GSI shutting down

It is with regret that Gravsports Ice will be closing soon. Despite all of us here and many in the community being of the opinion that GSI is a better archiving system for information on ice climbing in the Canadian Rockies, this website will be shutting down.

Keeping the lights on and keeping conditions current no longer seems practical. We have tried making the forums more user friendly, and kept access to a vast array of beta and history contained on the website open to all. However low participation and increasing costs from both the website and hacker intrusions have lead us to this decision. Many thanks to Ian for past hosting costs. While the website will remain live for a short while you can expect it to disappear soon. We have talked of options to preserve the beta it contains however we offer no guarantees at this time.

We thank all our supporters, and everyone in the community for your past participation in GSI.
Will, Ian, and Grant.
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Ghoster Coaster Avi Risks

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  • Ghoster Coaster Avi Risks

    I'm hoping to do Ghoster Coaster in the next few weeks and was wondering about the avi risks associated with the climb. I've seen some past posts saying that there is a large drainage area above the climb that might be an issue. Does anyone have any insight and/or beta to the risks of that area and to how the current high avi risks might apply to that spot.


  • #2
    Hello Howard. I was in around this time last year and noted there is absolutely avi terrain above. I google earthed it this morning and observe a massive amount of terrain that has potential for feeding that drainage. So far I believe you've found good information on possibility.

    Given the aspect and this year's snow pack problems I have the same question you do. I'm also curious about the sides of the canyon on the terrain trap portion of the approach. Last year there was lots of sloughing even with less snow. I also recall walking across debris along the right side of the approach. I imagine with the flood things may have changed.

    With the deck stacked the right way I intend to climb this fun little objective too. So don't mind if I stand in line awaiting a response. I'm happily allergic to high consequence risk


    • #3
      Since this question is asked somewhat regularly and this thread specifically addresses the topic of avalanche hazard, here is some info for anyone to consider. Hazard will vary depending on conditions and depth of the snowpack. The Ice and Mixed app lists it as class 2 terrain on the ATES scale. That's probably a reasonable rating but here is a combination of comments and info I've observed or shared with people previously. I'm no avi expert so make decisions for yourself and consider taking avi gear.

      There is an awful lot of terrain above GC. Mostly it is far above the climb and has a runout zone above the climb that would likely mean most smaller avi wouldn't reach the climb. With a deep snowpack and high avi conditions there may be a chance of something reaching the climb though. I consider the risk somewhat low but certainly not absent of risk.
      The bigger hazard comes from a closer slope above and right of the top out. Although the slope is not very big it could certainly slide over the top out and down the lower angle ice leading up to the last steeper step that tops out the climb. Many people would unrope and walk up this lower angle ice and just belay the final steep step. If this nearby slope released an avi down this walkable ice it could knock you off your feet. If the bulletins are considerable or greater then it might be possible to manage the risk but exercise due caution.

      I think the climb is low risk under most circumstances but it is definitely not without hazard. It is conditions dependent. I'd probably go elsewhere if the avi rating was high or extreme. With a considerable rating I'd give it second thoughts depending on what else I knew.

      In addition to hazard from falling rock that may exist from snowmelt from the canyon sides, there is hazard on the approach once you turn out of the creek bed. Last time I went there without any snow I observed a vague trail and a cairn that lead into the left side of the drainage below the hoodoos on the left. This is a bomb alley. Loose debris will periodically fall from the hoodoo slopes above the bomb alley trail, especially with sun or snowmelt. If there is snow on those hoodoo slopes you may be looking at avi hazard. You can avoid those hazards by choosing a line up the rib further right. Be aware that higher up the drainage as it necks down, a similar hazard can occur on the right too.

      I'm also going to note here that until corrected the approach directions in the app have an error. The app states from Canadian Forks you go left for 30 mins up the creek. In fact you walk about 10 mins up the creek bed then turn left into the drainage by the hoodoos and below the yellow wall. It is then about 20 mins up the drainage to reach the ice. 30 mins total from Canadian Forks for a total apptoach time of 1.5 to 2 hours from the car.