South Ghost Area

Map for Mountain Information Network report: South Ghost Area

Ice conditions

Name of climb
Real Big Drip and area last three days
Ice quality was:
Wind was:
  • Blowing snow above the climb
We retreated from the climb because of
  • Warming/solar radiation


The day was:
  • Sunny
  • Warm
Avalanche conditions
  • Whumpfing or drum-like sounds or shooting cracks.
  • Rapid temperature rise to near or above 0°C or wet surface snow.


North facing Ice climbs generally still holding up well, driving good in the South Ghost. Fast comment, it's a good time to go sport climbing in the sun, it's getting rowdy out there. Longer comment: The Ghost snowpack is kinda tricky to me: There is a LOT more snow in the Ghost generally than I'm used to seeing, 30-50 on the ground still this morning in the valleys and more up high, which means there is more potential for bigger slides. Despite extensive slush during the day's heat it's still winter in there in shady areas, at least until this heat hammers it... The overnight low forecasts are variable, but gonna be warm... The BTL and TL windslabs weren't reactive on the Real Big Drip approach, but we did bring avalanche gear, and I would again going in there, there is a lot of snow above the climb. Cornices seem more likely to fail in this heat as well, and that might be enough force to get deeper stuff moving too (take care with the Sorcercer for example). Another problem is warm-weather rockfall both on its own and as a source for point releases in cliff bands... Finally, a lot of potential for the steeper sidewall features to go anywhere from a sluff to size 3, as has happened lately in King Creek, Whiteman's, THOS, etc. I'm definitely in a, "It's crazy warm with poor overnight freezes at best, and I don't want to be under anything that's getting sun right now!" mindset, both for the avalanche and rockfall potential.