Saturday, April 2, 2011

Icicle Road Closed

The heavy rains of the past week have caused a huge landslide in the heart of Icicle Canyon. The slide inundated more than 1,000 feet of Icicle Road beginning just past Eight Mile Campground. The forest service has closed the road, and there is not yet a projected reopening date. Needless to say, this is a huge blow to climbing in the Icicle, as it will likely take months to clear the damage. Bouldering areas that have been rendered inaccessible include the Carnival Boulders, the Pretty Boulders, Twisted Tree, the Sword, Egg Rock, and others. Bridge Creek Campground, the popular free campsite nearby, and Mountaineer's Creek Road are also inaccessible. ***Update*** Icicle Road is 'closed' just past the Snow Creek parking lot, but it is possible to drive as far as Eight Mile Campground.

Here is a photo showing the sheer size of the slide. The parking area for the JY Boulders is visible in the right foreground. The USFS press release describing the road closure can be found here.

Forest Service Photo

I will keep an eye on the Forest Service's announcements regarding the closure, and will post updates here. The timing of this slide is especially inopportune, as the Forest Service was expected to finally reopen the magical upper portion of Icicle Road this spring. The canyon's upper reaches have been inaccessible since a large slide closed the road in 2008.

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