Showing posts from February, 2018

Hyalite Ice Clinic Weekend

Date: February 16-18, 2018 Trip Leader: Forest Dean Participants: Megan Monahan, Jerry Cintron, Steve Hancock, Chad Atwood, Quentin Rhoades
As part of our new mission of offering more outdoor educational opportunities, we signed up Whit Magro, one of the best ice climbers around, to give us a day of instruction in this world class ice climbing venue.  A fun weekend ensued!  We had 10 folks sign up but at the last minute 4 had to cancel to due to illness.  Thus, only six of us made the trip to Bozeman.  We rented a beautiful log home a few miles north of the city which served as our luxurious basecamp for the weekend. 
Saturday morning we met Whit at the Grotto Falls trailhead at 8:30 and then hiked up to the Unnamed Wall for a day of instruction and climbing.  We all learned a lot and got some good laps in.  Back to the house that evening and most of us stayed up way too late.  Somehow the foosball table made its way into the kitchen during the small hours and Steve and Forest took …

Pack Creek, Lolo Pass

Date: Sun. Feb. 11th, 2018
Trip Leader: Julie Kahl

The Irish traditional music tune Cold Frosty Morning kept going through my head today. Some of my people had canceled, and two more failed to show up at the meeting place -can’t blame them, it was 11 degrees - except Roy Regal. We discussed it and rather then trying to do Pack Creek with only 3 people to break trail, we opted to check out conditions at Lubrecht, or Seeley Lake if we didn’t like what we found at Lubrecht. We left Roy’s truck at The Comfort Suits on Broadway and went in our Tacoma.

These may have been the nicest conditions we’ve ever seen at Lubrecht. Plenty of snow -even off the groomed trails. All the trails were newly groomed, as they were having some kind of race there, today. We never saw any racers as we followed the outside D Trail. We were one of only a few parties that didn’t have dogs. Of course we "got lost" that is didn’t end up on the trails the way we wanted. In the morning it was sunny but still co…

Finley Creek Ice Climbing, Rattlesnake

Date: February 3, 2018 Trip Leader: Forest Dean Participants: Tom Herwerden, Brent Maier
This was an unannounced trip that came together at the last moment.  Posting it here mostly as beta for others.  The three of us met at the Wye on Saturday morning then drove to the Finley Lakes trailhead (no problem driving all the way right now).  A short 25 minute walk got us to the base of “The Graineater”, our first climb of the day.  I had climbed this 10 days earlier.  The difference was immense!  The warm temps are causing the ice to melt fast.  So sad!  Still, the ice was great- just really wet (imagine climbing in a constant drizzle).  I led up this WI4 route (two pitches), Tom followed.  Brent, being the third climber, got so cold at the wet belay station (above the first pitch) that he had to bag his chance at the top pitch).  We rapped down and then went over and climbed several pitches and variations on “The Thing in Between” (WI3).  Very wet here as well.  I would be surprised if t…

Mill Point, Bitterroot

Date: 2/3/2018
Trip leader: Joshua Phillips & Susanna Girolamo
Participants: John Bardsley, Dan Escalante, Eric Munsing, and Kylie Paul.

We had a great day in the mountains, skiing Mill Point, which sticks out into the Bitterroot Valley, making it visible from many spots in Missoula, even though it is nearly as far south as Hamilton. We started at the Mill Creek trailhead and had nearly a mile of walking before we donned our skis and skins. With the warm valley temps and rain, there was concern that it would be wet and warm up high, but it wasn't long before we were in full winter conditions, skinning through creamy powder. We dug a pit not far from the summit, and determined that the stability was reasonably good (no propagation in our extended column test). From the summit we skied down to Tag Alder Lake, and then did it again, before heading back down the way we had come up. Joshua had done this tour many times, providing a relaxed vibe to the outing. We were all happy and tir…