Lee Vining Ice Climbing
Report courtesy of Sarah
Elevation: 9,000 ft
Time from trailhead to climb: 30 minutes
I had wanted to gain some experience with vertical ice. On the Mt. Rainier trip my guides instructed
us on vertical ice technique in a crevasse. I wanted to find out how different this was from the
frozen waterfalls located in Lee Vining and June Lakes. I conculted with my friends Dave and Eric
about guides and came up with two options.
My guide Paul Adams from ASI lead the routes and set up anchors. The three clients then top roped to
their hearts content. The first day we climbed a WI 3 and then a longer WI 2/3 on the second day.
- WI 2. A pitch of 55- to 60-degree Ice at a reasonably consistent angle. Good protection and belays.
- WI 3. Sustained 70 degree ice, with short sections up to 85 degrees and usually thick and solid.
This may include short, steep sections but will have reasonable resting places and offer good protection
The climbs went well. I had a little trouble at first maintaining my footholds, but quickly learned
better technique. I climbed exclusively with the Charlet Moser Quark which worked out very well. My goal
is to get my own set of ice tools and a pair of good ridgid crampons. I'm getting excited about the next
season in the Sierra. Time to stop typing and start planning.
I'd also like to check out the Tioga Pass Resort sometime. My guide said they will shuttle/snow mobile
you and your gear from the Tioga Pass gate to the resort. From there you can enjoy all the back country
skiing and escape all the hussle and bussle of Mammoth.