Finley Creek/Ice Climbing

Date: December 2, 2017
Trip Leader: Forest Dean
Participants: Tom Herwerden, Fintan Macguire, Susanna Phillips, Brent Maier

After a promising start to winter in early November, things haven’t really cooperated the last few weeks.  Three weeks ago I had hiked up Finley Creek (west side of Rattlesnake) to check out the developing ice formations- things were coming along well.  Ever since we’ve had warm temps and rain.  Not good for ice!  However, with the Bozeman Ice Festival next weekend, several of us were desperate to get out and swing our tools.  We drove to the Finley trailhead and hiked up the trail 15 minutes to where one can see the ice formations on the south side of the canyon.  There wasn’t a whole lot of ice to see.  We first hiked up to The Thing In Between (WI 3).  Ice was very thin here- just icicles and chandeliers.  We then walked over to The Graineater (WI 4-5).  Here we were able to take turns climbing approx. 40 feet up to a spot where again the ice was just too thin for our ability levels.  Was still good to place (if not exactly “swing”) our tools.  This was Tom’s first time on ice and he looked great!

After messing around at the base of Graineater for a couple hours we decided to hike up the canyon a ways just for fun (I was the only one of us who has been up here).  We hiked to the first lake, had a look around, then hiked out.  All in all, just a fun day getting out!


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