Lee Vining Canyon
Friday, February 17, 2017 - 12:30pm
Ice climbed today in Lee Vining Canyon. Ours was one of 3 groups in the upper canyon, all equipped with avalanche rescue gear.
Less accumulation than further south, 6-8" total at 8800, less at trailhead elevation. Snow was heavy and wet for most of day.
Soft storm slabs were releasing throughout the canyon, regularly during the day. Frequent flyers such as the large path below Tioga Cliff (above the first ice flow past the Narrows) ran a couple of times over the course of the day, D1-2. Size D1 avalanches were occuring at the Chouinard's Wall as well, another local guide was pounded by a sizeable sluff while approaching Comrad's Corner, and could have easily been knocked off the wall had he been climbing. While this was a D1 slide in itself, was actually just subsequent snow coming down from a much larger D2 slide which covered the typical top-rope approach route, the lower portion of which also slid naturally- 12" crown x 40' wide.