General > Ice & Winter Climbing

Slab to the Right of LHMW

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OK, secretís out... everyone loves LHMW... I heard 3+ parties on it today (and our very own Admin Al) while enjoying some excellent ice just to the right. This slab is not even listed in the guidebook, but after climbing it for a 2nd time, and climbing LHMW 4 or 5 times, I really think this un-named slab is better. Itís a 200 foot stretcher, 3-, and is fed directly from The Cleft making linking the two a very natural line up the east side of Willard. You can see it in relation to LHMW which is on the far left in this photo, and the slab is dead center with The Cleft directly above:

It can be broken into 2 pitches, or you can stretch the rope and do it in one long pitch (belayer might need to start climbing for a few feet). From the end of the slab you can solo, simul-climb, short-rope, or do what ever is reasonable to get to the cleft. Currently it is pretty easy firm snow climbing with two optional bulges of ice just below the Cleft. Since a fall close to the slab could send you flying we stayed roped and short-roped around the two ice bulges to get to the proper start of the Cleft, but many would feel comfortable soloing up to the Cleft. YMMV.

The Cleft BTW is perfect right now with zero snow and plastic ice, with a very easy walk out to the trail. The trail it self is a bit rough with bullet proof ice in spots. I was wishing for Microspikes on the hike down as full ice crampons would be over kill, but sections of the hike out were not ďcarefreeĒ.

Full report of the day here:

Good seeing you Al, did you guys go up Upper Hitchcock? I heard that was pretty plastic over there...

Do you just approach straight up from the tracks?

Yup... right now if you look closely for footprints after passing Snot Rocket you should spot the trail. I meant to take a photo from the tracks to show what you should see, but from memory itís really starting to bend right, and you should see a big boulder with a post or something as far as you can see down the tracks... thatís where you head up... next time Iíll get better start location... might run up it Monday if the weather is nice...

Admin Al:

nice seeing you as well. it was a great day out there on the ice. I heard you guys over on the slab, but couldn't see you from LHMW. that's good beta on that slab. I've seen it and the one further north, but never climbed either.

yup, ice on LHMW was big and plastic. it was the first time this season that I've seen LHMW fully iced up. it really doesn't get a whole lot better than this. finished off on Upper Hitchcock and it was fat and plastic/wet. we walked off down the trail and actually I did have Microspikes, the clients wore crampons all teh way down. right at the bottom before the kiosk was about 150' of ice where the stream crossing is. I was glad to have the spikes.

looks like another nice day coming up...enjoy!

Cool. FYI right before the stream crossing break right and bushwhack to road. In these conditions it's easy and cuts the corner. That crossing sure looked like a ice rink!


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