Lee Vining Ice Climbing • Chris Kulp • February 4 and 5, 2006

Chris Kulp, who's fine visage has graced this section of our site many times for many years, journeyed yet again to California's Ice Climbing Mecca, Lee Vining. He joined Mark for two excellent days.

Conditions were superb, about as good as Lee Vining gets. Some recent warm weather has allowed some of the layering of earlier weeks to fill in, making for solid ice and good protection. The warmer weather also melted surface snow, cleared it from the rock and helped with the approach, which is now a firm trail. All the photos on this page were taken on the the weekend of the 4th and 5th, so you can see just how good conditions are.

Other Recent Trips

This photo shows the Main Wall on the right, and the Bard-Harrington wall on the left. I have drawn in the routes we did this weekend. On Saturday we started on Fisher King, the mixed route on the rock buttress between the two falls. This was followed by the left side of the Bard-Harrington wall, the left-most route in this photo.

On Sunday we jumped right in with Cave Man, the right-most route in this photo and one of the steeper lines in Lee Vining. Then Chris led two pitches on the lower part of the Bard-Harrington, and we finished with Chris leading all of Spiral Staircase, the second to the right route seen here.


Here is Chris on the lower part of the Fisher King. This route was in great shape, with just enough ice to make the climbing fun, but thin enough to "keep your interest".


Looking up at the Fisher King on the left, and Spiral Staircase, on the right.


Chris, arriving at the top of the second pitch of Fisher King.


Looking down at the belay from somewhere on the third pitch of Fisher King.


Chris leading on the Bard-Harrington.


Another shot of Chris on the Bard-Harrington wall. This is the first pitch of Photoshop.


And here he is starting up Spiral Staircase.


Just after pulling around the crux bulge on the second pitch of Spiral Staircase. The sun is getting a bit low in the sky!


And back at the packs, we load up the hike out. It is actually not quite as dark as this photo would appear. We were able to hike out without the aid of headlamps (we actually had them but they stayed in our packs). The half moon was rather helpful.

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