2006/2007 Conditions now UP here , the information below is for last year.
2005/2006 Conditions (Final ice conditions update April 3, 2006, but I'll continue posting new routes as they come in, see below, as well as any cool alpine climbs.)
Please drop an email to email@example.com if you climb something and don't mind sharing it, it's our reports that keep this current. Pictures are good too, please include the climb and your last name in the file, thx. wg.
|Avalanche Conditions Check this first.||Rockies Ice Guides Pages, lots of good info.||Mountain Conditions Report Reports from guides, good.||Live The Vision Conditions Pages Bulletin Board, good.||Gravsports Ice Pages More info.||2005-2006 ice photos||Ice etiquette, Barry Blanchard.||JD LeBlanc's site:||Hydrophobia (Ghost) through the Waiparous approach beta here.|
NOTE: I was going to shut this site down for the season but great new routes and reports keep coming in , like this one in Chile!!!
And how about this new line, next to RIPTIDE! Big congrats to Jon and Caroline, a fine way to finish off the season and a stellar addition to Rockies icicle action.
Cory Richards also had a good day out on Shooting Gallery, plus he's a professional photographer. Shooting Gallery is one of the classic Rockies routes, looks like he and Bill had a great day!
And, if the above wasn't enough Caroline sent me this trip report. Basically she and Jon and various partners had one hell of a tour through the Rockies over the last couple of weeks. It's too long to fit here, so check out the page, truly a fantastic trip and story.
Wait, that's not all, another great spring day in the Rockies from Lise below... The minute I shut this site down everyone starts climbing like mad, thanks to everyone who sent all this in and allowed me to post the photos and reports for everyone to enjoy. I just spent all afternoon doing this, but it sure was fun!
April 2nd, Hydrophobia, Sorcerer Linkup, Lise Beaulieu and Colin (Photos)
After a very, very long day in the mountains, Colin and I completed an objective I have been wanting to attempt for quite awhile. The Sorcerer-Hydrophobia Link Up. We left the truck at 2:15am and were climbing just after 4:30am. Sunrise over the Sorcerer is one of the most amazing sites I've seen. The blue of the sky was other-worldly. As the day progressed anything that happened past the immediate moment took on a dream-like quality and it was all about what we had to do next. Approach, climb, transitions, belay, travel snow slopes, ridge walking, loose icy scree slopes that scared the be-jesus out of me and slowed me down in stretches. Rapping down Hydro, climb, climb. climb. Sneak in food and hydration. Redbull/water combo worked well! :-) Rap back down for the second time and begin our descent in the dark. Then the drive back home trying to stay awake was an adventure in itself!
Colin and I are both at work today if you can call it that. I am here physically but my heart is still in the Ghost!
End of the Conditions reports, April 3rd, Will Gadd
There is still a HUGE amount of ice in the Rockies, but it's also rock climbing season and so I'm done doing ice updates until October 2006. Have a great spring!
Thanks very much to everyone who sent info in this year, see ya next year!
Shawn Huisman and I just finished off a new Stanley route. It is located 20m left of Nemesis. It is the drip just left of Aquadisiac and is visible on page 209 of Jo-Jo's waterfall ice guidebook. The first 2 pitches are mega in themselves; especially the first which has some splitter crack climbing. The drytooling pitch to the upper pillar is pretty loose but well bolted. Not a great pitch in its self but included in the whole route makes it tolerable. I've never seen it this fat so go do it before the season ends. Right now conditions up there are awesome with pleasant temps and plastic ice.
Other New Stanley Rigs: If anyone is still psyched for drytooling, Louis, Joe and I sent a couple new mixed rigs at the Thriller Cave at the end of Stanley this season as well. Miracle Filler (M9) starts at the same first bolt as Miller Swiller but goes straight up. The other is Caterpillar (M10) located just left which offers awesome endurance climbing for 30m up a 120 degree wall.
WG--for more info check http://www.seanisaac.com/
Various, March 30th, WG
It's sort of spring out there! Still loads of ice and will likely be that way until mid-Apil, but the south-facing stuff is definitely on the way out. Jakob's Ladder is actually touching down and has seen at least once ascent, but get it done early, lots of falling ice/snow hazard reportedly. Climbed in Field today, everything still good to go but screws are starting to take some work to get. Pilsner Pillar is in very easy shape, all the other beer climbs starting to get a bit crusty on the surface, dig for screws. Although this is an ice site, it's worth noting that people are rock climbing on Yam, the trail is a mud wrestling event and there is still some ice/snow around but game on for spring!
Various, March 29th, Andre Iwaszkiewicz (Photos)
Grotto falls is still super fat. Hers is about to come down if it has not already in the last 2 days.
Got up the new route Ghoster Coaster on Mar. 26 Cougar Canyon. Approach time for me 1hr 40 min another group was there as well. their approach time near 2hr. ice was in good shape. fun route, long walk.
Haffner on Mar 29. Plenty of ice still but not for long. Super warm day had ice crashing down around us.
Cascade is no longer in shape. 2nd last pitch has come down.
Icefields Parkway photos, March 27th, John Eyre
Some pics of 3 different groups between Mar 24-26 on the parkway.http://eyrespace.com/images/spring06/highway93mar06/index.php
Curtain Call, March 27th, Lise Beaulieu (photo)
Colin and I got out yesterday and climbed a Rockies Classic, Curtain Call. It lives up to its recommendation on both Guy Lacelle and Joe Josephson's climbing lists. The climb is in excellent shape. I thought this photo really speaks to the character of the climb. Technical ice with delicate curtains, fragile mushrooms and interesting ice formations that Colin and I decided looked like very large Candy Corn things with the white on top. A stellar climb.
Evans Thomas, March 24th, Ken Picard (Photos)
Fat ice at ET! All routes are nice and fat. A bit wet, but good solid ice. Did Snowline and had a sweet time.
A few shots from the day included. More photos at http://photos.yahoo.com/kpicard4, blog at: http://oregoncanadian.blogspot.com/
New Route in Cougar Creek, March 22nd. Ghoster Coaster WI 3+ III 135m FA Brandon Pullan, Michelle Spakowski, Noel Gingrich. March 19/06
On March 17th I spotted a large flow up cougar creek via Helicopter. On March 18th we spent hours bushwacking and slogging trying to find it. We did not.. However, we did find a hidden Gem..
About 30 minutes after Canadian Forks up the LEFT creek up in Cougar. The first major drainage on the left appears to end at a large rotten yellow rock wall.. the drainage has half a dozen large Hoodos as well. After scrambling up for a few hundred meters the wall gives way to a narrow gully and after 2 turns a large blue climb jumps out.. An awesome route, close to town.. Huge volume of water.. thick and soft.. wild atmosphere.. very hidden away. About 1.5 hours from car.Good intro route.
New Routes on Rundle: In 03' Greg Cornell Put some new route up in the thrid bowl on rundle (his info is on your new route info page) He called his climbs Loggers Road and High Plain Drifter. I went up a month ago to check them out.. We climbed a 25m WI4 Pillar (Lucky Logger FA Brandon Pullan and Noel Gingrich) about 200m above Loggers Road WI 2, 30m. We then climbed a 40m WI3 (Sitting Duck FA Brandon Pullan and Noel Gingrich) about 300m right of High Plain Drifter. And we then climbed a new climb 30m left of drifters first pitch up a iced slab (42m M5) that can be connected to the second pitch of high plains drifter via a tree'd ledge.. Cold Cow 90m M5 WI3 FA Brandon Pullan and Noel Gingrich (gear to two inches).
Johnston Canyon, Ken Picard, posted on the 21st but done on the 19th of March (photos)
A quick note on Johnston Canyon conditions 3-19-06.
The first pillar (from right to left) was juicy, and a bit rotten, but OK for a top rope. All the stuff to the right was decent and the pillars and mixed nuttiness toward the falls was getting a lot of sun on top, yet looked fair for the advetureous. Very warm day.
Hope this helps
Coire Dubh, March 19, Chris Haacke
Climbed Coire Dubh Yesterday....Great Ice conditions in most places, but lots of rotten ice in places with direct sun. All in all a great day!!
Chris Haacke-Ben Sweet
Hafner, Real Big Drip, Various, March 19th, WG
For those wondering about "General" conditions in the Rockies, it's still very good here. Polar Circus, Field "beer" climbs (Pilsner, Kronenborg, etc, all done recently) upper and lower Weeping Wall, Louse Falls, Hydro, Sorcerer, all the "top 50" still in, but the sun is getting really strong, time to start thinking about both the snowpack above sunny routes and the ice hazard on anything getting the strong sun, it's the "dynamic" time of year now as the sun starts climbing over peaks and hitting even normally shaded routes. Soon the lower and most sun-exposed routes will revert to water, but there will be lots to climb into mid-April as usual. Check the avi forecast as usual.
Hafner lower is still solid despite the warming temps. Lots of rime in the upper canyon Hoar House cave. David Dornian's project is no longer a project, farthest right route in the upper cave, m9, it's a pumpy "warmup." All the other routes in the cave holding up well too, but be easy if the temps warm up, stuff will start breaking like the frozen-together-limestone-choss-snazzle that the area is...
Climbed the first three pitches of the Real Big Drip Saturday. An excellent "old school" classic, thin and technical on the first pitch, it's a bit farther to the ice from the bolts but the fall looked safe enough. Incredible choss on the first pitch but well protected, getting to the ice is the crux. Second pitch wild ice, very fun, good pro, biggest mushrooms I've seen in North America--why are they there? Belay bolts a bit hidden to the climber's left on top of the mother of all mushrooms on top of the first pitch. Third pitch good fun too, technical and will destroy the calves... You can easily drive the cutline up the first big hill, park after it flattens and goes down a bit, motorcycle trail leads south to the drainage. Technical crux on creek bed ice getting to the route. Give 'er!
Curtain Call, March 18th, Andy Arts (photos)
Here are some picture of curtain call, great climb but in interesting conditions. Right pillar was pissing down the hole day so we climb the left pillar and on the right side.
Sorcerer (done on the 10th), Randy Colwell (photos added here)
Climbed Sorcerer on March 10th with Denis Pelletier. We bailed before the last pitch though because we were tired and let another party (from Spain) pass us to complete the route. The route is in nice shape although hooked & stepped out on the lower pitches. Drive into the N. Ghost was OK with snow packed road and easy creek crossing.
Ghost, Stanley, March 12th, Andreas and Roger, (photos)
we did the Big Drip today, I got my ass totally kicked but rog was my hero. Yesterday had a fun time skiing under the stanley headwall and getting my
ass kicked again on more steep mixed climbing. Isn't it fun, having a laptop and a digital camera. here are some pictures.
Beowolf, Devil's Punchbowl, March 11th, Brad Winter (Photos)
On Fri. Ulysse R. and Myself climbed Beowolf, and devils punchbowl. The route is in great shape with very little signs of traffic.The ice is great and the canyon floor is almost all ice the entire way. The final pitch of Beowolf was brittle, but that was it for bad ice. Devils punch bowl is good, short but good.
Sea of Vapors, March 10th, Andy Arts (Photos)
Just thought you might want to know about Sea of Vapors. JT haul my ass up there today and it was in very interesting shape. There is a trail broken now for everyone. We were up to and above our knees in places, made for a very long approach. We only climbed the first two pitches and I have to admit that I've never climb anything harder to date. I'd say a definite 6 if not 6+ at least the first pitch. The traverse was very thin and then just after it became overhanging for a bit. And weird ice, lucky we had stubbies because you could not use anything else until nearing the anchor.
I just climbed a new line at the bottom right edge of Louise Falls with Royal Laybourn. It is 5 meters to the right of Lowe Impact/Thelma Falls, and is called "Pink Cadillac". It is a fun route that goes at M6+, WI 4R on trad gear. The crux is right off the ground, starting under an overhanging corner/crack on the prow of rock to the right of where climbers often leave their packs. There are two bolts close to the start of the route, but are off the climbing line and were not clipped on the first ascent. Climb into a groove on the prow of the rib of rock to the right of Louise Falls. Traverse left to the free standing pillar then straight up to big snow mushrooms. Traverse left again to above Lowe Impact and continue up on snow to a belay on ice. Take a standard rock rack to 3 inches, a few pins and a few screws. The gear is good. Enjoy.
Ghost and Wedge, Brad Winters, March 7
Keso curtain is good, but the climb is much walking for a climb with only a few short pitches of climbing( one short pitch of WI4, with 2 short pitches of WI3. Yellow bird is good but has seen tons of traffic, Dead bird is dead (very very thin), the approach canyon is very beat out, with ice missing in places. Also was at wedge the day before and it is in great shape. A great alternative to the junkyards or grotto. Only one other party that came near the end of the day.
Various, Mike/Scott, March 6th
Feb 24th - Guiness Gully - Great conditions all around. Stout and High Test are
fat and dry. Good trail to top.
Feb 26th - Marion and Caroline Falls. Both in excellent shape. Get on'em before
the next long warm spell though! We drove (4x4 Durango rental) within 1hrs walk
although you could squeek by a tight section and drive right up to the routes!
High clearence rig recommended for the Waiparous.
March 1st - Sorcerer - Great shape. Access via the N. Ghost. Parked on the other
side of the river. High clearence rig recommended.
March 3rd - Kemosabe - Awesome and dry. Ice funnel is in as well. Parked within
1.5hrs of the routes.
March 5th - Damocles - Great boot trail now to the route through DEEP snow! First pitch was fat WI3. Second short pillar is in and reasonably solid. Third crux pitch is awesome WI5. Huge crack across the top was somewhat rebonded. No weirdness noted though. Fourth pitch short techy bit. Above this the ice keeps going for at least another 100m and looked nice. We started to venture over to Cadeau Cache'(looks huge) but chickened out due to very deep snow. Seemed stable but couldn't shake the fear.
New Parkway Route: The Great Escape M7+ WI 4 Jyoti Venne, Joe Buszowski, Kevin Dyck, Feb 2006
"Everyone says their routes are fantastic, but this one really is!! " (WG--Sounds like a good one!
Ghost, Feb 24 Jerome Chin
We climbed the lower pitch of Wicked Wanda Feb 21. The ice is good but somewhat beat up on the first 20 meters. Plenty of ice on both sides of the upper section to the top. A team across the valley made it up Malignant Mushroom. Sunshine is fat. We climbed This House of Sky Feb 23, what an amazing climb! Got a late start and hiked out in the dark. Bring headlamps! Easy drive to within 200 meters of GBU if you have an SUV. GBU is in good shape, chandeliered on the right side. Home to California tomorrow, thanks to the Rockies for another year of great ice.
Drytool Bouldering, Feb 23, Greg Cornell
T his is not a route but info to a great, tricky traverse less than 10 minutes from the road, but you can go up the WI2 ice too: 'Cousin Ironman', Dec./05 by G.Cornell Nice end-of-day pumpy dry-tooling traverse on bomber rock that takes pick placements well, less than 10 minutes walk from Hwy#40.
Rogan's, Feb 22, Chris Haacke
I went up Rogans gulley on Sunday feb 19.....the climb was good except for the huge pile of crap right on the ice about half way up......not cool!!!
Curtain Call, Polar Circus, Feb 22, Steve Holeczi
Up to curtain call today. 1st pitch very chandeliered, brittle and cold. Started up the top pillar but had a massive settlement accross the pillar that is a good reminder that things are still under a lot of tension from the cold snap. It freaked me pretty good. I didn't have the cajones to keep going so
i bailed and drove over to Polar Circus which is in good shape. Top tier quite brittle. 2:57 round trip.
Ghost, Feb 21, Chris Noss (WG NOTE March 7--I missed this update while dealing in Europe, my apologies to Chris, it's a good one and would have been far more helpful if posted on time.)
Here a little info albeit rather predictable.
Ghost-Valley of the birds 02/18/06
Drive in was a piece of cake with just enough snow to improve traction.
1.Eagle broken about a ¼ up
2.Yellowbird fat and really nice climbing. Ran out about 45-50M of rope on the top pitch compared to guide book 30M
3.Deadbird is non existent
4.Albatross looked thin and not really that interesting
5.Seagull is fat and looked pretty steep for the guidebook grade
6.GBU looked fat but a little wet, lots of great lines still
Guiness -02/20/06 Super fat as usual and a little punched out as usual
Hi we are up here in Canmore for our annual ice climbing week. Yesterday, we climbed Bow Falls. The climb is in good shape with consistent ice. The approach is fast with hard packed snow. Snowshoes still helpful but not necessary. We left a nice V-thread backup and lockin biner at the top rap anchor. Highly recommend the nachos plate and beers at the lodge on the way out. Cheers.
These photos are of Going to the Sun Highway. An awesome Blanchard/Lowe route with views of Assinaboine and much more at the top. Can wear crampons right from the truck(just about).
Also, here is a couple of climbs that do not see as much traffic in the Ghost. Olympus which in in great shape and in classic Frank 5 condition. Awesome trail as well.
Great White Fright, Going to the Sun, Feb 12th, Ian Welsted
Climbed the GWF the other day with Mike Stuart. Enjoyed it but found the pro quiite hard to find on the upper mixed pitches, weren't terribly happy with a few of the "anchors" we made. Also, the dagger is no place to find out how your M6 climbing is going, what with the questionable pins and the ledgefall potential. The long and the short of it: of the two routes on EEOR Balzout is much more enjoyable overall, and definitely less committing.
Going to the Sun Highway pillar is in with a crack across it where it meets the rock.
Field, Weeping Wall, Feb 8th, Chad Anderson
According to the the wardens, Guiness Gully's first pitch is in great (fat) shape as of 2/4/06. We climbed it that day, and it indeed in great shape. The Weeping Wall is in fine shape; the upper last short pitch of the left side was a bit thin and wet, but doable (if anyone happens to have a drill and bolt kit, the first center anchor, where to the two pins and a bolt are, needs work. I imagine the pins are okay, yet, but the bolt/hanger is rusting horribly, and needs to be replaced. Just a thought. Or, it could be removed, and people could use a screw anchor).
Sniveling Gully didn't look fun at all (snow and running water), so we skipped it. Haffner is really beat out, but it's still a great place to crag.
WG Note--I use an auto web photo gallery maker and can't quite figure out how to get all Rob's captions on it tonight, I'll work on it in the morning but want to get the photos up, here are his caption notes for now:
I was up from NY state and took some shots that I thought you might like for your website. Curtain call --bailed from middle of second pitch. Waterfall running inside the climb was a little too wierd. Candlestick maker from feb. 1st? Excellent ice from top to bottom, scott gould on a full 70 meter finish of hydro, here's one from the mid way point on hydro.
Johnston Canyon, Feb 6th, Ian Hunt
Just read the recent update that mentions Johnston canyon and thought I would offer more recent info.
We climbed there on Feb 3rd. Part of the "normal" pillar had collapsed a couple of days prior to that (info. from icewalk guides). What is left looked pretty fragile and wet.
Of the other pillars, most look fragile especially due to the mild weather and warm sun that catches the top of the pillars.
We chose not to climb the pillars and stuck to the corner on the right.
Just got home from a week trip in the rockies.
All the Beer (Field) routes look fat , Pilsner especially nice with a few options up.
Essondale Right was too sketchy for me, chandelier and wet. the left side was thin but easier.
Johnstone canyon had some good W5-W6 pillars for TR'ing, the easy stuff on the right was snowy on jan 30
Louise falls was really beat out on the easier top pitch left pillar .the right side is harder (W4+) maybe. very busy.
Haffner creek the mixed routes to the left on Mojo are almost covered by ice.. People walk around the top of the Canyon to get to Cave Man. Its tricky to walk all the way up the creek to reach the upper climbs.
Access to the ghost is really good. any normal car could be driven to the top of the big hill but you would probably park there. its a long walk from there to any climbs. Most of the ghost route are looking good
Wicked Wanda was great Thursday (feb 2). There are 2 old bolts at the back of the "mouth" 35 m up and a good bolt and pin for the top belay. you can scramble off climbers right or 55m rap.
GBU looked a little wet but good
This House of Sky all the lower W2/3 steps were beat out. the upper pitches were an easy W4 (15m) then W3 (35m).
Going to the Sun highway the first pitch looked good, pillar touching down.
WG note--I called this "Tour de Rockies" on account of the variety, sounds like a great trip!
Ghost (Wicked Wanda and more), Feb 6, Brad Winter
On sunday Ulysse and I did Wicked wanda, which is in great shape and fat compared to the guidebook photos. cool wind formations in the ice. We then did Weathering Heights, which is also in good shape. We had a look at Anorexia Nervosa but it looked in bad shape with the frst pitch not there. Across the valley we noticed that Aquarius has fallen down. Sunshine is fat although it did get beat up by the sun all day. Well also hiked up to the base of Malignant Mushroom, but we lacked the testical foritude to try it after seeing tons of blocks around the base and alsoa Abalakov Sling laying at the base. The drive in is good and there is very little to no snow in the area. -cheers, Brad
WG Note-- Good to see people venturing out to the lesser-populated routes, this is some very tasty-looking ice!
In fantastic shape, great climbing! Doug did the crux.Redman's looks interesting...
Balzout Direct IV M8+ Wi5 525 metres, EEOR, Dana Ruddy Eamonn Walsh FFA Raphael Slawinski, Ian Welsted
Big new route.
Great White Fright IV M6 WI4, EEOR, Ben Firth, Raphael Slawinski, Eamonn Walsh
The oft-looked at but not climbed winter version of the Guide's route, Eammon says, "Not a technically desperate route, but an adventurous outing. Follow the Guides Route on Eeor for 10 pitches, then head up left into the main upper corner past two trees to a belay below where the ice starts. We climbed the ice in 5 pitches." That's big too.
House of Fools : LB/ME/JL 2 meters, Gr 6
"If you build it, they will climb it. Under the cover of darkness, 3 fools stepped outside of the Ice Climbing box to complete, to their knowledge, the first CFA. (Castle FA)"
Q: "We live in the States and climb in Banff every winter for 10 days. I'm having trouble this year determining how the ice conditions and weather will be next week. We are trying to decide if we should fly out from Feb 5-15th. We mostly climb WI5 and I haven't attempted much WI6. We are thinking about Weeping Wall Right, Bourgeau Left, Whiteman, Wicked Wanda, Pilsner. Wonder if it's fat on these climbs and and others and if you think the warming weather will have much of an impact over the next week. I don't see any big storm sitting out in the Pacific bringing lots of snow over the next 10 days. Any beta is greatly appreciated.
A: I 'd say conditions overall are really good right now, not too cold or too warm, everybody I know who climbs a lot is doing just that with no issues. All the routes you mentioned are in this year. We just had a storm that bumped the avi hazard a bit, so watch that but the Ghost is always good to go."
Snowline and Moonlight, January 26th, LJR (Photos)
Both in excellent ultra fat shape photo Geoff Creighton on the first pitch of snowline.
Stanely New Route, Drama Queen, January 22, Jon Walsh (photos)
"The name of the route comes from the conversations and jokes that were making us laugh one day working on the route. Everybody has a drama queen in their life... "
Ghost, January 16th, Grant Parkin
Darren and I started off on Sunshine. It was pretty reasonable although the sun has been beating on the climb making sections less than confidence inspiring when swinging tools on lead. There has been new ice forming though and protection was OK.
We then topped out and headed over to Aquarius. A little beta here; head high and follow the cliff rather than contouring around and enjoying the bushwhacking. Aquarius had a section of ice missing from the left side above the ledge halfway up. Possible sun damage? The right side had some hanging ice that may allow passage or rap back down from the ledge. We felt it was better to give the right side a chance to fully form rather than knocking it down. On top of that, if it did collapse while climbing, it would be a nasty fall. As we left, two other parties were on the way up the gulley so we hoped they didn't knock it down. The ice in the gully approaching Aquarius was somewhat stepped out but in excellent condition. Nice easy W3 ice.
As we walked over to Aquarius, we observed that Fearful Symetry was little more than a damp spot - not in. Rainbow Serpent was not observed from our angle.
From a distance (far side of valley) Wicked Wanda and Weathering Heights both seemed in decent condition.
We then headed over to GBU but there were quite a few people there so we didn't climb. Needless to say that it is climbable. On the way we could see that Silver Tongued Devil was still intact but given it's sunny aspect, it's unknown what condition the ice was in.
I received this via e-mail - "we went into valley of the birds - yellow bird was probably the best ice, but I didn't get to climb that one. Valley of the Sun was a good trip, but pretty straightforward."
Hope this helps enlighten folks as to some of the conditions in the Ghost.
Laser-Kissed Linkup, Jan 12, Steve Holeczi
Did Sorceror, Hydrophobia, and Wicked Wanda by myself yesterday, 9.5 hrs. Sorceror and Hydro are in great shape, very dry but good ice. Wicked Wanda is
like a fountain. The pumping nano laser kissed trance mix was definetely key!
wg note--this solo day out is pretty impressive (don't die trying to repeat it, that would NOT be impressive), the Hydro/Sorcerer link has been done a few times but this adds a bit to the equation for sure.
Steel Koan: New Cineplex Route, Jan. 9, WG
And the conditions are really good in there now, although Panther Falls is in about grade 6+ shape...
Jasper, Greg Cutforth, January 9th
January 2: Climbed Drambuie Demon. The climb is in great shape, and with no snow on the approach you are at the base in 30-40 min. The bottom is in its usual shape...short, steep and wet. The upper tier is spectacular. The left hand wall is fully formed with multiple lines ranging from steep on plastic ice to steep on delicate chandelier. The two lines on the right are also in.
January 8: Did some practice laps in Maligne canyon. The Queen is in decent shape, but very chandeliered. The seep 3-4 metres to the right is touching down and it is spectacular. Obviously a lot of traffic so it's a bit of a hook fest. The Angel is also in. It was a little hollow sounding with a lot of flow in behind but it obviously held together.
New route, ‘FAso’ 50m, WI2 route by G.Cornell, Dec.2005 Approach as for Solid Cold above the Fortress Gas Bar.
Everywhere (grin, wg), January 8th, Mark Taylor (photos added here)
Climbed Kitty Hawk January 7th. It was in good shape and didn't have to much snow on the approach or in the bowl above. The ice was thin at the bottom on the first grade 4 pitch but otherwise good. The crux was steep with lots of mushrooms overhangs and a steep pillar at the top. A little difficult to find good gear in places but generally pretty good.
Did Bourgeau Right on January 6th. The climb was in excellent shape taking full screws in good ice everywhere. Watch out for the snow slopes at the top though. We didn't climb the last short pitch as the snow leading to it seemed very unstable.
Went to Field on January 5th Climbed Cascade Kronenbourg and Carlsberg Column. Both climbs were in great shape and had good protection the whole way. Really funky steep climbing on Kronenbourg. Pilsner pillar looked really fat as did Guiness Gully but we didn't get a chance to go up for a closer look.
Evan thomas is really fat. Moonlight and Snowline are connected at the bottom both with great ice.
Went up to the Sorcerer a couple weeks ago. Also in great shape. We were slow and didn't end up finishing the last pitch but everything up to it was good. The last pitch looked like protecting could take some creativity but theres tonnes of ice up there.
The ice everywhere we went was fat and fairly plastic. Enjoy
Various, Jan 8, Nathan Brown
Jan. 3 Murchison - ice is good. Lower pitches wet on the left and down the middle. Didn't get to the upper curtain, but it looked good.
Jan. 5 Pretty Nuts (Kicking Horse Canyon). The grade 4 curtain variation on the left is totally mank. We didn't climb it. Last pitch is nice blue ice.
Jan. 5 Riverside (Kicking Horse Canyon). Fat ice, but not as good as we'd expected. Kind of dinner plately in spots, screws not as solid as we expected. There's
some interesting climbing on the right side about half way up - a fun mushroomed 3+/4- corner/
pillar (pro a little difficult to get in because the ice wasn't great) and immediately right of that a somewhat manky grade 4 pillar which we didn't climb.
Jan. 5 Essondale Right and Left (Kicking Horse Canyon). Looked at these from the railroad tracks. The crux curtain of Essondale Right is unformed (hanging daggers at the moment), and Essondale Left looked mank at the crux but formed all the way up.
Jan. 4 Haffner - ice is quite hacked out no surprise.
Jan. 3 Murchison - ice is good. Lower pitches wet on the left and down the middle. Didn't get to the upper curtain, but it looked good.
Jan. 2 Coire Dubh Integrale. Ice is fat and easy. Technical rock pitches free of snow, but some snow in the scree bowls above the crux 5.7 corner.. Above the "5.2 pockets" outlined in the topo, we ended up going left. A pink sling was visible from below, so I climbed up to it, and ended up on more difficult terrain. Turns out the sling is a pink Camp Tri-Cam that someone retreated off of. Looked sketchy, so downclimbed to ground. The way we ended up going is left of this pink tri-cam up an easy big 5.3 gully to the right of a
huge right-facing corner
His and Hers, January 4th, Louis-Julien Roy.
Hey this is a photo of his and hers for your site. (more photos there too).
Lacy Gibbet, Oh le Tabernac, Jan 2, Marc Piché (Photos here)
Both of these routes are in sun traps and deteriorate very fast in the heat of the day.
Oh Le Tabernac, December 30th
The route took a bit if a beating during the warm spell but was still very climbable with a bit of cleaning. Very little snow (0-5cm) on the approach and immediately above the route when we did it but this may have changed.
Lacy Gibbet, January 2nd
No snow on the approach and all but the last pitch are in great shape. Last pitch is very wet and rotten but should be in great shape if (when) things cool down a little.
Also, here are some Ghost Images. There are no descriptions as I did not take the pictures and was not there myself. A non-climber friend of mine was in the Ghost yesterday and took these for me as I asked him to. Although there are no descriptions, they do give you a good idea of where some of these routes are at right now with all this warm weather. (he did say they were soft and wet at the bottoms.. big surprise)
Jon Walsh, Dawn of the Dead, Dec 31
Climbed Dawn of the Dead yesterday with Chris Brazeau. We both though it was a superb route - as good as anything on the headwall. The first pitch is absolutely classic and three very nice ice pitches follow. Anyways, go do it before the ice falls off the first pitch as it will get harder. Happy New Years...
Waterton and Crowsnest, Dec 30th, Greg Cutforth
We made our way down to Waterton on a whim today and found a lot of very white looking crap.
Expert's Choice was anemic. The centre might go, but questionable looking ice from the road. The first pitch on the left might have been in but that was it. It looked like verglass for the top two pitches. The right was fully mixed the whole way.
Quick and dirty area. French Kiss might have been in, but very questionable. Everything else was anemic.
Went back to the Crowsnest and got lost as we post-holed, bushwacked and slogged our way into Wolf Falls. Finally got there. Ice was in good shape. Climbed one nice 30 m pitch up the middle (maybe grade 4) and ran out of time. The other two lines (looked like grades 2 and 3) were in and would have been worth climbing had we not wasted our time down south.
Possible new route Elk Lakes, Dec. 30, Janez Ales and Donald Otten, (photos)
50m to the left of EMF is a free hanging dagger with a big cone underneath it, another 200 m to the left is a flow climbed by Donald Otten and Janez Alex.Elk Horn, WI 5-, 70m.
Cryophobia, Dec 30th, Sean Isaac
Cryophobia is in excellent shape right now. A little fatter than when we put it up. The travel in there is easy with no snow but chains are useful for the icey hills.
Spray River Falls, Dec 29th, Brent Hedley
Climbed Spray River Falls yesterday with Kris Heemeryck. The climb was in very good shape. Midway up the climb, the ice started to get a little soft, and by the time we were in to the grade 5 mushrooms it was a pretty good rainshower. We didn't climb the last 40m, but everything looked fat and blue. The slog in was an experiece in itself - the last half is long and steep. The snow isn't very deep, though, so the approach won't get much easier than this ever.
Dawn of the Dead M8+ WI6, 140m FA: Sean Isaac, Dave Thomson, Dec. 05.
Dave and I started on this line in 1998 but the smear has failed to form well enough until this winter. Dave came out of retirement to polish off this unfinished business. It takes a direct line to the upper ice of Monsieur Hulot climbing two new pitches to get there.
Kananaskis, Dec 24th, Brad Winter (funny)
Was out yesterday and we had a look at RD but we did not even go up due to the nasty looking bowl. Then we drove around and looked for something else. We decided to climb Dodge Ram. It was not until we got near the route did the name become clear. I thought, "Why the hell would they name a climb after a truck?" Then my partner said, "Hey look at the ram". We saw a heard of them and the big male was not happy to see us, he was walking towards us, so we spent soem tiem scrambling around to avoid him. So needless to say now we will pay attention to the name of a route, I will not climb any route with the name "Charging Elk", Angry Bear, Or even Rabid Squirrel. I guess I can thank all the tourist that feed the animals for taking out that "see man, flee" reaction.
Elk Lakes, Dec 24th, Raphael Slawinski (Photos here, this place looks cool!)
Eamonn and I had a good time in the BC backcountry. Attached are a few pics.
On "Elk Lakes 1", from L to R, the routes are:
EMF = EMF (duh!)
ET = Elk Tear
D = Dunlap
A = Anoxia
NBC = Nightmare Before Christmas
SP = South Park
The details on the new stuff are as follows:
"South Park", 200m+, WI4
FA: Eamonn Walsh & Raphael Slawinski, February 12, 2005
"Nightmare Before Christmas", 150m, WI6
FA: Raphael Slawinski & Eamonn Walsh, December 22, 2005
Also of note, EMF is formed up as a pure ice route (WI5+), and is highly
recommneded. Oh yeah, on "EMF 1", for obvious reasons the left-hand line is
Various, Dec 22, Geoff Creighton
Lots of commuting to the Rockies lately to climb ice that is sorely lacking on the Coast. The Rockies climbing scene is super-friendly, supportive, and energetic. Thanks guys!
Dec. 18: Silver-Tongued Devil was climbed by Louis-Julien Roy (I followed) in the sun in the a.m. in Grade 4+ shape. This route won’t last long, and the recent warm temps may have already killed it. We then went over to the GBU and climbed the right side of the Central Pillar. The ice was so hard I couldn’t use the express feature on the screws. Grade 5 shape, a little icicly.
Dec. 19: Had to work.
Dec. 20: Climbed Bourgeau Right with Janez Ales. Lucky to get this, cause I am sure the avo hazard started climbing the next day with the Chinook, and the resulting divide snowfalls. Super route in grade 4 shape, although it is getting beat up by recent traffic and may be 4+ now. We simu-climbed some of it and did 4 belay stances, but I think I would break up the 1st long pitch we did (combining pitches 1 and 2) and do this as 2 pitches in the future. 6 rappels and some downscrambling from the base. The snow was minimal and very dry.
Dec. 21: Climbed Thriller at Field with Louis. Kind of a bad slope to approach – thank God there isn’t much snow! This route is currently quite different than the description in Isaac’s guidebook (pic attached), and we did this in 4 short pitches, although we could have done it in 3. The ice was such that one had to be choosey where one placed screws, and as such was in a technical grade 5 condition. Pitch 1 had a rock belay, pitch 2 used 2 screws in a cave, and a fixed knifeblade. Pitch 3 was a fixed rock anchor, and the final belay had a V-thread and screw for the belay. 2.5 raps.
Hope this helps. It is 10 degrees C in Van here today and pissing rain!
Professor's, Dec 19th, Niels Mckibbin (and Lost Screw)
Climbed everything except the last pitch of Professor Falls on Sunday. Last pitch was unconsolidated slush. Left a 22 cm BD Turbo Express and a BD draw (black and red sling, silver biners with red gates) due to a very dire situation. Any help with this would be much apprecitated. I can be contacted at 403-350-6961 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, Niels
Ghost, Dec 19th, Shawn Huisman. (Photos)
Did Silver Tongued Devil yesterday, it's in good shape. The sun gets to it pretty bad by the end of the day. All ice gear, but that could change with the chinook that is coming. Here is a picture of Louis on it.
Kudos to Rich for sacrificing his arm to add a bolt to the belay up there.
Waterton, Marty Ball, Dec 18th
We(Wally Reisinger,Marty Ball) went to Waterton to check out conditions and hopefully climb something on Dec.18th.We climbed Quick and dirty,graded at 3+ it seemed much more difficult.The first pitch was wet in places but not too bad,the second pitch was rotten and the belayer(me)took alot of shrapnel.Experts choice(left)first pitch was good but thin on the second.It was very warm that day and the water was running so we turned away,damn chinooks.Looks like a good climb though,we will be back. Marty.
Ghost, Borgeau, Dec 17th, Craig McGee
Did Hydrophobia the on the 16th from the South Ghost approach. Easy travel to the base with only 5 cm's of snow in the forest. The route is in excellent shape..Fat! When we climbed it there was no running water anywhere on route, no even a drop. As you have probably heard the road into the south ghost is in great shape. Even my soccer mom van made it all the way in.
Went up Bourgeau left today. Also in excellent condition. The fist pitch is fully formed and takes great pro. The last pitch is a bit sun baked but still good. The anchor at the midway ledge needs to be replaced as the bolts move when loaded. One bolt has also been hit my rockfall and is bent. While your at it the last anchor could use` another new bolt too.
Here are a couple of pic's of what we climb on in Winnipeg.(a new route every year) We have just started to ice our tower, hoping to be climbing by years end. The tower is 20m tall, has three distinct sides and new this year; lights!! so we can climb in the evenings after a hard day at work. How many cities out there have something like this only minutes from the city centre. The ice miester is Andre Mahe(Pres. of the St Boniface section of the ACC). Many long hours by him give us this great structure to climb on. If anyone is in Winnipeg, drop by and check us out. Or on the web at www.cesb.net
Climbed Massey's yesterday with one guest. Route is in ok shape. Pillar on first pitch (climbers left) was soaked so took the line to the right, which was dry and brittle. Second pitch was also quite wet (no real dry lines). Dry and brittle again for the third. -9 at the car at 0830 and a high of -4 at 1315. Calm winds with heavy fog in the morning, clearing in the afternoon. No avalanche activity observed. Lots of really BAD drivers on the TCH - Be aware!!
Have fun. Mike Stuart
Climbed Whiteman Falls on Sunday Dec 11. Ice was in good shape for the most part but had a few very thin sections with lots of water runing behind. Tough to find good screws in a few places. Redman Soars looked good too. Enjoy
Polar Circus, Dec 10- bring your snorkel. Not much snow in the Gullies on Polar Circus. Many of the chains for anchors are far above one's head since normally you would be walking on a couple feet of snow. The Ice up to the Pencil is good. The Pencil in NOT in and we navigated around boulders of ice that were "once" the pencil. The ice pitch to get up and around is very interesting cauliflower blobs of ice! The first pitch in the upper tiers - this is where the snorkel comes in. A party was ahead of us and we were wondering why we were hearing curses from the lead climber but we soon found out. That party rapped down after the pitch and told us it was "wet". Lets call it a torrential downpour shall we? Jason made a quick ascent up and I seconded after him. At the belay station we quickly decided that we'd had enough, we were drenched, our ropes were drenched and we had a hottub at the hostel in Nordegg with our name on it! We called it a day and began the long descent back down.
Louise Falls, dec 11. A couple parties on Louise Falls on Sunday. Lower pitches are nice and fat but the upper pillars are still forming.
Panther Falls was nearing touch-down over the weekend but broke off on Saturday with a really impressive crash and roar of water. There's basically nothing there now (Monday). There's a classic big hanger at the end of Rocky and Musashi, the M9 thing and M7 things to the right are also in fun shape with more ice than usual. Anything left of Rocky ends in a very unfrozen waterfall. Bridalveil is in decent shape.
JR and i climbed oh le tabernac dec.08 (brittle and hard i thought), ice in the upper bowl was looking good, easy approach with boot deep fluff. tried to climb les miserables, a little wet to start and then full immersion after a few hours in the sun - we bailed from half way. second pitch of the maid didn't get climbed because of the shower factor too. acid test pillar was thin, brittle and chandeliered - but dry - and.... bailed on that one. will keep you posted on future bails. have fun out there...
Ghost, December 10th, Shawn Huisman (Nice photo of Hydro)
here's a shot of hydro and cryo, shelley and i climbed hydro today. lived up to it's name on the second pitch. perfect temps out there, no other parties either. bottom pitch of cyro is thin but the rest of it looks good.
drove in through wiaprous, all good. put the chains at the base of the rutted hill that is pretty spicy, once they were on pretty mellow traveling. trail is now broken, but i think chains are still essential to get all the way in.
We climbed Hydrophobia on December 7th and it is in great condition. What a great climb. We drove by the Waiparous approach and we were able to reach the rutted trail that takes you up and over a hill after the river crossing. The road was ok until that point but it was to icy to continue. (FYI we had
a rented Grand Cherokee with four season tires) The walk was 2 hours toHydrophobia.
On December 8th we did Sorcerer and it is also in great condition. Nice final pitch with lots of mushrooms. We drove by the normal road and it is
very good since there is some constructions on the road. The only difficult part was to cross the river on the way back. The walk was around 1h45 to reach the climb and shorter on the way back.
* We did Bourgeau Left on December 1st and the 1st pitch was pretty big.
* On December 9th, we went to Pilsner pillar and the left pillar settled part way up while Guy was on the climb. Therefore, it should be good to wait a couple of days before doing this pillar.
Beer for Gear: Semple and Meekins (email email@example.com to claim reward), Dec 9
Hoping you can do a "lost gear notice" on your site. Sam lost a Nomic either on the street in front of my house or near the parking lot for Cascade. Beer and an ice screw for the good soul that returns it. -Scott Semple
Forgot two ice screws on Carlsberg on Friday, Dec 9. (I've been doing too much skiing lately...) The screws protect the traverse into the left-hand
set of chains on the middle ledge. Would be happy to trade beer for them. -Grant Meekins
Here's a quick summary of what I've seen/heard/done lately: Sea of Vapors is thin but good (bring stubbies--and two headlamps if leaving around noon, according to a well-known Canmore local who didn't). Professor's is fat and a little wet. Cascade is in great shape. Bear Spirit is in excellent shape, handlines up the icy bits in place, Guy Lacell's dog made it up there. You can get into the upper Hafner cave now by walking around. Guiness/all of Field is in great shape. Parkway/David Thompson is pretty much all in and happening. I'm going to drive the Parkway today and shoot photos of the classics, but game on. Don't know much about the North Ghost unfortunately, be curious about Hydrophobia/Sorcerer if anyone has done 'em. Have a great weekend, nice to see temps in the "happy" range again, been miserable cold out there of late...
This route is in, though not mid-season conditions yet. Would support 3 parties. Ice thin above bulges. Road in is in great shape, no ice.
Kitty Hawk, Louise Falls, Carlesberg, cool new routes, Bear Spirit
Climbed there saturday. Right side is in fine shape. Left slide was wet but looked climbable. The central pillar is unformed. Weeping pillar unformed, Mare in Winter looked good.
Well, it's been cold lately, almost too cold, but as a result pretty much everything "standard" is now in. Cascade, Weeping Wall, Polar Circus, Louise Falls, Bow Falls, pretty much all of Field, etc, all there. Some are still a bit wet despite the cold temps, but this season is now fully in swing and good to go. Avi conditions have been pretty good of late, but watch the avalanche forecast, we've had some new snow in some areas combined with wind and cold temps, things may change fast.
I climbed on 2 Low 4 Zero on Sunday with Anton B. It’s fat enough to take short to medium screws on the first pitch and it got plastic for the last 30m. There was no need for any other type of pro than ice screws. The approach is in great condition and it is easy to find a good spot to cross the creek. Moonlight was really wet even with the cold temps and Chantilly looked more challenging than the usual. Hope this helps!
The proposed plan for the ghost in 2006 can be found at: http://www3.gov.ab.ca/srd/regions/southwest/ghost/maps.html
Fiasco, Jon Walsh, Dec 1.
Did Fiasco a couple days ago with Chris Brazeau. Awesome route and similar to Ten years after with a harder start and a fatter finish. After the bolts
run out, the ice is average 5 cm's thick until the first belay, and the second pitch averages about 8cm's thick for the first 25 meters. There are some oppertunities for stubbies although a rack of cams up to 2 inches and a couple pitons or nuts would definitely take away the r rating. The upper ice is strait forward 4+.
Did Whiteman falls and Rednmans today. The upper pillar is thin is some places but quite manageable. We climbed on the left for the first pitch and traversed right to a cave belay (funky grade 4) Upper pitch is about 85 degrees and takes goo pro(grade 5)
Redman Soars was good as well. Contrary to what the book says about lots of fixed pro, we only found one fixed pin at 10m and just before you hit the ice. A single set of nuts and cams to 1.5 inches as well as a few pins works well.
-Have fun and don't freeze your ass off!!
Grant Parking and myself headed out to do coire dubh yesterday...not a bad approach, with something like 10in. of snow; we were the only set of tracks, and loved it! the initial pitches were wet (which we soloed...BAD idea!), and ended up more of a mixed climbed as we scraped unroped up the rock! did a pitch on a two axe (shoved in some
rocks!) belay. the snow looked heavy up top, so we decided to skip going any further up the integrale...nice scenery, we thought! -take care!
Stanley and Field, Nov 24-28, Craig McGee and Brad White
Here is some info from the past week (WG--I'll say, these guys had at it!)
Today we did the first few pitches of Suffer machine. Excelent shape as well. We broke quite a few big holds at the roof on the original start. Sorry! Oh well I'm sure your all used to it out here. Most lines in the Stanley look in right now. Nightmare on Wolf streets looks in, as well do most climbs around it. Fiasco's in but thin. The trail in is good with boots with only 10cm's new in the past few days.
Climbed Nemisis Yesterday (27th). It was in excelent shape. From the ground to the midway ledge its grade 4 and dry with great pro. From their to the top its grade 5. We climbed on the right on the Top teir. The first 20m was steep and wet (not that bad)but with great pro. (possibly grade 5+, but not 6)The rest was grade 4+. A give away right now!
(25th)Super bock, extra garde 3/4 approche pitch to the regular fist pitch. Arch pitch in good shape. The rest of the climb is in stiff shape with the top pitch feeling quite real right now, not the best pro and steep. We climbed the left side and it was managable....although harder than Nemisis.
(24th)Silk tassel In and plastic. Carlsberg Good shape although a bit wet. Cascade Kron. looks good and fat (compared to the guide book photo.) Although it still looks like dubious pro with a good bicep pump!
Here is an attached picture of conditions at the Cline River. Not bad
considering the warmer temps in the last few weeks
Burning and Drowning, a little thiner then it is in the book but all there.
Sliver, same as above
Phantom, looks in from the road but thin
THOS not sure but lots of cars in the parking lot over the weekend so I am sure someone out there knows.
Tuk Taku is fat and was wet on sat
Keso's Curtain is in
Husky Howl the upper piece is not in but the bottem is there.
Lupine Lunge is steep & touching down
Runt's Runnel, Muzzle Melody, & another unnamed piece in the same area are all there.
The 2 climbs (not in the book) to the south from the North Ghost Wilderness Boundry are in.
Fang & Fist & Chilikoot are missing some sections
Wee Wolf, & Fur face have started to form, but are nothing more then a thought right now.
GBU, Unforgiven, & Blackrock due to the way they catch the sun are all down for now.
Was in Planters Valley yesterday, Weathering Heights was in, looks a little bigger than the picture in the guidebook. Anorexia Nervosa looks about the same as the photo in the book, first pitch looked a little thinner but wet. Peanut Gallery was all there, first pitch was a little hollow but after that it was very good. We watched Keith and Dave top rope the third pitch, looked pretty steep for a grade four. The next pillar had a very large crack all the way across the top, but otherwise all there. There was tons of ice above that, in quite a few spots. All looked like potential new routes, probably a bit harder than grade 4 though. There was a new flow just left of the start of the Peanut Gallery that I don't recall seeing before, not in the guide book either, we climbed the first pitch to have a look, but the second pitch looked too hard for me, it's all there though, probably 4-5ish?. There was some footprints around the base, may have been climbed already? By the way the walk in there is brutal, boulder hopping on snow covered rocks, pretty much all the way, 2-2.5hrs to the base of PG, ski poles definetly an asset.
Also attached a pic of Evan Thomas Creek area from yesterday (Sunday) moonlight and 2 low 4 zero are in decent shape. Climbed 2 Low 4 Zero
while another party on Moonlight. No need for rock gear on 2 Low...
Here's some more beta:
11.20.05 Murchison Falls - Really wet and steep. Looked like WI5 from
where we retreated.
11.21.05 The Little Jem - In fat and blue at WI4. 1.5 hour approach.
Dumb/Dumber were in too.
Coire Dubh, Nov. 27th, Anton Baser
Climbed Coire Dubh on Sunday with Pierre D. First pitch (~40m) was standard WI3 condition, followed by some scrambling
up wet/non-existent (snow covered) ice to a 2nd easy WI3 pitch (~30m, only left corner/side was climbable). We declined to attempt the Integral alpine
finish since 8 inches of snow covered everything and was thigh deep in places.
Went in to try the Big Drip with Dr. Slawinski, and found it was indeed a big drip--literally. There was a small creek running down it, but give it some colder weather and it will be great. Went and climbed Hooker, Joker, Candlestick instead. Candlestick gave one hell of a crack mid-way up the first pitch and settled about a half inch, but there's lots of water to cement it all there with, seems fine anyhow but sure woke me up. The Hooker is very dry and likely won't last forever, but it's a cool pitch for now. Temperatures are supposed to fall fast this week, watch out on the danglers!
Don't know if you are interested in posting alpine conditions too but thought I'd let you know that the alpine conditions at the icefields are quite good, at least before todays snowfall. Climbed the Strain yesterday with Mike Adolph and we found tons of ice on the route. In the first pitch(the ugly chimney) we didn't even have to do the sketchy step to the right because ice was formed straight up. The rock was mostly snow free except some crazy mushrooms which required underclinging and even knee barring. Mostly it was ice though except for the second pitch which was rock. Also the A2 pitch was avoided by climbing the direct corner on mostly snow and ice. The decent down the AA col was in great shape, we easily downclimbed to the shrund which we rappelled (wisely since Mike fell in!).
I thought I'd let you know that JT Gill and myself climbed Twisted in Field today Nov 25. It was very brittle and lots of fun.
Just back from a week of work on the Parkway, here's what we saw...
Nov 18 - Balfour Wall - Able to set up 5 ropes. Minimal snow on approach.
Nov 19 - "Five-Seven-Zero" - No snow on approach. First pitch climbed on right hand side with half of the pillar being open, running water. This pitch was unclimbable when we got back to the base. Rest of route in good shape with exception of large chunks of ice and some rocks coming down the climbers right hand side (10 to 15 metres from climbing line) from melting ice/running water.
Nov 20 - "Bullshit Canyon" - No ice, pure drytooling. Minimal snow with the creek being just barely frozen in places.
Nov 21 - Bow Falls - Minimal snow around lake (lots of ice on trail though). Route is small right now with it being a solid WI4. Very dry and brittle. No cornice.
Gorby Falls was also climbed and reported as wet and soft ice for the crux with some brittle dinnerplates on the approach ice. Cornice on left hand side of route looked quite stable at the time. Another group went back to Balfour and did not climb the right hand pillars after lunch as it was heating up too much.
Nov 22 - Two O'clock Falls - Again no snow on approach and wet and soft. Melt out was also climbed and reported as in good shape with some running water in spots, easy to avoid. Route was rapped from a tree about 150m lookers left of top of route to avoid streams of water on the route.
Nov 23 - Haffner - Coming along nicely. Temperature inversion taking place as all trees were rime coated and -9 temperature was recorded.
Other observations - Curtain Call has fallen down, as has the routes above La Tabernac. Couldn't see the bottom but looked like parts of Tabernac had crashed too!. Minimum temperature all week were -6 with maximums being +7. Polar Circus looked good with the second last pitch looking like the crux. Weeping Wall was falling apart. Basically anything that was south facing was getting torched. Shades of Beauty looked good. Observed numerous point releases on south aspects (Mt. Wilson) as well as NE aspects (Mt. Jimmy Simpson). Murchison looked like solid WI5.
Most of the climbs on the parkway looked good about 10 days ago, then they started melting and mostly look like shit until we get another cold snap. Alpine conditions at the icefields look pretty good though.
Tried to go into the upper "Caveman" cave, shut down by water and lack of dogs/people willing to swim. Retreated to lower ("normal") Hafner, ice wet but lots of it. Mojo missing a hold in the "break-a-hold, build a hold" cycle it's been going through for the last few years, you can climb it just right of the bolts (like 75cm) with two powerful moves, M-burly. Approach through the canyon OK now.
Greetings from Golden! Took a walk up into Ladykiller today to see how it was forming up. The second pitch looks stellar but the bottom pitch has a way to go to climb. Great climb when it is in but one heck of a sandbag at Grade 3. I Scream is also partially in, the pillar looks great, but not too much formed below it.
Alpine route on the David Thompson, ice north of Rampart... This guy has been getting around!
I took a drive along the Kootenay River forest service road from Canal Flats to have a look at Gib Wall – some ice is starting to form, but it is quite a ways from being in a state to ice climb. By the way, the road was in good condition. -Jon
Early season but there. Photos on the photo page
Some sad news - I was up at Sunshine today (Nov. 21) to see that Borgeau Left's first two pitches have fallen down. Right looks a little thin but OK. -Scott
Sinatra Falls has a trail closure since september 25. A Bridge Too Far is NOT in. Kings Creek has minimal ice, when desperate I suppose. Many river crossings to get to it. -DRE
Took a hike into Cedared Creek and the Tumor over the weekend. Things are starting to form up but a lot if water is still flowing. A couple of more weeks and some colder weather and these 2 climbs should be formed up good and fat. FYI for those who have never been into these climbs...stay right at the first major Y on the main road.... follow this road until the main road takes a steep left, a deactivated road is on your right. Follow this to the climbs. -Shauna S
If you're looking for some alpine action check these routes out, nice climbing for one-day outings not too far from the road. Slawinski gives them a two tools up.
Josh Levigne and I completed French Reality to the top today. I just read John Walsh's report that noted "X" rated climbing on the first pitch four days ago. If you take the classic start (right line) off the ground (20 m right of the French Reality fall line) and angle up and left to the piton station it's reasonably protected. It took a lot digging and scratching to find acceptable gear, but I ended up with a red tricam and a #1 KB that kept the heart from racing too wildly. It goes at about M3 but is tenous and non-positive.
The chimney pitch is in typical form, classic mixed climbing that protects well. The last two pitches are in good shape. Not quite the give-away that it was last year (wg note--Tom doesn't want to sandbag but says he climbed it after two months of a life of lesiure involving a a vey fat couch so it "can't be WI6+").
Two 70 m raps puts you at the base nice and quick. Bring a half dozen cams to 2.5/3", a few tricams, and a few nuts, and a handful of KBs. Looking at Rob Owens' recent photos I thought that the ice was in the chimney (and so
brought an overly skimpy rack) but it's not -- it's on the wall to the LEFT and is thin.
The snowpack in the Stanley Valley consists of about 30 cm of dry, unconsolidated faceting snow with a thin temp/rain?/wind crust on the top
(up to 10 mm thick) in patches. Snow levels are below threshold for avalanches at least as far as Nemesis.
Regards, Tom Wolfe
Bear Spirit is definitely 'on', with a couple of columns touching down, if not entirely the kind of thing you'd want to lead in plus six temps, and a good broken dangler. The far right, easier-angled, ice is still a waterfall. Very pleasant pulling, though you get a little wet standing anywhere close along the bottom. Joe McKay left a new fixed rope up the first step in the gully approach, which has no ice yet, or not anything you'd want to step on.
Hasta luego, dD
Here's philippe pellet and jerome mercader, the french climbers in hilliday in your nice country. you have received a message of us by barry about sea of vapours and suffer machine. yesterday (november 16th), we climbed again in stanley head wall with valeri babanov. we did french reality. the first two pitches have very thin ice, nice and technical mixt climb with a lot of rock but good protection (small and medium friend and nuts). the two last pitches of ice are in good condition, steep, it's 6+ now. the descent is equiped to rappel down. this icefall is a good climb to learn climbing ice and mixt, teacher training.
a lot of kiss of the french country to every one
see you later in gramusat
phil and jerome
Here's some beta for the ghost. Climbed Candlestick Maker with Jason Billing on Tuesday via Hidden Dragon. A little wet on the first pitch but dry, brittle and technical the rest of the way. Crux was 10m pillar at a solid 4+. Great stemming and featured climbing for the last pitch. Windcrusts everywhere - kept us honest all day. Road above and below big hill is cruiser. The Hooker looks good as did the Joker. Lots of ice on the Big Drip.
A couple of corrections- a bridge too far is not in, but saddam is. king creek was sort of in, thin and wet. coirie dub (sp?) is in, all the ice is there, but very wet. the upper section all true mix, crampons all the way to the top. btw professor is not in- 4th pitch is missing and first 2 were just running water. r&d was in fine shape, so was amadeus. lone ranger and chalice were super thin, rock showing through.ciao- r
Thanks, chart corrected. -wg
Visiting French climbers, Philippe Pellet and Gerome, climbed the routes in the last couple of days. Walked into Suffer in boots. Used the
Whipper traverse on the Sea, good ice on the far end of said travers, or
so they said.
A couple of stanley headwall updates for nemisis and french reality / french toast.
Chris Brazeau and I climbed the first two pitches of french reality on Nov. 11th and then did an easy mixed traverse and climbed the last pitch of french toast which had nice grade 5 ice. Very thin ice on the first two pitches of french reality with the first one maybe being x rated and probably more engaging than most grade six pillars. No ice screws until the third pitch. On the 13th, Rich Marshall and I climbed Nemisis which was in excellent shape with good pro the entire way. It's currently easier than normal with no overhangs, although's there was lots of running water on the left side of the upper half. A quick ten meter traverse pitch on the halfway ledge gets you through it without really getting wet (unless you have holes in your gloves).
Hey good to hear you're back we have been missing your site. I was ice climbing on the weekend here's what I did and saw:
Murchinson - big, blue, fat, and very wet on the upper deck.
Polar Circus - Awsome early season condition you can climb right from the road, The ice was dry thin and very interesting, a must do right now. Stubies and runouts on the lower half and the upper half was mostly full length ice screws.
Weeping wall - Coming along well, upper is fat this year, a couple weeks of cold and it will be in awsome shape
Curtain Call - Coming along well the upper pillar has allmost touched down
Memorial route - Fat
Diamond cutter - Looks awsome, big blue.
I'm back from attempting to climb in Asia and very happy to see so much ice around here! The current Chinook may seem like a bad thing, but it has put a lot of surface water on the ground--driving to Banff yesterday the Trophy wall was very wet. Sea of Vapors looked ready to go, and there was a lot of ice forming on all the other Trophy Wall classics as well. Last night's snow/sleet combo was perfect for making ice. There's already a bunch of new route activity (link, and see Easton's site), looks like the game is in full force already, yeah! I'm around until December for once so I'll keep this updated well.
I lost a few emails in the chaos of sorting my email out, I know a few people sent new routes/updates in that I lost, could those who sent the info please re-send it? Thanks, I'm an idiot...
Eric put up a site while I was in Asia, good stuff! I'm trying to get a better handle on managing this site due to frequent travel, there are a few different options, stay tuned. Anyhow, conditions for October are up here and well done, thanks Eric!
Here’s a grainy picture of the Real Big Drip, taken on 09/25. Bring on the season!! Randy
I drove up to Jasper a few days ago, there is a LOT of ice forming already. Somebody has probably already been out and climbed something up high. Anyhow, Riptide is forming nicely for a change, Slipstream is very nearly totally formed (just missing the bottom bit), there's ice all over the Trophy Wall. It's been a wet (OK, miserable in general) fall for rock climbing, there is more ground water around than I've ever seen. It's never totally sure, but I think this is going to be an epic fall season! My bet is that we'll be climbing on the Trophy Wall by the end of October... Get yer binoculars out, dust off the tools, game on!