Ice - Grotto

Grant P

Pics: First two are Hers. Last three are His. No pics of Grotto Falls. Parking: Its got plough debris in front of the parking so you have to park at Grotto Pond. Grotto Falls: Looks like it was wet in warmer temps. The wet and the new snow have combined into some snice particularly on the upper pitch. Lower wasn't as snicy. Worth a warning that the ice is still on the wet side which combined with the cold gave my buddy issues with tip freeze. Under current conditions you have to get it started fast and sink it fast. Aluminum screws would be especially prone to tip freeze. His: I was gearing up to lead His when the party on Hers said they were leaving. It was nice to switch routes because the upper part looks steep and the couple swings around the base showed the ice was hard and brittle. Bottom was quite featured. Type 2 fun I'd say. Hers: Not as well formed as typical. Down the middle is some wet ice where water is still percolating from the rock. There are a couple lines for options. The traverse near the anchor is steep but the ice seemed good. I was happy with the protection although a spot or two would be tricky stances. Weather: COLD. Forecast around the -18c zone for the high. Seemed colder to start and windier than forecast. Grotto climbs aren't known as an avi troublespot however I did see spindrift blowing off the canyon walls a few times. I wouldn't be surprised if it was blowing good at higher elevations. There was very light snow occasionally but little new accumulation while we were there. Low clouds and limited visibility on the approach and the exit.

Source: Avalanche Canada MIN