So today was one of those days – a mixy, unrope-able, unbonded ice climb with a class 4 snow wall. Welcome to ice climbing in the Pacific Northwest. This happens, more often than we’d
like. You head out to a known ice route, have to practically swim through snow to get there, only to find your climb less than ideal, way, way less than ideal.
Stellar Falls is approached from the Alpental Ski Hill. Hike along the left side of the main chair lift. And by left side I mean way left side. Hug the boundary tape so as to not get in the way of skiiers barreling down the hill or piss off the ski patrollers. You’ll see the falls on your left near the top of the chairlift. There is also an M-5 mixed route to the right of Stellar Falls. When I climbed it last year it was in big and fat with a solid WI3+ rating on the upper portion. Not so far this year. We tried to read the top to top rope some drytooling on the right hand side of the climb, but after hiking up (read snow wallowing in snow up to our waist) parallel with the top of the climb, the avy danger was too sketch to read the trees for top-roping.
So we had some fun filming this little video. Welcome to ice climbing in the pacific northwest.