November 21 Conditions

Posted: Sat, 11/21/2009 - 22:54

Dana, Megan and I had a great day over by Cooke City today. Here is what we saw/found. Considering the warmish weather we've been having, it's going off over there!

The South Face of Abiathar (above the picnic area) has some drips but nothing is formed.

Marlboro Madness looked big, blue and FAT! There is a curtain to start that you can't see that is the crux but my educated guess is that it's pretty good. This is one of the best routes in the Cooke area and really only worth doing early season before too much snow. Which is NOW!

I'm sure Hydromonster is great right now.

There are lots of icicles and drips up and above South of Summit. We didn't stop to scope them to see what might be doable or connectable.

Dancing with the Hippo looks incredible and is the route to do right now! It's bigger than the photo in "Winter Dance" but not as big as it has been other times. It is a great time to go get this excellent pitch!

The Y-Pitch (of Jeff and Jim's Excellent Adventure) looks good. The curtain at the bottom is better formed than the picture on page 305 of "Winter Dance." This is a good pitch. And if you explore upwards you might find more great climbing. It just depends if the hidden pitches are in. It is an awesome "Canadian" style route where you just keep going as high as the ice, conditions, time and stoke allow.

"Renewable Resource" is trying hard and right now but is a just a collection of stringy icicles.

Barronette Falls looks climbable but not all that thick. This route will get better.

There looks to be a variety of other things that creative climbers could piece together on Barronette. Again we didn't stop on the way out and on the way back it was snowing so couldn't see anything.

The Park Gate Climb was good. We climbed the middle main flow and it's wet and great ice. The easier flow to the left is very wet and thin at the top. The thin, narrow flow to the right is sort of there and would be a great toprope after climbing the main flow. It would be a great lead for someone into unprotectable, thin ice climbing (it's not very steep). There is also a mixed chimney on the right that would be great. You could TR it or just carry a rock rack and do it ground up. It looks very fun! There is also a shorter ice pitch leading up under a big chockstone on the far left. All-in-all, it's a fun little area. Take some slings for rappel anchors around the trees if you do more than the main flows.

Silver Gate Right and Silver Gate Center look very good as well. The Center Pillar looks HARD. A nice pitch for those looking for bad-ass ice pillars.

It was snowing hard off and on all day but otherwise there was little snow. Approaches are very easy right now. Good luck and have fun.

Onward, JoJo