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Icefall Brook

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  • Icefall Brook

    I'll take my chances with being mocked (although I'm loving all the posts that TJSR is generating), and "spray" a little about a new route in Icefall Brook, where 4 of us spent part of last week. In short, it was an good trip that I'll remember for its epic after epic. Cold weather, 80 cms of new snow, and a severe thrashing from a crazy storm rendered 1.5 of 4 climbing days unclimbable. The wind that flowed down of the Lyell Glacier produced by the arctic air settling in would have been bad by Patagonian standards, and didn't let up for 24 hours! We spent some desperate hours after a sleepless night digging our camp out of chest deep drifts! Perhaps our biggest epic was somehow going through 15 pounds of propane in a day and being forced to survive lows in the -20s for 72 hours on ice water and sandwiches! Being wet and cold definitely was getting old by the time we flew out. Still it was awesome being back there. IB definitely has the highest concentration of ice routes in the Rockies that I know of, although everything there has now been climbed except maybe a few WI 2 and 3's of insignificant lengths. If anyone goes and climbs these, I hope they don't report them...

    Anyways, the highlight of a four day trip was new route on a south face. Being on a south face was critical for our survival as it was the only few hours of the day we were warm and occasionally dry!

    We called the route "Back from the storm" and the details go like this:

    Back From The Storm

    420 meters, WI 5, M5

    Location: Icefall Brook

    FA: Jon Walsh, Ian Welsted, with help from Chris Alstrin and Keith Ladzinski

    A more direct start would've been possible but shorter and easier that way. Instead, we climbed three tiers: The first tier was 3 full 60 meter rope lengths of WI 3-4 (we simul-climbed). The second was full two rope lengths of thin, technical WI 4+, with a few rock moves past bulges. Cams, nuts, and stubbies were the main protection for this tier. The third tier was two full 60 meter pitches of excellent quality WI4 and WI5. Descent: 4 rappels towards a snow couloir to the right, then downclimb / hike

  • #2
    That looks great, congrats!

    Did you happen to notice a cave a ways to the left but about level with the top of the second tier with ice coming out of it? That hole has been driving cavers nuts for decades, be curious if you noticed it, or if there was ice coming out of it if so?

    I heard the last party in there cooked over their propane heaters after forgetting a valve or something. Must be a propane curse in IB?

    Too bad about the shortage of new routes left to do, but good of you to get the last rig standing done. Grin... Good effort.



    • #3
      There are quite a few caves in IB, many with ice pouring out of them. No cave in particular really stood out as something that would be interest to cavers, but you could definitely bolt some hard mixed climbs in there. The rock quality is excellent...