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Lake O'hara winter alpine routes?

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  • Lake O'hara winter alpine routes?

    I'm coming up from the states last week in March. Looking to do some alpine mixed climbing and/or waterfall ice. For the former I saw that Lake O'hara area had some interesting peaks.

    What's the access like that time of year?

    Any recommendations for climbs in that area at that time of year?

    For reference I'm comfortable leading anything in the mountains up to WI4+ M5.

  • #2
    I'm not that familiar with the area up there. I believe the bus runs only in summer but it's an 11km ski in through winter. Once in there you can stay at the campground, the ACC has the Elizabeth Parker hut and the Wiwaxy cabin, or there is the lodge.

    Two ice routes in JoJo's book (W4's) but there could be newer stuff. Alpine peaks I'm afraid are not my forte, so maybe someone else can chime in.

    There are a ton of alternatives as far as ice climbs go, nearby in Field and the Kicking Horse Canyon if you choose not to ski in to O'Hara.


    • #3
      As the conditions are developing, you'll certainly want to consider your exposure to big terrain during the winter months (incl. March). There's not much true technical "alpine" climbing happening here in the winter (more Oct/Nov & April/May), unless it hasn't snowed for 6 weeks, or you're talking about Slipstream. Not saying it can't be done, but unlikely to involve much swinging into ice, mostly snowy rock.

      On the other hand, there's thousands of ice and mixed routes in the range that are fun. Lake O'Hara has a skin track set to the lake usually (by skiers), there's a few ice lines along the road (and some further back).