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A week in the Rockies - various: 03/01/2012

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  • A week in the Rockies - various: 03/01/2012

    Came to Canada in the last week of February for a week of ice (and great food and big rock beer). Here's the trip report with photos for anyone interested:

    High/considerable avalanche danger kept us in the Ghost at first (not that it's a bad thing, the Ghost rocks!!), also a few days around Banff and Weeping Wall as well as a quick dash to check out the Trophy wall..

  • #2
    Nice collection of pictures and stories, thanks!



    • #3
      Thanks for the photos... looks beautiful!


      • #4
        For the last five winters, I?ve been mainly focused on climbing WI4 and harder-ignoring easier climbs. But between March 23rd and 31st, I did the opposite, I climbed the easy waterfalls.

        As I settled in a rented condo in Canmore, I wanted to climb and spend time with my 16 months old son and wife. And due to the oncoming late nights, lack of partners, and warm weather, I knew I was in for a tricky week. So, I thought that if I?d climb easy waterfalls, I could probably manage all I wanted to do. The thought of climbing new ice also excited me!

        On Saturday March 23rd, I climbed Step Right Up. On March 24th, I climbed Heart Creek Falls. On March 25th, I ran up Rogan?s Gully. I was back down at the car by 8:30a.m. while the sun was already cooking the big snow bowls up above the climb. On March 26th, I went up Urs Hole (again down by 8:30 a.m.) and managed to also climb Irish Mist in the afternoon while my son was napping.

        On March 29th, I went for a more serious climb: Polar Circus. We were back down by noon. We had a cloudless morning, so we got lucky. Lots of avi debris in between the ice pitches. The last pitches were super wet but going at an easy WI4 to WI4+. Finally on Sunday 31st, I jogged to Chantilly to climb it. As I was hurrying to come back in time for breakfast, I remembered Cossette?s post on soloing Chantilly earlier this season on Gravsport. I grinned since it generated lots of comments on whether a guy should solo or not! My only comment on soloing in this post is: DON?T do it if you don?t like it or if you?re not ready for it. As House wrote in Beyond the Mountain: ??It?s the easy ground that kills you.?? So, don?t mess up with the easy ground!

        Aside from Polar Circus, Step Right Up, Heart Creek, Rogan?s Gully, Urs Hole, Irish Mist, and Chantilly were all first timers for me. I had a blast on climbing these easy grounds,

        I would advance that most of the climbs mentioned above are still climbable-providing that one gets up early, climbs on a cloudy day, climbs with Gore-Tex, and is aware of the snow stability? Cheers! Sylvain


        • #5
          Funny how you mentioned my Chantilly post . Glad everyone got a kick out of it. Went from being proud to having soloed up that (which quickly got shot up to hell), to being able to lead my way up Professor Falls quite confidently, so it was a good progression season for me as a climber, despite the lashing I got back then.

          Kind of sad that I skipped out on going to Polar Circus this year though based on your pictures... should have done it. damn. Sounds like you had a great week though!



          • #6
            FYI pic 5 which I'm guessing is what you're referring to as Irish Mist, is in actuality called The Water Hole. A mistake in the guidebook and one that I fell mistaken to for years until I spoke to the FA this winter caused the confusion. I now climb corrected. Those who seek merely grades, miss a lot of aesthetic climbing. I've managed to seek out 8 new ice routes this season, not as good as a couple seasons back when I tried 23 days on fresh ice routes. It does help keep a long season interesting doesn't it?

            BTW Sylvain, you just hijacked another thread, bloody hell. This was supposed to be Peters trip report.