Catskill Ice Conditions

CONDITIONS KEY

As we detailed in our DISCLAIMER, ice climbing and its related activities are extremely dangerous, and ice climbing locations, trails and routes are highly variable. Conditions change constantly and the information posted below can not be deemed current or accurate. It is the sole responsibility of the reader to verify all conditions prior to climbing. Also, one contributors perception of a climb may not be that of another. So, instead of rating routes as IN, OUT, etc., we are using the scale below:

  • DRY = no ice
  • THIN = ice that can range from verglas to a few inches (approx. 4" - 6"); stubby screws may be possible in certain spots (10cm - 13cm).
  • MODERATE = ice that can range from a few inches (approx. 4"-6") to moderately thick ice (approx. 10" - 12"); average screw placement are possible (13cm - 16cm).
  • THICK = ice that can range from 10"-12" and thicker; longer screw placements are possible (16cm - 22cm).

Keep in mind there may be a mix of the scale detailed above on each climb, and the contributors to this page can not gauge the overall consistency of the ice or the quality of protection. Sun, shade, aspect, and temperature all affect the consistency and it is up to you to decide if it's possible to climb it or not. YOU ALWAYS CLIMB AT YOUR OWN RISK!

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Winter 2017

3/24/17

We did a tour of all of the Katterskill Clove ravines today - Hillyer, Viola, Wildcat and Buttermilk (photo posted is of the last pitch 3/24/17). Each ravine had decent ice, the top pitch of Wildcat had a little sun rot in the middle of the pitch, climbable but the left protected better. There's still plenty of snow out there and we had to post hole about shin deep (with many pockets of thigh deep) snow to get around. All in all, it was about 10 miles of hiking and rewarded us with lots of climbing. We were at Stony Clove yesterday and both the East and West sides have plenty of ice. There is some sun rot starting to show n the West side routes (we didn't climb the east side yesterday). With what the forecast has predicted, this may be the end of the season. If you head out, be sure to use your best judgment with conditions as they change rapidly throughout the day this time of year.

3/15/17

It's hard to believe after the week of 60 degree temps in the Gunks that winter is back and so is the ice. There's ice to climb in Stony Clove, the Black Chasm and the ravines. Be aware of areas that receive a lot of sun - such as the Devil's Kitchen - things can change quickly. The Catskills received over 24" of nice powder yesterday, bring snowshoes for any approach other than Moore's Bridge.

2/22/17

With the temperatures we've had all weekend, we're now rock climbing in the Gunks. If winter doesn't come back, it can be the end of the season...

2/19/17

Conditions were really nice up to this past weekend. The warm weather last weekend and this week will surely do some damage. Let's hope the cold returns.

2/15/17

Conditions are pretty sweet - now's the time to get out! The ravines are in as are many routes in other areas.

2/1/17

Our apologies for the lapse in reporting the conditions, the last month was pretty good regardless of the ups and downs. And even though the weekend before last brought some warm temperatures the ice hung in there at the higher and/or more sheltered areas and the drop in temperatures last Friday make it a pretty good weekend. It was a busy weekend with the Catskill Ice Festival among the regular climbing parties and guides. There has been some decent snowfall the last week and the coverage is nice (currently like Névé with some pockets of powder) making the approaches easy walking with crampons. Ok, the latest conditions we have to report: most ice is thin to moderate with some delaminated sections from previous warming and tinsel and thin areas from new growth. Please be aware and tread lightly as to not destroy what's building - and use judgement and caution if you're leading. Here's an area rundown:

Stony Clove has ice at the the following areas: east side corners, castle greyskull, east crag - and some areas in between, little black dike, the entertainer and possibly climb axe and ice capades by now.

Platte clove - lower dark side: lightsaber, yoda couloir, thermal exhaust port, frozen apples, etc upper dark side - green pillar and some others left and right

Kitchen- wasn't really climbable last weekend

Black Chasm - down

Ravines, there is water running but there are still possibilities: Hillyer provided many options on Monday (1/30/17) on both the left and right flows, as well as the shorter flow to its far left. We checked out Buttermilk yesterday (1/31/17), The creek crossing was totally open but it was possible by hopping boulders which are located in the creek just below where the optical line is down at its lowest point-by the broken telephone pole. Many of the pitches had lots of open water, we had to climb the sides and/or walk around, Pitch 5 was in the best shape on the reguar line, and the Cream Separator was the gem (photo pictured). There was also ice on the left walls up left of the 6th pitch. Wildcat- we've heard some climbers climbed the variation walls on the left side of the ravine below the upper pitch

Deep Notch has ice and was climbed by a few parties.

1/2/17

We had a few groups out at different areas today The Upper and Lower Dark Side and the Black Chasm. Both have good a variety of routes with Thin to Thick ice. The pic posted right now of the Advocate was from today. Temperatures all this week look to be below freezing Happy New Year!

12/23/16

We climbed at the Darkside today There was plenty of ice however the warm temperatures overnight resulted in a lot of running water and exposed ice across the way on the Sunwall was coming down. If it rains more or gets really warm, we will be set back a few days. Merry Christmas

12/20/16

We climbed in Hillyer and Stony Clove today. Hillyer has Moderate and Thick ice, Stony has Thin to Moderate ice. It was a great day to be out

12/17/16

There's plenty of snow in the Catskills. The ice in Hillyer was in great shaping ranging from a little tinsel to Moderate to Thick.

12/14/16

Mike Rawdon was up in Hillyer Ravine yesterday and climbed three pitches.

"Just got back from Hillyer. Ice is coming in very nicely - we were able to climb the main pitches (placing lots of screws along the way... a few of which might have been worthwhile). Once again, it looks good for the weekend, though good screws will still likely be hard to find."

Previous Conditions | Winter 2016

2/25/16

We had severe rain the last day and a half. Being in the Catskills for both of them, you could see the ice disappear. While there is still some ice around in the ravines, we are cancelling ice programs this weekend and offering anyone scheduled the option to go rock climbing. It'll be warm at the Trapps!

2/19/16

There's plenty of ice in the ravines. Stony Clove and Deep Notch as well as the Devil's Kitchen and even Herdman wall have ice. Now's the time to get out, it's forecast to be in the 50's on Sunday - about an 70 degree difference from last week if you go by the windchill temp

2/11/16

The cold temps brought the ice back to most areas. We'll be out this weekend, take care to protect yourself with the windchill.

2/5/16

Sad to report that the warm temperatures and rain this past week hit conditions hard. In a nutshell, everything is out for this weekend.

Here's a report from Alan Kline who just scouted the areas:

Palenville: out

Moore's: out

Asbestos: out

Platte clove ravine: out

Kitchen: really bad, mostly out

Dark side: really bad, mostly out

Stony: really bad, mostly out

Herdman: out

Hobo: out

Let's hope temps stay below freezing and things grow huge.

1/31/16

We had a great turnout for the Catskill Ice Festival. Thank you to all of you who participated. From our activities this weekend, here is what we saw out there:

Kaaterskill Clove:

  • Palenville Corner is out
  • Moore's Bridge has routes with thin to moderate ice
  • Ravines: Hilyer and Viola have lots of thick ice; Wildcat has no reports - I would guess the last pitch would be questionable. Buttermilk has been climbed but come of the pitches are not in the best shape.
  • Asbestos: OUT
  • Kaaterskill Falls: no reports - it would be assumed the main falls are out but there may be some ice on the sides

Platte Clove

  • Devil's Kitchen - a decent amount of ice in the Lower Kitchen. The Upper Devil's Kitchen has huge daggers just waiting to cut loose, use extreme caution when approaching and hiking out the gully - see NEWS ON DEVIL'S KITCHEN
  • Ravine- the waterfalls are ALL open.
  • Dark Side - there are routes ranging from thin to thick in the Lower Dark Side, upper Dark Side has a few routes, thin to moderate.
  • Black Chasm - the Advocate and Coal Kill Falls are in and been led, other are extremely wet.
  • Plattekill Mountain Gully - no report, I would guess there is ice
  • Plattekill High Cliff - lots of ice from looking at it from the road, without snow, the approach would really not be fun - no reports of it being climbed.
  • Covert Actions - no reports, assuming it's a waterfall like the others in Platte Clove Ravine

Stony Clove

  • Tombstones - it was thin on Saturday and reported that it wouldn't last much longer.

    Playground: thin to moderate, the left pillar is not in

  • Mixed-Up Ampitheater: The ice on the routes was melting off today, but the mixed routes were still climbable
  • East Side Corners where in with moderate ice earlier in the week
  • Other East side routes - we have nothing to report but would assume there is ice on many routes from thin to moderate.
  • West Side: many routes have ice from thin to moderate - Stage Fright, Ichabod, Gugler, the Curtain, LBD, Entertainer. The upper pitches of The Curtain and That Climb/Soreneson's were climbed this weekend.

Deep Notch

With there being no snow, the approaches here more than suck, they can be dangerous.

  • Long Dong - was climbed, ice was reported to be fat but the approach and descent where nasty.
  • Other routes - no reports other than there is ice from thin to moderate.

Route 28 Corridor

  • Hobo Wall - thin
  • Herdman - thin to moderate. A few groups went there this weekend.

The forecast is for rain on Wednesday, then the temps look to drop for the weekend. Hopefully things will stick around and grow with the colder temps.

1/26/16

Now is the time to get out. Join us for the Catskill Ice Festival Jan 29-Feb 1, 2016

It's been nice and cold! There is ice at most of the areas. Ice is Thin to Moderate, so plan on shorter screws and getting lucky with medium size placements. Please be considerate when top-roping thin routes, you can do damage that can take days to weeks to repair. The following areas have been reported to have been climbed over the past few days:

Kaaterskill Clove - Hillyer Ravine, Viola Ravine, Buttermilk (parts are in but the entire climb is a bit sketchy - lots of ice left of the last pitch), Asbestos Wall

Platte Clove - Devil's Kitchen, Japanese Falls, Bridal Veil Falls (upper, right side), The Dark Side

Stoney Clove - both sides as well as Tombstones (thin but ice)

Deep Notch - both sides - be careful, approaches here with little to no snow cover are very dangerous.

Route 28 Corridor - Hobo Wall and Herdman wall (if at Herdman, tickets have been issued to cars that are parked on the road - not in the small pull-off).

1/18/16

It's been a rough start to the season There was some ice the first two weeks of the year, the heavy rain on the weekends set us back. Now it's been cold the past few days and forecast to stay cold for a little while which will help grow what's out there

Stony clove has the best ice right now but keep mind it's thin and not well bonded Routes done this weekend include:

Rons gully, ice capsdes, the entertainer, them that die, little black dike, Sorenson's smear, the curtain, and others on the west side The east side looks to have some ice in the sun wall, castle grey skull and east crag

The lower dark side has a few lines but there is a lot of running water

Hilyer Ravine was climbed on Sunday - woohoo!

Other areas aren't in but this week should change that

Previous l Conditions - Winter 2015

1/23/15

Conditions have only been improving. Now is the time to get out. Join us for the Catskill Ice Festival Jan 30-Feb 2, 2015.

1/10/15

It's been nice and cold! There is ice at most of the areas. Ice is Thin to Moderate, so plan on shorter screws and getting lucky with medium size placements. Please be considerate when top-roping thin routes, you can do damage that can take days to weeks to repair. The following areas have been reported to have been climbed over the past few days:

Kaaterskill Clove - Hillyer Ravine, Asbestos Wall

Platte Clove - Devil's Kitchen, Bridal Veil Falls (upper, right side), The Dark Side

Stoney Clove - both sides as well as Tombstones

Deep Notch - both sides - be careful, approaches here with little to no snow cover are very dangerous.

Route 28 Corridor - Hobo Wall and Herdman wall (if at Herdman, tickets have been issued to cars that are parked on the road - not in the small pull-off).

12/25/14

Rain and warm temperatures have removed what ice there was. Hopefully the cold temperatures forecast for just after the new year will come as planned.

12/21/14

Cold temps have brought back some ice at areas like Stoney Clove, Hillyer Ravine and the Dark Side. Ice is thin.

12/3/14

Warm temperatures have removed what little ice we had for early season ice. Check back for more updates. We need 5 days of below freezing temps for enough ice to form to get things started in thin conditions.

11/30/14

Mike Rawdon and friends climbed Hillyer Ravine. It was thin but doable.

11/21/14 - The winter 2015 ice season has begun!

It's been cold the past week and there is some ice to be found.

Jon and Alan went out 1/120/14 to the Catskills and found this: Herman: nothing, stony: east and west both have ice, only a few ice lines that looked leadable, kitchen: upper had ice daggers, and dark side: lots of ice, few leadable lines. Subtraction Gully was lead in "alpine conditions" as was a possible new line to climbers right of subtraction gully.

More reports to come as the season progresses!

Previous Conditions - 2014

4/8/14

The temperatures have been sunny and warm. If you're not heading more north, get out your rock gear and head to the Gunks.

3/30/14

This past weekend brought some heavy rain to the Catskills, the first real rain since mid-January. There's no report of activity since thursday. There's probably ice still to be found in the north facing ravines in Kaaterskill Clove but the concern with the ice at any areas remaining would be open water, ice quality, and bondage of the ice on the rock. Use caution if you're heading out. It looks like it may be time to pack up the ice gear until next season.

3/23/14

There is still plenty of ice to climb. The best locations this time of year are the shaded areas - The Kaaterskill Ravines: Hillyer, Viola, Wildcat and Buttermilk. Be aware of the stream crossing for Buttermilk and Wildcat. You can avoid it with Hillyer and Viola. Other options would be in Platte Clove. The Dark Side and Plattekill Mountain Gully hold a lot of ice in the shade. The Black Chasm is possible but beware the big overhanging ice that lurks above. There are reports that the Devil's Kitchen still has some options on the more shaded routes.

We've been posting pictures on our FaceBook page (Alpine Endeavors), check in to see what things are like.

A quick update on the ravines:

Hillyer - lots of ice

Viola - lots of ice. The second pitch main flow is open, best options are the steeper columns to the right. The narrowing fifth pitch may not last to long, but there's a nice big flow to the right as an option.

Wildcat - first two pitches are open and questionable. The upper three have plenty of ice. Especially the top pitch. Huge.

Buttermilk - there may be a few open spots but plenty of options. The fourth pitch may require the steeper options on left for ascent.

3/14/14

Conditions are still as the last post. Get out there!

3/11/14

Don't let the warm temperatures fool you, it's still winter in the Catskills! While the south facing areas are getting baked out (asbestos, herdman wall, etc.), the ice is huge and the snow is still deep in many other areas. The ravines this past weekend were great. Now's the best time to get out and ice climb...

3/4/14

Conditions have been great for the past week plus. Most areas have ice that is Moderate to Thick. Some of the sunny routes are feeling the sun and are getting to the end of their season. The ravines are all being climbed. Now's the time to get out!

2/21/14

The conditions have been really great and most routes have been reported to be Moderate to Thick at most areas. Today however brought warm temperatures and the first rain to the area in almost a month. It's uncertain right now how things were affected, we'll be out all weekend and will post updated reports in the evening.

2/9/14

We're in the middle of the Catskill Ice Festival and conditions are great. If you haven't been out yet, now is still the time! Most areas/routes are in and have routes with THIN, MODERATE and/or THICK conditions.

1/27/14

If you haven't been out yet, now is the time! Most areas are in and have routes with THIN, MODERATE and/or THICK conditions.

1/24/14

It's been nice and cold all week and it looks like it'll stay that way for a while.

All locations have ice varying from THIN to MODERATE. Keep in mind newly formed pillars, curtains, and free-hangers can be brittle and delicate. Please tread lightly on them so they can continue to build. Please see each area for more details.

Have a great weekend!

1/20/14

There was a lot of activity this weekend. Climbers visited many areas. See specifics on each area for more details. And, if you haven't see the forecast, it's going to be wicked cold tonight!

1/14/14

The rain on Saturday did damage and cleaned out most of the snow. Conditions right now are not great. There is ice, but there is a lot of water running and most of the ice is poorly bonded. We need a good couple days of below freezing temps to stabilize things. It's been reported that the following areas have ice: Moore's Bridge, Stony Clove, Dark Side, Black Chasm, and Deep Notch. I'll post more details on the specific areas as I get them.

1/8/14

There was some rain earlier this week and then temperatures dropped significantly. There's plenty of ice to climb. Conditions are reported to vary from THIN to MODERATE over the area. The more southern locations like Mt. Pleasant, Herman Wall, and the Gunks are seeing activity. Now's the time to get out. The weekend is looking to be above freezing and possibly bringing some rain.

1/4/14

The cold temperature the past week have brought many routes back and more into thicker conditions. It's been reported that many of the ravines in Kaaterskill Clove have ice, as does Stony Clove and areas of Platte Clove (Bridal Veil, Dark Side, etc..) See the specific areas below for more details.

1/1/14

Happy New Year! Temperatures have been in the teens to single digits all week. There will be ice to climb this weekend. I'd suggest looking at Stony Clove and Deep Notch first, they tend to come into shape first. While driving on RT 28 today, Mt. Pleasant (Hobo Wall) is covered in THIN ice. Climbing may be possible there, as well as other areas along RT 28 very soon.

12/30/13

Good News! The next week of temperatures is forecast to be below freezing - day & night. There will be ice to climb this coming weekend!

12/29/13

The rain today definitely did not help. While some ice may stick around, most routes are likely to be washed out. There was some activity in Stony Clove yesterday on the West Side. However with the warm temperatures and sun, rock fall and a fair amount of ice fall on the thinner routes was reported on the West Side and more was heard coming down on the East Side.

12/26/13

The cold temperatures this week have been helpful. There was activity today in Stony Clove. It was reported that many of the west side routes have THIN to sections of MODERATE ice on them - Ron's Gully, Climbax, Little Black Dike, Spiral Stairs, and the Gurgler to name a few. If it stays cold, things will be shaping up again for the weekend.

12/24/13

The high temperatures and rain from last Friday through Monday did damage and cleared out most if not all of the ice (a few random pieces here and there) for the beginning part of the week. We need more days with below freezing temperatures.

12/20/13

Our great stretch of early season ice seems to be coming to an end. Tomorrow is the winter solstice and temperatures are forecast to be in the high 50's for the next few days. Check back in after the weekend, hopefully we'll get up there next week to see how things hold up.

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