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Kananaskis Country - Ulalume: 10/12/2013

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  • Kananaskis Country - Ulalume: 10/12/2013

    I could not find a trip report for this climb since dating back to the creation of the forum, so here is one.

    Ulalume - Climbed w/Alik Berg on 12-Oct-2013 (edited 15-Oct-2013 with additional useful information)

    First thin ice pitch is in, until someone bashes it down for the rest of us. Climb seemed fat compared to FA conditions, but that is saying a lot for a thin ice climb. "Mixed Climbs" book description is accurate. Bring lots of 10's and a headspace for climbing above them.

    The rock thread is a good bomber belay, and I left new tat on it. We could not find the bolted station mentioned in the guidebook. All other bolts mentioned in the guidebook are still single bolt stations. Bashed in two pitons left of the ice before the snow slope as a rappel anchor (probably somewhere near the station we could not find).

    V-Threads may not be useful for rappel! We broke (!) a shallow 10cm one on rappel next two the new two-pin station, hence why we put in the pins. I don't think you will get anything deeper for a v-thread when you actually want one.... Ice is aerated and thin over most of the climb. You will get some good screws or pins when you need them (behind curtains and icicles, at belays). Climbing is secure, but gear is challenging and mostly bad.

    First pitch - ice left; mixed right up short ice blob, traverse left through cracks

    Second pitch - crux curtain up higher

  • #2
    Climbed Ulalume with Juan on Oct 23. It was in pretty rough shape and we just managed to sneak up it. P1 ice was unclimbable so we did the mixed start. P2 was significantly melted back and the top out after the pillar was a scary very thin detached shell. P3 was melting back quick with many spots only an inch thick of delam ice, in some spots only a few feet wide. P4 was nice plastic with running water, so will likely keep growing. Unfortunately, I suspect after the last two days of heat, P2 and P3 may be show stoppers at this point.

    Also I found a watch in the King drainage. It does not look like a climbers watch, but maybe someone knows someone who lost it? Will post in L&F also. Describe it and its yours.


    • #3
      To answer GrantP's questions regarding the King Creek drainage - there is significant flood damage in the drainage with lots of tangled log jams to clamber over, under and around. Also lots of slippery boulders to hop back and forth endlessly over the river. Significantly annoying than before the flood for sure. I even went for a refreshing 'swim' on the way out after a icy rock screwed me over.

      There is only a few minimal ice smears starting. Certainly nothing even close to climbable yet.