December 3, 2016


Eagle River:

On Saturday we climbed 3 Ring Circus and the Spruce Pitches on the north facing slopes of a sub peak off Eagle in the Echo Bend area.  We ventured as high as ~1500′.  There’s not much snow, except in the upper elevations (especially where wind loaded), besides the 4-6″ in the Eagle River valley from a few days prior.  We avoided any steep snow slopes, but where we did encounter steeper and deeper snow it proved very weak; a soft slab of the more recent 4-6″ of snow has formed on top of a very faceted base.

We approached the climbs by walking up river from Rapids Camp; it was generally well frozen albeit with some open water through the rapids around drops.  There was also some overflow, and a bit of weak ice did necessitate a short venture off the river and back into the forest.

The ice was surprisingly wet and plastic given the recent cold temperatures; it’s also “in” relatively fat as well.  Several lines exist in the Spruce Pitch area, all prominent pitches of 3 Ring Circus had thick enough ice for decent protection, and it appeared that Hollow Icicle was “in” too.

The middle steep, prominent pitch:


Looking down from one step above the middle, steep prominent pitch:


The upper steep, prominent pitch: