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New Kananaskis Area-PART ONE

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  • New Kananaskis Area-PART ONE

    A fun grouping of icefalls minutes from one another which makes for a good lap soloing area or for those looking for a day of TR?ing. All the flows can be rapped from trees and are between 5-20m; with the remotness, any soloing will be exciting. It?s like a bunch of ?His and Hers? type lines replanted.

    Park near the junction of Hwy#40 and the turnoff for Kananaskis Village. Follow the left side of the creek that comes out of an unnamed canyon/valley directly behind the RCMP station. Walk the creek or stay on the left side for 75 minutes(flagged most of the way which dekes around all the bush). Add an extra half hour when there is lots of snow so it?s best left for a visit when the valley is lightly brushed or dry. The ice builds up very fat so they should be formed by early December. These were all climbed over three visits and done under the deepest of snow conditions this season. When you look at this curved-rockwall canyon from the road, the ice lies just past the curve.

    This is the same access for the 2006 route Heavenly Bush(WI3). The first ascentionists to that route had walked past the lower flows(they attached a hiking pic). Since they sit in dense trees, any whiteout would also make the upper flows hard to see.

    There are flows on both sides of the treed valley, the south facing ones are up high along the big rockface: one is kinda visible in a break in the trees(and unclimbed), the other is hidden until you are nearly at it. The unclimbed flow can sometimes be seen from the highway depending on the season and an exploration has been put-off for many years.

    DESCRIPTIONS ALIGN WITH THE AREA TOPO ATTACHED:

    A) Tears of Billy-No-Mate?s, WI3, 30m

    FA- G.Cornell, Feb. 2008

    Hike up the south-facing slope for 5 min. about 100m before the basecamp overhang (main area). Look for where the rockwall has a treed break as it?s impossible to see until your under it.

    Climb good steep ice to a tree a few meters above the edge(17m). Plod up snow to a second wall of ice.

    B) Decepticon, WI3+, 13m

    FA- G.Cornell, Feb. 2008

    A minute right behind the basecamp overhang. Very steep, the ice forms menacing drips of ribs, a nervous solo.

    C1+C2) Brac?s Route, WI3, 10m

    FA- G.Cornell, Feb. 2008

    Fun two-tier-5m-apiece-icicle that starts at the left end of the basecamp overhang. Mossy topouts. Ledge rest between ?em. Named for friend who was the actor in the 80s fantasy movie Clan of the Cave Bear who hiked to a waterfall once to sing me Happy Birthday.

    D) Sun is Yellow, WI2+, 5m

    FA- G.Cornell, Feb. 2008

    The obvious long right side of the fat creek flow. Choose a line and go up. May be a complicated traverse with all the gaps in the curtain. Best to hang a rap rope from one tree, use it to descend from trying various lines.

    E) Niagara Traverse, WI2, 20m

    FA- G.Cornell, Feb. 2008

    A super fun traverse on the left side of the flow that starts and ends where you want.

    F) Valley of Gwangi, WI2, 10m

    FA- G.Cornell, Feb. 2008

    A steep left flow in the tight ice canyon finishes up a fun second slab of ice above the snow slope was the only thing climbed here. The mixed bouldering roof potential looks fun.

    G) Wii Ice, WI2+, 7m

    FA- G.Cornell, Feb. 2008

    Drippy thin flow over a cliff, make it hard, come in from the sides.

    H) Dunes, WI2, 9m

    FA- G.Cornell, Feb. 2008

    Very last fat flow before a side drainage that leads to Heavenly Bush(50m away).

    I)A vertical, unclimbed, pillar 6ft from the wall and about 12m high- a gem to pluck! Other sick drips hang off the same wall but would require bolts.

    J)Wall of potential mixed lines. Rock is good for bolts and tree anchor above. Left most drip could take mostly rock gear. About 15m high. Middle drip is another gem of a line. All unclimbed.

    K) Rugged, Hairy-Chested Pioneers, WI4, 13m

    FA- T.Clark and G.Cornell, Feb. 2008

    A seperate steep seep down the wall with a craggy bush cornice-luckily it?s avoidable. A nutty 1ft wide drip forms just to the right and would be a photogenic lead-bring medium cams/pins for this.

    L) The Emerald City, WI3-4, 16m

    FA-T.Clark and G.Cornell, Feb. 2008

    A multitude of green ice lines of varying quality up to the trees. Great TR?ing is had here.

    THE PHOTOS IN ORDER:

    1)Billy-No-Mates

    2)Decepticon

    3)Brac's Route, pillar one and two

    4)Emerald City left side

    5)Emerald City right side

    6)Rugged, Hairy Chested Pioneers, and the 1ft wide drip

    7)Sun is Yellow

    8)Niagara Traverse


  • #2
    Some of these were climbed 2 seasons ago by myself and Pierre D. We figured someone had probably already been there, and didn't deem it worthwhile to report them since they were kinda short/WI2. Fun ice if you're on route to Heavenly Bush, but not really worth the slog otherwise.

    Comment


    • #3
      This is supposed to be the approach to Heavenly Bush, a 100m WI 3 climb about 2 hours up the creek from the road - posted on this website in 2006.

      I was soloing there myself in December, with a missing screw in my left crampon - almost hit the deck on the 6th climb of the day... pretty fun it was

      pa

      Comment


      • #4
        The climb I was refering to is actually the one refered to as "Rugged, Hairy Chested Pioneer", which I'd myself call "Missing a Screw" (climbing it with a crampon and a half is great training !!!)

        I wanted to recruit my partner to bold some of the roofs you can find at the very begining of this climbing area. Although short, some lines would offer great mixed training grounds.

        Have you guys pushed a little farther in ? There's a series of steps on the south-facing gully beyond the Emerald City. (That's where the main drainage is blocked by full-grown trees; going in the trees lead you to Heavenly Bush). I suspect it goes dry after the second step but who knows?

        The bouldering is good on the way in where the canyon "pinches" is pretty good, for anyone interested.

        Cheers!

        pa

        Comment


        • #5
          No it's not worth the slog in in those heavy snow conditions, but this valley sees a lot of dry spells especially early in the season so then it would be O.K. then, just find it so boring to hike into the same places year after year.

          Yes this is the same approach as for Heavenly Bush which was mentioned.

          Nope never went to Heavenly Bush, saw it from 'Dunes' though. The canyon does continue east but looks very filled in with trees, pretty though.

          The ice up on the south-facing rockface still has an unclimbed line as mentioned but appears to just end at a rockwall, the other one I rapped from a tree.

          Good to see others appreciate a healthy slog!

          Comment


          • #6
            PA,

            Just so you know, you make new bolted areas in K-Country really. You can add bolts, replace bolts, but not create so to speak. However, this has been done by myslef and some others. Don't ask me why this became a 'rule', as we can all complain about the crazy logging in Sibbald going on with little regard. The rock on some of those walls looks cool and I can't imagine any government official with the time and rescources to go remove bolts.

            The one overhang low down is a unfinnished (summer)bouldering traverse as is the grey pinch rib on the very frst wall you hike past.

            cheers

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Greg,

              Yep, I'm aware for the bolt "rule"... I though Wildland Parks had less strict rules, but you must be right (i.e. you can't pick a rock for your geological collection nor can you even if you need a door stopper real bad). I don't own a drill anyway.

              The bouldering traverse has been cleaned and climbed 10 years ago by a K-Country local. Dirt has seeped back in from ledges above. I started cleaning it up again in 2006 but really I'm not that patient. Plus I'd need a step ladder cuz I ain't freakishly tall you see!!!

              pa

              Comment


              • #8
                PA,

                Yeah that rock traverse will need more work cleaning for it to be better. The grey rib looks better and is about 50-100m?? before the traverse overhang. It is on the left as the wall heads up to end at a cave. It too needs scrubbing but not of loose rock but of a powdery dusting. It will be a nice boulder line when done, if you go out, bring a brush a scrub it for me!!

                I was up there about 5 years ago and found a hiking stick forged from a mop head, is it yours? Someone burnt the ends of the mop srtands to form a nice hand fitting head.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Negative dude, I'm not the mop-stick-maker (weird)! I myself only started exploring that area about 2-2.5 years ago. I won't be around for the summer neither so I'm expecting you to scrub it for me )))

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