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Better Than Solstice, FD

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  • Better Than Solstice, FD

    I'm posting this report written by Kevin Barton. I was on the FA team, just too lazy to do a full write-up... Pics can be found at:

    The small pillar on the left is F&D. The lower angle ice is Better Than Solstice.

    The climb itself isn't too much to brag about, but if you want some easy ice all to yourself and a little short delicate pillar to play on then you will probably find it here. Only crappy part is that the road closes Dec. 1

    Jason Wilcox


    Better than Solstice 150m II WI3. First ascent Kevin Barton, TJ Neault, Jason Wilcox

    F & D 15m II WI4 R. First ascent Jason Wilcox, TJ Neault, Kevin Barton


    On Saturday, November 24, TJ, Jason and I climbed two new ice routes on a north outlier of Mt. Bryant. F & D is a short, but difficult alternate start to Better than Solstice. Jason made the lead on the vertical pillar look easy, but the fragile and aerated ice did not allow any ice screws. JW brought TJ and I up and we finished the remaining 130 metres of the route with a simul climb and a few ice screws. Above the pillar the route is easy WI2, and hardly worth the effort, we kept hoping for a nice steep section. We rapped off trees 60 metres to easy trees on climber?s right and descended to the base on the route. TJ soloed the right hand side start to the climb, while JW and I dry tooled around the nice cracks between the ice veins. All in all a pretty casual climb, but more fun and Better Than Solstice. JW and I climbed Solstice last season and didn?t think much of it.

    A few details:

    Park at Canyon Creek, on the Powderface Trail, 14 km north of Highway 66, or 20.5 km south of Highway 68.

    Hike up Canyon Creek for about 1.5 km, turn West - North West into the first drainage on the right. Follow this drainage for about 1.5 km, take left fork and then reach the climb in another 1.5 km. Climb is located on the left side, north aspect, of an outlier of Mt. Bryant at GR 415418. The climb is obvious from the creek.

    The bottom of the falls has two options, the WI3 start to Better than Solstice or a vertical pillar of 15m. The pillar is a separate route; F & D, WI 4 R. On the first ascent F & D was vertical, aerated and not well attached to the rock. No screws could be placed on the lead. It was just a hook fest in small aerated pockets.

    The bottom pitch of Better than Solstice is WI3 for about 20 metres. Then the angle kicks back with about 130 metres of WI2.

    Descend by rapping on trees to climber?s right for a full 60 metres, then walk down through easy trees on climber?s right.

  • #2
    Took a 2 hour ramble up to "Better than Solstice" Saturday Oct 22nd and missed the climb by navigating exactly towards the GR 415418. I'm assuming the ice line at GR 413418 is the correct line . It is forming though a litttle more melt freeze might be needed to fill it out. Significant overhead hazard as you can see. Climbed the peak opposite gully when i didn't see any ice initially. I give up easily.