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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.
Regretfully
Will, Ian, and Grant.
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Owen Creek

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  • Owen Creek

    Owen Creek is located on the David Thompson Highway near the BNP boundary however in the app it is listed as a sub section in the Rocky Mountain Trench, Eastern Rockies. The subsection of Owen Creek needs to be moved into the David Thompson Area.

    Also it contains just one route currently - Ceramic Engineer. The slot canyon you bypass contains some ice climbs and while no FA information seems available or route names previously known, I proposed these names as a first recorded ascent last winter.

    Owen Creek Canyon
    There is a hiking trail goes far beyond the previously single listed climb known as Ceramic Engineer W3 however it sees little traffic in winter and snowshoes are highly recommended when no broken trail exists. The trail alongside the top of the narrow slot canyon is generally less of a slog than getting to Ceramic Engineer. Three areas are listed here but more seeps exist and wait to be found. The area is pretty flat around the top of the canyon and as such looks to be mostly free of avalanche hazard although might be subject to smaller sloughs from the sides. Worth noting that there is no walk out option so you'll have to climb out and the narrow slot would severely limit signals for emergency devices or radios. Something to keep in mind in case of accidents.
    Approach:
    5.9km east on the David Thompson highway from the Icefields Parkway and just inside the Banff Park boundary is Owen Creek. It may be necessary to park a little further along the shoulder depending on how wide the plough went before reaching the barrier over the creek. Drop into the drainage and walk upstream a few minutes until you reach the start of the slot canyon. The creek has quite a high flow volume and even in extremely cold winters doesn't seem to freeze well. Instead of trying to go into the slot, follow the right bank and go up the hill. The trail follows the right bank to the end of the slot canyon where the creek drops into a pothole and the upstream end of the slot canyon. It's about 1km and a 30-40 minute walk to reach the upstream end of the canyon with reasonable travel conditions.
    *UnOwen Dancer W3 30m
    The slot takes a bit of a turn and the trail loops around the top of this climb located 100-200m before the end of the slot. Some ice may be visible at a low spot on the lip of the climb. When rapping down to the floor of the slot, the snow floor collapsed and sank into the creek leading to a quick dance to keep dry feet and a semi hanging stance on a narrow ledge. However if the floor of the slot is open water, a fairly large ledge 3-4m above the creek provides a much better belay stance.
    *Don't Be An Archhole W3-4 20m
    Located some 50m before the end of the slot and although it can be spotted walking upstream, it's better seen looking downstream on the way back. A variety of options and can have either ice to the top or can lack ice at the lip, depending on the option chosen. The slot is quite narrow at the base in places here and at the upstream end leads into multiple potholes that have eroded and partially connected making various aesthetic arches.
    *Storm In A Teapot W4- 20m
    Providing the slot floor is frozen, the best way to approach the base is via the wide wall of Don't Be An Archhole and into the upstream pothole. The climb forms at the upstream end of the slot where the creek drops into a pothole and can be wet with quite the thunder coming from the rushing water behind the falls. This is a very aesthetic climb with an unusual ambiance. It exits at the top of the pothole and up to the right bank near the trail.
    .
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