U Notch has Water Ice in May 2008

2-4 May 2008 - by Robert Smith

Phil Klein, Mike Mourar, Tom Cronin, Robert Smith and another unspecified CMC member, headed toward the Palisade Glacier from the Glacier Lodge trailhead and found a lot of snow above Third Lake to the Glacier. Bagged from the early season elevation and the brutal single day approach, complete with soft snow, Mike Mourar and Robert Smith made it to the top of the U-Notch on May 3rd, and wisely called it a day there. Nothing particularly entertaining about the snow climb up, except that we had to stay to the far right of the Couloir to climb on anything but beautiful blue green water ice! Yes the U Notch has Water Ice over 90% of its length. The V Notch over 75% of its length.

The guidebooks said that it would not be in shape until much later in the season so we left the screws, and technical tools in the car. It will only be another week or two and you will not be able to climb it on snow at all. It will be an ice climb only. The Bergscrund was an easy snow walk on the whole right side. Rap anchors at 50 M intervals plus many more on the rock just right of the Schrund mostly appeared in good shape, biners and rap rings all in place.

So if you want ice, it is here, in the Palisades, now. Early May 2008.

The trip out was four hours and leisurely after not overextending ourselves on this early season trip.

Pictures of the ice etc...

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