Catskills 3/12/17

Discussion in 'New York - South' started by Alpine Endeavors, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. Alpine Endeavors

    Alpine Endeavors AMGA Certified Rock and Alpine Guide Northeast Ice Climbing Guide

    I drove up to the Catskills today to take a peek at things. There was ice on our roadside barometers up Kaaterskill Clove. From what I saw, I'd guess Jeff's Wet Dream is climbable as well as some of the walls of Hillyer. Moore's looked close for a few lines - you could scratch your way up a few now. There was ice at Asbestos. You could see ice up in Buttermilk.
    In Platte Clove, Bridal Veil was coming back. It looked like the left side would go and possible the right if your delicate. In the Kitchen there was thin, new ice everywhere. The Smear was in thin smear form - the start would be difficult, the corners had ice and we did the middle. Keep in mind nothing looked that great for screws, at least not yet. Hopefully the cold temps will keep things building and we'll all have to dig back out the ice gear from the closet for a few more runs. If you head out, be aware of the exposure changing conditions without much notice.
     

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  2. Tavis

    Tavis New Member

    Just a few follow-ons. I also headed out today but didn't get to climb anything due to a mix of bad beta and poor planning.

    We started at Deep Notch, where the main routes had ice but once I slogged up the hill and got close I realized it wasn't protectable and was delaminated a bit near the top (water rushing behind it). There's a rock face between them that seemed like an easy lead even in boots (and then set up a top rope on the ice) but I didn't have any cams. The ice is coming back though.

    On to Platte Clove, where I basically saw the scene described in the above post. I heard but couldn't see a couple of climbers in upper Devil's Kitchen from above, not sure what they were doing. It looked like a lot of harder mixed stuff was available. Bridal Veil Falls looked in, but at a higher grade (some icicle climbing required to get all the way up) and very wet. Might be good next weekend if the cold keeps up. Plattekill Falls is out and doesn't look promising.

    Then to Stoney Clove. A couple of the climbs looked in from the road (Entertainer and one other, not sure which) and unlike Deep Notch, these can be walk-up top roped if it looks worse close up. So probably the best area for moderate stuff. There were lots of ice bands hanging high on the East side of the road. The areas along 23A (Asbestos Wall, Moore's Bridge, etc.) all had strips of ice that could be climbed in their various ways.

    The short: A lot of stuff was out, but several things were in or coming back. I wish I had brought a set of cams -- there were lots of places where the ice was solid but thin and a rock placement or two could have made some routes protectable. Given the weather forecast, next weekend seems promising.
     
  3. Gary Scavette

    Gary Scavette Member

    With the thin conditions I didn't bother to bring lead gear and thought I'd squeeze in a day of toproping yesterday (Saturday 3/18). The Asbestos wall had a few lines where the ice made it to the ground. Overall it was a great morning and the conditions offered many opportunities to hone up on mixed climbing skills. Once the sun was high and the big stuff started falling....I left.
     
  4. Coati

    Coati New Member

    Our group and a guided group from Mountain Skillz got on the entertainer and the three routes right on 3/18. No complaints on getting gear in. Little black dike looked to be in. Other routes on the west side (e.g that climb) looked thin or baked/detached. East crag and nearby routes looked to be possibly good. The playground was in on the far left, the pillar on the right was just touching down enough to be delicate and everything in the middle was still forming up.

    Today, 3/19, we went into dark side. Didn't get all the way down, to check out subtraction, but much of the other routes were fairly dry. Went down to scotch on the rocks, this route was bone dry.

    Within 3 minutes of walking over toward bridalveil falls to take a closer look, we watched the majority of the left side of bridalveil falls come down, from the base of scotch on the rocks. Something in our subconscious prevailed about the warming conditions, higher water flow and wet looking columns of ice... Insanity!

    The lower kitchen looked like it had reasonable climbable ice to at least be TRed.
     

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