Mark Staples and I climbed the Lowe Route on the Sphinx yesterday (Sunday, Oct 14). The trail is dry, the north face just has a few cm of snow and the ice is in, but thin. Bring a few extra stubby screws. The ice was drippy and I anticipate it will get thicker quickly. The first pitch has a long way to go to form.
Vidoe about future avalanche concerns posted at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQVMAD0r2kw
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Sphinx: thin but fun conditions
Josh Apple, Pete Ramos, and I climbed the Sphinx via the Lowe Route yesterday, Oct 18. Casual dry approach to rather dry thin ice. Lack of snow up high made for no dripping ice and the WI 5 pitch is far from in. From Doug's photos it looks like it got thinner! It should grow more with a bit more snow. We placed a few pins where ice was thinner, and stubbies were nice to have. Always a great way to kick off the season!
NOTE: Nate Opp put up a mixed bolt and gear rock climb on the south prow of the helmet (2 pitch 5.11) that would make for a great link up with the Sphinx. You can rap to the ground with 2 70's. We had no time to do this but it looks great!
Show us more pix of the
Show us more pix of the climb!
I was on the Sphinx on Sunday Oct 21 along with Jake and Grant from MSU. My camera wasn't working that day but Jake got some shots of me leading the mixed moves off the ledge. I don't have his digits but maybe he'll see this post and put up some pics. I found the climbing dry, thin but well protectable with short screws and creativity, although there are some pin/rock placements along the way. Some really fine climbing. WI 4 at the moment with a couple of harder moves off the ledge. One does, however, need to be "vewy, vewy quiet" and careful with their tool swinging as to not dinner plate too much off.
Sphinx snow conditions
Can someone tell me what the snow conditions on the traverse are like since it looks like there has been snow since the weekend?
From Friday the 19th, showing the first-ish pitch and the mixed moves off the 'ledge' that JoJo speaks of.
The traverse on 10/28/12. We
The traverse on 10/28/12. We backed off the traverse due to strong winds.
Updated Sphinx Conditions?
Any recent reports from the Sphinx on snow/ice conditions?