GSI shutting down

It is with regret that Gravsports Ice will be closing soon. Despite all of us here and many in the community being of the opinion that GSI is a better archiving system for information on ice climbing in the Canadian Rockies, this website will be shutting down.

Keeping the lights on and keeping conditions current no longer seems practical. We have tried making the forums more user friendly, and kept access to a vast array of beta and history contained on the website open to all. However low participation and increasing costs from both the website and hacker intrusions have lead us to this decision. Many thanks to Ian for past hosting costs. While the website will remain live for a short while you can expect it to disappear soon. We have talked of options to preserve the beta it contains however we offer no guarantees at this time.

We thank all our supporters, and everyone in the community for your past participation in GSI.
Will, Ian, and Grant.
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Bad Anchors

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  • Bad Anchors

    Very few ice climbers have a drill in their pack but no doubt like myself, happen to come across damaged, missing, corroded, or otherwise mank anchors. I'm going to put this here as somewhere to make a report. It's certainly no guarantee anything will be done but once in a while you get a climber who might be gracious enough to upgrade an anchor.

    By way of example, the rap anchor to exit Valley Of The Birds was getting iced over and hit when people chopped it out (hitting a bolt or its hanger can compromise its integrity - don't hit em). The old one is on climbers left but look directly to climbers right now to see a new rap anchor on the opposite wall.

    So if you come across any in need of attention, or you see something here and fix it, report it so we all know its good.

  • #2
    Saw work needed if anyone has one with them.

    Blue Cheese - on the approach.

    The Professor Falls - on the route.

    Bolts, cord, debris - see something, add it here.


    • #3
      Last year I went into King Creek late seaso . Can anyone confirm if there are bolts on the main flow or perhaps they were buried under snow/ice. Does it need a higher anchor for late season?


      • #4
        UPDATE for King Creek.

        Up on the Main Flow the bolted rap station is under snow but not ice so far. Given this often seems to happen late season leading to v-threads and cord abandoned in the drainage I figured a higher station was needed. Finding solid rock to place one however was extremely challenging. A lot of hollow tapping. However there is now a second higher station currently 2-3 ft above current snow levels. It's higher and left of the previous anchor and just left of the broken corner. It consists of a ring anchor with chain backing it up to a second higher bolt, located just above a small shelf that may gather some snow but regular traffic will dust it off. Just a note of caution: depending on snow level at the base and whether you rap to the bottom right, or left to the slope, it could be a rope stretcher for a 60m rope. Tie knots in the end in case.
        Just remembered I added a higher anchor on the main flow in King Creek. I reported it with a conditions report but above is the info on the new rap anchor.

        A guide in there at the time thought the cave flows could use a better hardware arrangement but I didn't have the right gear. I think the main issue is the current gear promotes rope twists but it is a safe anchor. Chain and quicklink spares would be needed, probably a new bolt in a different orientation.


        • #5
          Chilkoot Passage -

          Someone has taken the hangers off the old studs but a newer anchor one level lower should be low enough for rapping with a 60m rope. To get down from the top level however, you'll have to downclimb or use just a single bolt. SECOND BOLT AND RING HANGER NEEDED.

          The final rap to get back to the base has only a single bolt/hanger/chain. SECOND BOLT AND RING HANGER NEEDED.

          Fang and Fist -

          Not so much a case of bad anchors as much as no anchors. This climb is getting fairly well travelled in recent years and multiple threads are being left on it each winter (I found an old thread over 10 minutes walk down the creek). Adding a bolted station to the lefthand ledge at the top of the first pitch, and the top of the third pitch, would allow rapping the route in two raps with a pair of 60m half ropes.

          Two additional stations would be required to enable rapping with a single rope. Locate one station in the bomb alley narrows halfway up the first pitch. Locate one station on the right side ledge at the top of the second pitch.

          Waterhole (on McGillivary) -

          If you rap using the chains on the right near the top, a 70m rope will not get you to the base. You can do a short rap to ring bolts lower and right, then to the base. Alternately you end up on a ledge where a bolt on the mixed line has a mallion or traverse left to the ice. Adding a second ring bolt at this ledge would facilitate a safe rap to the base


          • #6
            I always walked off F&F, so no rap stations from BITD.

            Feel free to put them in.



            • #7
              This is Al Dunham? Kudos on an excellent route. I tried walking off one time but the whumffing as we headed up an open slope further over had me like fuck this, back to the climb to rap it. :grin:

              Thanks for the input.


              • #8

                Keso & Sitka



                • #9
                  Malignant Mushroom - As of the past weekend it didn't look really outstanding yet but it just occurred to me that last winter when we climbed it, we only found one bolt at the top. Maybe one was under ice or maybe it needs some attention. If you're going there and want to haul a drill and an extra ring hanger/bolt, placing it high would be a community service.


                  • #10
                    Upgrade on VOTS

                    *This was a completion of a partial upgrade started last winter. Last winter I didn't have the drill with me but I upgraded one anchor from tat to a pair of ring bolts. This trip I had the drill and hardware to make a proper difference.

                    *At the top of the first pitch is a chain bolted onto rock, climbers left. Although this is contrary to TABVAR guidelines, it was already there and in decent shape so I spent no time on it. Sooner or later it should get upgraded but there's no rush for that.

                    *The station at the top of the second pitch, climbers left was two damaged bolts with no hangers. The rope pull for these was down over a large rounded rock edge giving plenty of rope drag. I relocated the new station on climbers right at head level making it a better pull. It has two ring bolts.

                    *Higher on the route there is a shortish pitch of ice that kind of turns back to the right with a single bolt at the top. There was no way to back this bolt up for redundancy and the ice you walk on is often thin. Partners of mine have often heard me remark "If it warrants a bolted rap, it should have two". OK maybe rant is a better way to put it. Anyway that single lonesome bolt with its quicklink now has company in the form of a shiny ring bolt.

                    Towards the top of the canyon, easy ice leads into a tight slot which is then blocked by a chockstone. Above the chockstone is a two bolt anchor that had one bolt tied to the other with cord. I removed the tat and replaced it with chain and mallions. Unfortunately my length of chain was longer than needed and one bolt has an accessory tail now to clip your pack onto, or weave flowers into it to look pretty, or just ignore it. The rap point is the single rap ring and there is no need to thread the chain. That's not the purpose of the short chain leg except to look pretty :crazy:

                    One final point. My phone camera needs fixing so excuse the low quality pics.


                    • #11
                      Saturday 9-Mar-2019

                      Update on Chantilly Falls

                      Rumours of a bolted station halfway up Chantilly Falls had me curious because I'd never seen it. Rumour also had it that the "bolts" were loose. I went up and placed a new station that is unlikely to get iced over and further back away from ice fall although depending on how its formed or the amount of snow that may catch debris, you might still want to consider extending the belay by clipping the rope and standing on flatter terrain.

                      The location was chosen by tapping for solid rock with much of the wall being loose shaley choss. There was however a very solid section so I chose it. I don't know if its a quartzite band but it was super compact rock and probably took me three times as long as usual to place the station.

                      It's located on the left wall below the second pitch. The older station that was reported as loose is a little further right and higher. Besides being wobbly in the hole, I can only describe it as "hokey" because it looks like eye bolts for lifting equipment. Such eye bolts in a lifting scenario gain their strength from having the collar fully seated against the metal its screwed into. I'd have to guess these are glued into place and while I admire the resourcefulness, I cant say the anchor inspired confidence except for the fact it had chain embedded into the ice.

                      Anyway the raps from the top can now be done from the tree up the snow gully with a 70m rope to the new station. A 60m rope will leave you just at the base of the ice with a few meters to reach the new station. Better would be the bigger tree on the right at the top and near the ice for a 60m rope to reach the new station.

                      From the new station a 70m rope will reach the snow slope of the approach or a 60m rope will need a third rap from the tree on climbers right or else downclimb a few meters to the approach slope.

                      Below is the new station looking up to the second pitch. Note the flagging tape.

                      Below is the anchor close up.

                      Below is the old anchor.



                      • #12
                        Headed to Brival Veil and added a bolted station to provide an alternate to rapping from a protected White Bark Pine at the top. This tree is located climbers left as you top out the second pitch. A previous party had removed the tat from the tree instead using trees on the right side and suggested installation of a fixed anchor.
                        The new station is on the rock face on climbers right near the top out. It is two bolts and chain on a rap ring.
                        I apologize for missing a wrench and was unable to tighten the quick links on the chain beyond finger tight. If anyone cares to take a small adjustable wrench to fully tighten them it would be appreciated.



                        • #13
                          New intermediate rap station on The Water Hole on McGillivray.
                          When leading the right side up to the bolted anchor by the big tree, you can now rap 30m to a big ledge right of the main ice. A two bolt and chain anchor then gives you a short rap to the ground of less than 10m. It would also be possible to traverse from the main ice along this ledge should you need to bail for some reason.


                          • #14
                            Beowulf - in the north Ghost.
                            On the final pitches going up the left wall, there is a bolted station approx 55m above the canyon floor. There has been doubts expressed regarding its integrity. The biner on it is solidly screwed closed and would need tools to remove but the sleeve of the biner is cracked. It's been put forward it should be upgraded to a SS rap ring. If anyone gets to replacing the hardware please report it here and thank you in advance.
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