Lee Vining Ice Climbing • Paul Tompkins • January 21 and 22, 2006

Paul Tompkins and his fiancée, Vandi, made the big drive over from Mountain View, California, for an Eastern Sierra weekend. While Vandi when skiing at June Lake, Mark and Paul enjoyed a coupe fine days in Lee Vining.

Lee Vining is in good condition this year, with plenty of ice, especially on the bard-Harrington wall. With all the recent snowfall, much of the ice is layered, however, and good screw placements are not always at hand. A bit more clear weather should allow the voids to fill in a bit. It should get only better in the weeks ahead.

All the photos on this page were taken on the weekend we climbed. So the conditions shown are current, as of January 22.

Other Recent Trips

Paul nears the top of our first route, the left edge of the Bard-Harrington Wall.


Our first route. This route is in great condition. About 3 pitches of mostly moderate ice lead to the top of the cliff. Belays on the left edge area reasonably sheltered.


Paul and Mark (up above against the rock) on the first pitch of the "aka Casual Route". Kathy took this pic from the ground.


High on the route, almost to the top.


The three main cliffs at Lee Vining. The Bard Harrington are on the left, the Main Falls, in the center and Chouinard Falls on the right.


For the second route of our first day, we did the first pitch of the ramps that lead up to Heel-Toe. Kathy took this photo of Mark and Paul.


Here, Paul leads on Chouinard Falls. Paul wanted to work on rope management, transitions and simply being on the sharp. We broke this climb into three pitches to get more practice with belay transitions.


For our last route of the weekend, we did the classic "Spiral Staircase".


Paul starting the second pitch of Spiral Staircase. This pitch starts with an airy move left onto a steep pillar.


Topping out on Spiral Staircase.

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