Pine Creek - Road/Climb conditions
Went up to Pine Creek today, had an interesting day thanks to nature.
If you're heading to the trailhead, please bring a saw and cut the tree that is sticking out into the road. It can be avoided by having a passenger lift up and over the vehicle or by steering to the side (might be too close to the ditch for some vehicles). So... bring a saw. At one point we encountered a large mound of hard, icy snow in the middle of the road that would damage any vehicle unless removed. We shoveled it away but couldn't figure out how it got there - seemed intentional. In general, there is still snow on much of the road but there is really only a small portion that is challenging due to ruts. Conditions improved dramatically from the time we went in to leaving.
We climbed Pine Creek Falls and found the lower pitch in great condition other than a slight amount of aeration. The upper falls is open and took the shape of an open shark's mouth. It looked cool but I didn't feel comfortable climbing something that looked so tenuous. Instead we climbed one of the two short ice columns to the right, which leads up to some bushes and a ledge, then about 15 or so feet of dry/mixed climbing to the top and a small tree on the right. The lower ice column vibrated on impact but felt surprisingly solid. Anybody know what this variation of the upper falls might be called?
Green Gully was in excellent shape and the weather decided to give us a show with intermittent blizzarding. Good sticks the whole way up, some plating every once in a while. Be careful out there, the entire approach fields for both Blue and Green were littered with chunky avalanche debris. We saw several other debris fields throughout the day, so watch out.
From the trail we could see East of Paradise with nice blue ice and All Mixed Up also appeared to be in, but we didn't get close to inspect them.