Next Day:
Hiking Along Crane Mountain's Southwest Flank

I had only a couple spare hours the next day, and settled for a couple miles along the base of Crane Mountain between the two trails.
I had been along this earlier and posted a short bit about that walk, but I figured a return for a closer look at some ice climbing options wouldn't hurt.

Crane Mtn Ice Cliff 76

The first cliff I came to is about 12 meters high and appears to have four or five nice top-roping options for ice climbers. It looks too ledgy for rock climbing, however.

Crane Mtn Ice Cliff 77 My next stop was at the base of the Beaverview Wall. I knew there was good ice, particularly where the rock route Dark Speed goes, but with the thaws washing off most of the snow cover - and sadly much of the ice, too - just how good it might be showed up really well. I kicked myself for not sticking to a plan to get up that line this winter, for now it was obviously too late. Earlier, the ice had reached all the way down. Oh well, this will have to be a goal for next winter. Along with the rest of the ice I saw still clinging to this large cliff...

Crane Mtn Ice Cliff 78Like this flow high up at the top of Fade and Flee. Rick Villaneuve and I climbed that route in the summer, way back when (1996 or so?), but I had never looked it over for potential ice climbing. If it ever forms like it did this last winter, I'll have to return with a partner and ice tools and take a swing at this one, also.

Crane Mtn Ice Cliff 79 Less realistic, but hypnotically alluring nonetheless, large fangs were drooling off the overhang near the cliff's eastern end. I don't think I will ever get to the point where climbing stuff like this is in my range, but it's nice to dream. Of course, I suspect these do not form very often. We've had a winter full of short thaws and rainstorms followed by hard freezes, so things like this had a real chance of developing well, when in general they do not get nearly so full.

I hit the western trail (the one that comes down from Crane Mountain Pond) and headed downward. A quick peek down in the Cave pit lured me into it for some interesting photos. There is a short, perhaps 7 meter, ice climb one could do to climb up out of the hole. It wouldn't be difficult, as it has a big step midway.
That said, here's a few of the peculiar ice formations of the Cave and environs.

Crane Mtn Cave Ice 81
Crane Mtn Cave Ice 84
Crane Mtn Cave Ice 85
Crane Mtn Cave Ice 82
Crane Mtn Cave Ice 80
Crane Mtn Cave Ice 83

So there you have it, a bit of my activities in mid-March.

C'mon folks, help put me and my kids through college!
Act Now! and all that stuff.
518 623-2062 or jayclimbs @ for more info.
I've decided to offer several of my photos for sale. I hope to arrange an online purchasing system shortly, but in the meantime, feel free to email me or inquire via phone if you know my number and email. The photos here have been scaled down considerably so they won't enlarge well, but the originals are seven megapixels, so they can be enlarged up to 10"x14" or so without pixellation.
I'm also offering a CD with twenty photos 1280 pixels in their longest dimension for $10. These will fill the standard screen dimensions today, so they make great desktop scenes. If you let me know what resolution your screen is set at, I can adjust photos to fit it perfectly, but the highest resolution for this 1280. Thanks!