upper 3rd -- wouldn't go there if i were you.
Middle couloir is much less appealing than on 9/8/10 when it held no appeal whatsoever...

Posted the recent pics on the earlier North Peak TR thread:
http://www.supertopo.com/tr/Tis-the-season-back-to-North-Peak-left-and-right-couloirs-9-8-10/t10762n.html

motoservo

Big Wall climber
Austin, TX
Oct 5, 2010 - 11:47am PT
Went to climb Left Mendel Couloir (Ice 9) this weekend. Didn't get close enough to really see the condition of the ice but there was lots of it. Got hit with what I assume is the first significant snowfall of the season when we woke up Sunday morning so we had to turn back.
Mt Mendel (Ice 9 ) from across the col on Sunday October 3rd, 2010.
Mt Mendel (Ice 9 ) from across the col on Sunday October 3rd, 2010.
Credit: motoservo
WML

Ice climber
Biggest Little City, NV
Oct 5, 2010 - 10:49pm PT
Did you happen to see if the upper portion of the climb was filled out (obscured by clouds in this pic) or had the clouds rolled in too early?

Has anyone else been up there?

Also, anyone know if Darwin's N Face is iced over or snow/neve?
rhyang

climber
SJC
Oct 17, 2010 - 08:49am PT
Red Slate Mountain's north couloir yesterday -



Simul-soloed with a couple of guys from socal (John and Sean) who happened to get there at the same time. ~6 inches of snow in the couloir from the last storm, so you need a partner just to help break trail :)

But there was still some ice & neve exposed, making for a fun climb. The left turn about 3/4 of the way up led to three sub-chutes with some fun & easy mixed. Top out is literally yards from the summit.
BMcC

Trad climber
Livermore
Oct 17, 2010 - 10:25pm PT
Rhyang - congrats on getting Red Slate before more snow fell. Nice pic! Thanks for the update on conditions.
marv

Mountain climber
Bay Area
Oct 30, 2010 - 09:13am PT
would love to get on some alpine ice one week from today... maybe the recent snowfall will have blown/melted off (four or five days of sunny high-pressure forecast)

anyone got fresh beta?
Bad Climber

climber
Oct 30, 2010 - 09:29am PT
Great photo of Red Slate! That makes a fine solo. I've done most of the classic couloirs in the Sierras, and for my taste, when the angle isn't that steep, I prefer doing them in early season, snowy conditions. I've done the right Mendel three times, always somewhat early season. This means the easy angled stuff is solid neve/step kicking, and the steep narrow part is nice ice. I've also seen some spectacular rock fall down the N. face of Mendel, too. I'm not kidding--HOUSE-sized boulders roaring into the basin, clouds of dust. We could easily make out the different facets of the monster chunk as it spun down the wall. We were camped on the opposite side of the valley below Lemark Col. On that trip, we climbed Darwin instead!

BAd
WML

Ice climber
Biggest Little City, NV
Oct 30, 2010 - 12:54pm PT
late-season condition update from anyone on any and all couloirs?


thanks!
powderdan

Social climber
mammoth lakes
Oct 30, 2010 - 01:35pm PT
powder!
PeteC

climber
Oct 30, 2010 - 02:20pm PT
ignore powderdan. he says that about 100 times a day. it's like Tourette's Syndrome.
marv

Mountain climber
Bay Area
Nov 5, 2010 - 06:36pm PT
unsettled weather bump
powderdan

Social climber
mammoth lakes
Nov 6, 2010 - 10:15pm PT
powder!!!
PeteC

climber
Nov 6, 2010 - 10:27pm PT
see what I mean..
NMR

Trad climber
Berkeley
Apr 28, 2012 - 10:07pm PT
With the impending opening of Tioga Pass I am curious what some of these routes look like this time of year. I know the alpine ice conditions wouldn't be present but, for example, would the Dana couloir be an enjoyable snow climb in May? Or will it just be too warm wet snow?
NMR

Trad climber
Berkeley
Apr 29, 2012 - 01:19pm PT
Bump?
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