2006/2007 Ice Conditions

October 26th 2007 note: 2007/2008 Ice Conditions pages will start shortly in a new form, but it's game on for ice in Canada! Riptide, Polarity (new route) etc. are in. Check back Monday for the new ice pages. If you're trying to figure out what's happening/in check out the historical conditions below, that should give you a good idea, pretty typical year so far. -WG

 

(last year's 05/06 pages are up here for comparison, useful for telling what's likely in at various times of year)

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. 2006-2007 ice photos Ice etiquette, Barry Blanchard. JD LeBlanc's site:
Bow Valley Ice Events, cool stuff to check out
Hydrophobia (Ghost)  through the Waiparous approach beta here. 

 

Historical Conditions: 2005/2006, 2004/2005, 2003/2004 Ice Conditions., 2002/2003 here. Lots of photos, route descriptions, good info for those wanting to know what came in when etc.

Please drop an email to gaddattakethisoutgravsportsdootcom if you climb something and don't mind sharing it, it's our reports that keep this current, thx. Photos are good also, I update the photos pages when I have a batch of new ones to put up.

I wrote the information on this link for those who are wondering about "What is there to climb in the Rockies this time of year?"

March 12 photos

April 3: Gravsports Wraps for the season
It's still game on for ice here on the Rockies, with recent ascents of everything from Hydrophobia to many of the Parkway climbs, but it's also the start of rock season. I've been less than perfect at updating this site for the last month due to a brutal travel schedule to Australia and Sweden, my apologies to those who sent reports in while I was traveling like mad. I will get them up for the sake of completeness now that I'm back home. A big thanks to all of you sent reports in throughout the year, this was by far the busiest and "best" season on this site since we started doing it. So see you next year, have a great spring and thanks!

 

-WG

 

Sorcerer, March 12, Randy Colwell
Saw your general post with observations about changing conditions and the avi danger right now. Just a short note about a rock fall incident (near miss) at The Sorcerer on Sunday, March 11. We were at the “gear up area” just packing up around 1300 when we heard a very loud sound. At first, I thought, gee a helicopter buzzing over the ridge, wonder what that’s about. But within a split second, we realized we were about to experience a meteor shower. We scampered up the slope (right of the climb area) and the area where we were standing was peppered by rock fall from high above (left of the ice climb). The closest rock hit within 10 feet of where we were standing – a football sized piece that was buried >4 feet into the snow. A close call!

The Sorcerer conditions are very good – approach is straight forward, with a path beaten to the route starting at the lake…It meanders a little too high in a spot near the approach gully, but it’s better than post holing, and it’s easy enough to drop down when it goes too high. We didn’t finish the climb as we’re aspirant WI 5 climbers (with the operative word being “aspirant”) so we bailed after the first two pitches. Climb is in excellent shape, with small/medium cornice on climbers left/center. V-threads up the left line this year, which looks like a nice line. Bolts & associated anchor gear looked good from what we saw.


March 11 General Comments, WG
I'm back from Australia and caught up again on updates, thanks to everyone who has sent the reports below in, good info. I'd like to sound a general note of "It's looking sketchy out there." I arrived home to several tales of near-misses due to avalanches involving very experienced climbers--the warm temperatures, rain and wind from this latest round of storms have driven the avalanche hazard to between "high" and "extreme" in all the areas these pages cover. The Icefields Parkway is closed from Saskatchewan Crossing to Jasper, it's raining reasonably hard here in Canmore, and the weather forecast for most of the Rockies reads rain and more snow. In short, conditions out there are hectic and likely to remain so for at least the next couple of days, it's a good time to take a break from the mountains and maybe work or something until this all settles out. Mid-March is always a dynamic month in the Canadian Rockies--the rapid rise in the sun's height and strength really changes things, plus spring storms, it all adds up to both fanastic climbing conditions and also very rapid changes compared to the dark months. Play safe.
Jasper Area, March 7th, Grant Sikkes (photos)
Kerkeslin Falls is still in good shape (as of March 7) and is in easy WI3 conditions, the left hand side is getting a bit sunbaked but still very much climbable.
WAD Valley still has ice on Boss Hog (WI3-4) but the harder stuff has all pretty much fallen or melted.
The gullies on Sunwapta Peak both have great ice in them as well. I was in the left hand one last weekend and there is a short pillar (picture labelled Sunwapta Falls in Waterfall Ice, seems like WI4) followed by a nice sustained 30m WI3 pitch. Meltout was also in easy WI2-3 conditions last weekend.

I also climbed Watchtower Falls on March 10. I know that this little climb was more popular years ago but I haven't really heard of many people heading out there in the winter time anymore. A snowshoe tour has packed out a nice trail right to the base of the climb so the approach is the same as for the Watchtower Creek sport crag. The ice is north facing and doesn't see any sun so it'll be there for a few more weeks. It is super fun, short(10-12m), steep climb with some ancient fixed pins at the top. Feels WI3-3+.


New Polar Circus Topo, March 7th, Joe Palma (click this link to download the PDF topo, 773K)
When we got back I put together a new topo, since the other three or four I had weren't complete.

Field, March 4th, Darren Williams (photos)
Kevin W & I hit Field on Sunday, here is the quick run down, Coolspring was big and blue, same with Massey's, & Silk Tastle. Pilsner & Carslburg are FAT Cascade Kroneburg is not even there. (see pic) All the stuff on the north side of the highway in the valley looks big and blue, but note that there is a lot of snow in Field and the south facing stuff is going to get alot of sun over the next week.
After suffering some motivational setbacks on the drive, we fueled up on coffee & eats at Laggen' s, had us a quick 5 min nap in the parking lot, and with renewed ambition started off.
The first pitch of Guinness Gully is really hooked out (read no reason to swing your tools) but the middle pitch is in good shape, with the final pitch offering 2 nice lines.
Stout was in real good (easy) shape as well (WI4-esq), High Test looked good through the trees but we never bother hiking over and checking beyond that.
The upper otter slide is in the trees for the first part due to the chest deep snow in the main gully, but you can do most of it sitting down. After you hike over at the top of Guinness Gully it really shapes up and giggling like school girls we hurtled downwards at a very high rate of speed. Did have a little panicked braking as we headed into that rocky section about halfway down with a little more speed then intended, but managed to get under control and not hurt ourselves. (I would recommend caution in this area for the record).

All in all a nice easy day out.


Ghoster Coaster, Scott McKay, March 4th
Climbed Ghoster Coaster today. It's a newer one up cougar creek, I think the first accent was last year. Cool climb, bit of a long approach, but the hiking was pleasant and it was nice to be away from any crowds. The first two pitches are worth while. While the third didn’t really offer a lot. The climb was pretty wet but dry lines were available up every step. Route Beta is on gravsports.com.

Somehow we managed to forget a hiking pole in the cougar creek parking lot, it is a BD expedition flick lock. Would be very happy to exchange some beer for its return.
403-630-1503


Various, March 4, Greg Cornell
Some conditions from March 4:
SOLSTICE- grade 3 route along Sibbald Road is still formed but touch thinner than usual and was very brittle. Seems like not many people have been to it lately as there was no trail, fallen ice, no pick or screw holes.
Somebody chopped all the bolts except one at the belay and the rap ones above. One is enough on the ground but since they were there, the steel is in the rock, at the very least it was O.K. to hang gear off, still unsightly either way.

WEDGE SMEAR: Looks massive as per normal

SADDAM'S INSANE: from the road it actually looked
formed except the bottom

COBRA VERDE: snow chute

KIDD FALLS: looking a bit dodgey on second pitch


Polar Circus Stuck Ropes, Brad Winter (WG note--missed this one in the prior update, so posting now in case the mystery isn't resolved, thx. Brad)
I was up up on polar circus yesterday. (a late start, and trying to do itas two parties of 2 was still way to slow, so didnot top out.) Anyway we saw those stuck ropes on the first pitch 10feet to the left of the bolts frozen into theice, only about 10feetof those ropes are visable so my guess is that they willstay until the spring.

New Ice Route, Sibbald Creek Road, Greg Cornell (route page with photo here)
Ancash, WI3R, 30m FA-G.Cornell, Jan.07

Park at a Erosion sign about 3km west of the ice route Solstice along the Sibbald Creek Road(Highway #68). Visible from the road, faces south, forms best in December before too many Chinooks kill it-was bulky in winter 2005.
Makes for a good beginner route or challenge when it thins out.
From the Erosion sign (this is where the road begins to descend down onto Hwy#40) hike steeply for 10 minutes to the ice gully passing a large boulder up the hillside.
Climb short steep ice to a ledge with a tree or ice belay. Go up and over crux bulge and follow groove to upper tree. Rap or walk off left.
When formed, a mixed line could be done to the left following a corner-bring small nuts/pins/cams and two bolts for an anchor.


Ghost, Parkway, K-Country, Feb 25th, Daniel Martian
We just returned from the Rockies. We had a fantastic trip. I was pain free in my forearm so I was able to climb for 8 days in a row.
I had great partners, Peter Penev and Jim Elzinga.
Here is some info about what we climbed:
Feb 17 – got stacked in our way to the North Ghost so we bailed in Haffner where we did 4 great routes in the M7-M8 range
Feb 18 – South Ghost. We did Candlestick Maker, which is in nice condition. For the second pitch we chose a line on the right, that is a bit overhanging and tricky at the top.
Feb 19 – Icefields Parkway. We did Curtain Call. First pitch quite strenuous to protect (chandelier ice). Second pitch decent ice, quite hard with a nice ice roof. Stupendous climb!
Feb 20 – Icefields Parkway – Cineplex. I tried Orgasmo once, but for me was a bit hard for an easy day. What grade is this climb suns spurs? I have limited experience for mixed grades but it seems to be in the low M10 range. I postponed the redpoint for the next trip :-)
Feb 21 – North Ghost. Peter and I walked from the bottom of the Big Hill to The Sorcerer. With the experience that we had a few days before, we were afraid to drive to the North parking lot. It took as 4 hours to get to the climb (had to break trail from the Johnson Lake and almost got lost). We found the place very remote and intimidating but one of the most beautiful places I’ve been. The climb was in excellent shape and well worth the effort.
Feb 22 – South Ghost. Climbed Aquarius (pretty beat up) to get to the Recital Hall. What a place!!! Fearful symmetry was almost gone and Rainbow serpent was missing the bottom of the second pitch. I noticed bolts with quickdraws in the roof behind the broken pillar of the Rainbow Serpent so I gave it a go. I fell on the on-sight pulling on the thin face. I did it second try. The mixed moves were nice and quite powerful but the ice part was just amazing in grade 6 shape with big overhanging mushrooms caped by a delicate column. One of the best pitches out there. What is the grade for the mixed part? It seemed like M8+ to me.
Feb 23 – Icefields Parkway. Finally the avalanche forecast says moderate for alpine so we decided to do Polar Circus; awesome classic in very good shape. In our way down we experienced a small release from the top.
Feb 24 – Kananaskis Country. We did Whiteman Falls (formed in great shape and easy for the grade) and Red man soars (excellent climb).

"Out West," Feb 25th, Josh Smith
Feb.23 - Pretty Nuts. J. Chew and J.Smith
Classy WI4, right off the highway, brittle in spots but generally good ice as the day was warm, great long (60m) 4 pitch to start, so we did it 2.5 times(ish) for "posterity." Lots of traffic these days, both on and below the route. From the rap anchors on the tree a 60m rope almost hit bottom, small section of down climbing is necessary.
Feb. 24 - Essondale RH. J. Smith and J. Chew
WICKED climb, if the guidebook still had stars, this climb would deserve a few for sure! Approach: easy enough with some hiking, train dodging and small solo'd WI2-3 steps. Pitch one: 10-12m steep section plastic and a bit wet; Pitch 2: crux curtain an "engaging" 4+, great feet with slightly less than great pro, sustained; Pitch 3: finished on a softer WI4 60m with endless bulges and clearing (biceps anyone?). All in all a great, albeit shorter, day out right near town.
Feb.25 - Guiness Gully. J. Smith and J. Chew
Keeping with the trend of no approaches... Pitch 1: thin, hooked out on poor ice and generally more heady than need be. Pitch two: short, fat, cracked about 3ft. from the bottom on a looker's left pillar. Climbed the thinner ice to the right without issue. Pitch 3, (the big guy), super hooked out RH line, we climbed left of center straight up the vertical column to a double abalakov anchor (there is also a ton of slings on a tree to climber's right), under the last 7-8m section of steeper ice. Fun line up the steeps, having not seen much other traffic, and a great finish. NOTE: Avi hazard is less of a concern for this climb, but should be the first thing one thinks about these days if climbing at the beer wall. Its always posted at the info center.

Guiness, Stout, High Test, Feb 24th, Anton Baser (photos)
Today Pierre Discotech and I climbed Guinness Gully, Guinness Stout, and finished with a fresh and tasty High Test. The Guinness Gully has been well traveled and the ice is very hooked out, but fun. There is a good path from the top pitch up to Guinness Stout, which is not as picked out as would be expected given the nice path. On the other hand, High Test has perhaps only seen 1 (or a couple) ascents this year (only 1 new tat found at the top). There was no trail since the snow they received, so Pierre thankfully did the hard work wadding through waist deep snow up the gully to get us to the base (we couldn't find a trail from the top of Stout to rap down into High Test). The pitch was virgin ice and much harder than Guinness Stout - a solid WI4+, but good fun and highly recommended (better than Stout)!

Parkway, Feb 22, Kevin Wallis Photos
Various, Feb 19th-22
Feb 19, Guinness Gully, still in good shape despite lots of traffic. Fun otter slide descent down next gully. Feb 21, Professor Falls, nice and thick blue ice, good trail to base. Feb 22, Aquarius, beat up and like Belgian waffle in upper third. Easy drive into valley with high-clearance 4WD. Safe climbing!! Pics sent separately.

Ghost, Weeping Wall, Feb 20th, Nathan Brown
Feb. 19: We climbed Yellow bird and Seagull (I think - whatever theclimb is immediately down the valley from Yellow Bird, on the opposite side). Yellow bird I found a bit harder then WI 4, seemed a bit airy and chandeliered. The other climb was easy 4. Getting into the area was not that easy. We got a ride in the back of some fellow climbers' truck but did get stuck a few times, needed to be towed by our friend's truck at 2 points. They climbed the Eagle, and said it was in decent shape
Feb. 20: Climbed weeping wall left side. Lots of people out there. THe whole thing is in great shape. The road in is in reasonable condition too. We got in there in a Jetta with all-season radials on without too much difficulty.

Ice 9, Feb. 18th, Garth Lemke (photos)
I have been getting lots of calls on ice9 conditions (Icefields parkway North of sask xing). Pls add the photos to your website.

Jasper, Grand Cache, etc, Feb 18th, Greg and Chelle (Photos)
Grande Cache:

Aaron and I climbed up in Grande Cache a while back (sometime in January...I think). We were able to climb the top pitches of what we are thinking is Evergreen Gully. Sandbagged at grade 4, the bottom pitch is 50 m of solid grade 5 climbing on a fully sustained free-standing pillar. The second pitch is 30m of solid grade 4+ climbing. Absolutely spectacular climbing and an amazing setting. There is a significant amount of sun exposure so the life of the climb might be short. Pics attached are of the upper amphitheatre and the left hand line on what we think is Evergreen Gully.
Knuckle Gnasher, across the river, looked to be in on the bottom pitch as well as the right hand pitches up top. That is another perrenial classic.

Jasper:

Drambuie Demon:
It's in excellent shape again this year. The bottom and rambling ice up to the upper pillars is excellent. The 2 grade 2-3 pillars to the right are in and look good. The left hand wall is fully formed and looks to sport 20-30m of ice ranging between grade 4-5+ depending on the line you choose.
Folding Curtain:
Looks like it has finally formed up at the top. Planning to check it out tomorrow.
Maligne Canyon:
Everything is big and fat. Hooked out but it has formed up well. The pitch just right of the queen is again touching down and is a blast with good ice and surprisingly good pro. Angel is in as well.

Curtain Call Area, Feb 17th, Sean Elliot (photos)
Dana and I climbed 'The Great Escape' beside Curtain Call today. Its a cool two pitch mixed line and quite a good time. Not alot of ice right now but still doable and fun but harder. Curtain Call looks like a soft touch right now, you could avoid the cauliflower completely and the second pitch (despite the fracture and collapse) looks solid with a small roof to surmount. The trail goes climbers right on the old road bed and up through the trees, then back left. Its recommended to follow it because post holling sucks bad. Polar Circus Stuck Ropes, Feb 12th, Brad Winter
I was up up on polar circus yesterday. (a late start, and trying to do itas two parties of 2 was still way to slow, so didnot top out.) Anyway we saw those stuck ropes on the first pitch 10feet to the left of the bolts frozen into theice, only about 10feetof those ropes are visable so my guess is that they willstay until the spring.

Bearspirit Found Item, Feb 10th, Niels
I found an item in the Bearspirit/Fireside parking lot that somebody probably wants back. I can be contacted at niels_mckibbin@yahoo.ca or 403 350 6961. I don't expect anything in return. Thanks for posting this on your website.

Jacob's Ladder, Feburary 8th, U.R (Photos)
Good packed trail heading to the base of the climb, also note, must drive 4 km past the Yoho park gate (not 1.8 as indicated in mixed climbs). Ice is in easy 5 condition. Lots, Feb 8th, Josh Smith
Feb. 1 - A Bridge Too Far. J. Smith and J. Chew
First half, solid WI4 with a few chandeliers, short and sweet, good pro all the way. Second half, soft ice hooked out, oddly "harder" near the end (James' pick lost a battle with the final bulge, on lead!) Rapped out, approach trail is 1h to base of climb. Feb. 2 - Snowline. J. Smith and C. Meganbir
Classic is classic, hooked out, though brittle and thin. Last pitch fat and easy 3+/4. Approach trail has a left fork near stream, a potential open water hazard, stick to treed trail to be safe (and to reduce the impact to the area). Other party (Sean Issac?) on Moonlight, looked fat as hell with a fun crux section near the end of the first pitch. Looked at Too Low for Zero, thin and in very mixed conditions, lacked any rock gear so stayed away this time. Feb. 3 - Weeping Wall RH. J. Smith and B. Edwards
Warm, warm day by mid-afternoon, completed in three long pitches. First pitch coldest, most brittle; second pitch cruxy with many small chandeliers and mushrooms to choose from, a (now bloody) ice cave, and lots of fun stemming, good pro throughout; pitch 3, cool chimney with lots of stemming, ice plastic by then, belaying in t-shirts for most of the day. Rapped RH anchors, starting from large chained tree. Feb. 6 - Whiteman Falls and Red Man Soars. M. Messner and J. Smith
Cloudy but warm, sun has brought down more than a few small slides on the approach up the creek. WMF blue, dry (to start) and fat. Climbed right side variation, up under, around and over large over-hanging mushrooms (small right pillar is quite delicate), belay in alcove ~40m up on RH side. Pitch two full of delicate mushrooms, though more stable than expected, on plasticy ice, nonetheless sustained and pumpy. Cleared over last bulge (visible running water) and rapped down. Great climb, though a bit easy right now I think. Red Man Soars definitiely earns its rock grade, thin brittle ice vein to rock climbing with hands, back to brittle small vein of ice, back to hands etc., not a lot of dry tooling, but truly a "mixed" climb. First retrofit anchors in good shape, last anchors need replacing (3 manky pins), though enough ice for abalakov's. Feb. 7 - Wedge Smear. S. Peters and J. Smith
Fat as all hell, with some surprisingly fun and steeper ice off to the right side. Definitely recommend the 'smear as a practice spot over some of the more crowded areas.

Suffer Machine, Feb. 6, Gren H. and Ray H.
Attempted Suffer machine via direct (Teddy Bear Picnic). Bottom very loose in yellow band. Holds and bolts still in place, though bottom bolt missing hanger and nut. Ended up riding the pillar down which broke 6m above the lip well i was establishing on it. May be possible to force a pure rock route thru to ice, however all the ice above is dettached from the wall 2 inches so is quite
serious.

Two O'Clock Falls Accident Story (good work, all OK), Feb 4th, Josh Kass
I thought that people could learn from this as we all may sometimes finish an easy pitch with out that last ice screw. Climb safe. WG Note--Thanks for this Josh, well worth reading and checking out the videos. Well done to all involved in the rescue. Updating the rest of the site now

Polar Circus, Feb 4th, Tom Morin (WG Note--drop me an email if you have info and I'll forward to Tom. Not sure I believe the story about the five-year old, grin)
My partner's 5 year old son uncoiled one of our new ropes and got it pretty twisted. As I pulled it through one of the belay anchors, it got good and stuck. My guess is that we've got a knotted ball of twisted rope at the anchor. After the avalanche, we were in no mood to climb back up and free the rope.

Beers/bottle of your choice (or other suitable finder's fee) for the return of this rope

Cascade, February 3rd, Anton
Did Cascade this afternoon, really plasticy and hollow in spots. BUT I THINK I FORGOT A SCREW!!! (I don't know how, I think I was dreaming about girls at the time...) It's a 16cm BD turbo express with yellow ID tape on it. If anyone happens to find a screw up there and reads this, if you called 403-210-7491 or emailed at aeleinwe@ucalgary.ca I'd be forever in your debt.
Thanks a million

Curtain Call, Feb 01. Gren H. & Kim L.
1st pitch is little wet/blue at a hard 5. The cauliflower section is forgiving and short if you pull out to the right side. Final pitch is a hollow tube pulling out a 1.5ft horizontal ceiling from a previous fracture, pretty hard. The pillar that formed is to the right of the original curtain call, is structurally disturbing, and was making a lot of bad sounds. Also i dropped on of my cobra ice tools and wasn't able to find it, so if anyone finds it i would love to have it\ back, please...email: gren_ice@yahoo.com. REWARD or beer.

Bourgeau Right, Jan 31, Peter Valchev and Hedd-wyn Williams (Photos)
Took us 2 hours to the base with some postholing. First two pitches are fairly fat (pics) and the rest is good too. The slope before the last pitch (and the whole climb) will be very suspect once we get a load of new snow. The anchors are in really sad shape and did not seem to exist on the top 2 pitches, so prepare with lots of cord for abalakovs and backing up old (and I mean really old) webbing if you intend to rap.

Constellation Valley, January 30th, Greg McDougall and Frank C. and Orvel M. (Photos)
Slogged up to Little Dipper in Constellation Valley in the Ghost with Frank C and Orvel M on the 28th and climbed the little Dipper, which was in easy 4 shape, with good ice. The Big dipper is huge and looks a pretty stout 4(maybe more). The Mouse trap also looks to be in good shape. Start early as it is a long approach 2.5- 3 hours to the base of the dippers. The canyon on the approach(gr 2) can be followed completly as there are no pools of water and it is all ice, making the approach at least a little more bearable.

Half and Half, Jan 28th, Staging Department
just thought I'd mention that while my partner was cleaning draws of Half and Half, the nut and hanger spun off. Couldn't find the nut, left the hanger on a foot ledge at the start. If someone heading that way could bring a new nut and wrench hopefully no one pouched the hanger.

Malignant Mushroom, B.Edwards, M.Messner jan.27th (Photos)
malignant mushroom is super fun with an awesome line up the right through all the mushrooms. most parts have a couple cm of baked slush on top but excellent screws behind columns and in caves. Rainbow serpent is a mixed start now..


Gibraltar Wall, January 28th, Curt Hegel (Photo)
Back to climb Gibralter again today(a friend wanted to do it, he loved it) took a pic of the hanging dagger thing left of the main ice wall. Do you know much about this? I've heard someone bolted a mixed line from the bottom ice up to the dagger, but I've never been up that close to see(and probably won't for awhile) A great day there today however. About three parties including ourselves, ice is good, but the surface layer is starting to get baked and going white. good blue to be found about 3 cm's below that. Nice and warm, sunny, doesn't get any better.

Kidd Falls, January 27th, Peter Valchev (Photo)
Hedd-wyn and I took advantage of good snow stability and enjoyed this sunny route,a bit sun rotten, bottom part fat and easy, pillar a bit more exciting, overall friendly condition.

New Routes in Ghost, January 27th (Done earlier in month), Rob Owens and Roger Strong (Photo)
Roger and I did a new route and fixed up an older bolt line in the Ghost.... Both are quite high quality and bolted well. See photos.

We did two lines to the left of Candlestick Maker and right of the Hooker. The one on the left (direct) had 5 existing bolts, the last having a bail biner. Not sure if this variation was completed but if it was, this year the ice was higher. We added 3 more to reach the ice, cleaned the shit out of it and redpointed in at M7. Starts with an easy but thin vertical ice smear for 3 meters, then a crux leaving the bench after that to pass the 2nd bolt. Grade 4 ice to finish to a V-thread. Until someone speaks up we could call this one: "The Unknown" M7,25m

The other pitch is a stellar 8+ that starts in the obvious seem 8m to the right. Pull through two powerful bulges to gain delicate face moves and blobs of ice to join the other route at it's 5th bolts (8 bolts total to the ice). "The Berger" M8+


Green Angel (south Ghost) January 24th, Peter and Hedd-wyn (Photo)
Green Angel in the South Ghost has been climbed several times but not posted yet - since it's a bit of a hike in there, might be good to have a report so people know what to expect (and a pic). It's in great shape, a full rope length of nice climbing! If it was only longer..

Shooting Star, January 27th, Nathan Brown
Brent Nixon and I climbed Shooting Star. The first pitch had a thin pillar of very bad ice detached from the rock. Will probably fall down soon with the sun beating on it. The approach was waist deep snow that took 3 hours to slog through, but seemed pretty solid. The upper pitch was a huge fat blue pillar of very nice plastic ice. Snow in the bowls between pitches and immediately above the climb had slid previously and was firmed up and consolidated when we got up there.

Gibraltar area, January 21st, Curt Hegel (Photo)
went over to the Kootenay valley to climb Gibraltar wall with my friend, Dwayne Vogel. Another party had started up the left side when we got there, so we walked right to check out the ice partly visible from the parking area. When walking right from the base of the wall(below the overhanging rock, on game trails), we first came to a +/- 20 metre flow(looked like 3, but a little thin). Did not climb it. continued up and right and arrived at the gully containing "the Art of Being". Attempted the pillar, I had to bail halfway up(4+ a bit much for a warm up! Thanks to the Cranbrook/Kimberly guys for grabbing my screw) but the pillar is great, with good tools and screws. Went back over to Gib wall, climbed first two pitches. Warm afternoon sun made the stuff a bit wet, but great shape none the less.

Carlsberg Column, January 20th, Nathan Brown (Watch out for Avi Hazard! -wg) (Photo)
We climbed Carlsberg Column today. Route is in stellar shape. Climbers take note of snow conditions! We witnessed a sizable avalanche roar down the gully immediately climber's left of the waterfall. Back on the highway we took a good look at the mountain and saw that the snow had released in the bowl directly above our climb, but the large cliff band above Carlsberg had diverted the snow just left of us. Lucky. A climb like Pilsner would have no shelter if the bowl released. Avi hazard was rated as moderate in the alpine for that day.

The Sliver Area, January 18 Gren Hinton.
Climbed Sliver. Amazing ice conditions, formed quite full at WI5+. Myst is possible also, and the ice comes down enough on Burning/Drowning that you could pull onto the unsupported dagger directly.

Weeping Pillar, Jan 17, Gren Hinton and Kris Irwin.
Taking pillars on left side. 1st pitch WI5, 2nd and 3rd WI6. Ice conditions difficult, unconsoidated mushrooms, fairly brittle. The final pitch we took right side of the left most water tube. One of the hardest pure water ice pitches ive ever done, could be described as terrifying climbing uncosoidated collapsing mushrooms, sometimes past vertical.


Field Closures--postponed until at least Feb 1.
Happy Days, Mixed Monster (Janaury 14th, Gren Hinto and Stephen O'Brien), French Maid, Asylum, Cookoo's Nest etc. Jan 16th, Gren Hinton
14/01 Gren Hinton and Stephen Obrien. Cold snap has brought down Happy Days, plus Mixed Monster and Stairway Daggers have broken off. Climbed Mixed Monster. Great climb, possible as break 2 m below roof so can establish on curtain still. Required one aid move off 2nd bolt on 2nd pitch as all holds broken. PS--mixed monster is amazing at the momentk, and i dont' think you could have the ice form differently and improve on it. Theres a 3m dagger seeping out of the m8 traverse crack also which you can totally mount onto midway before the final rock moves and curtain transfer, dont know if it is always there, but VERY COOl.

16/01 Had a look in at Golden, may save you a drive. French Maid is broken, Asylum and Cookoos Nest only partially formed. Electic Koolaid and Corax are very fat.


Waterfowl Gullies, Balfour, January 14, Curt Hegel (photo with next batch)
Went to climb waterfowl gullies today(with Tony Berthelet), gully is in fowl shape. covered in snow, only a bit of white ice visible at top. did not bother. headed over to Balfour wall instead. grade 4 pillar in on the right side, middle has some 4 and 2/3 as well. also some wet steeper stuff left of that. great for the sun and comfortable. Noticed a small amount of avi action on the peaks west of the crag, and some snow blowing off mt. Cephren.

New Route up Allstones Creek near Nordegg., Gall Stones III WI4 75m of ice with some walking between steps. J. Mills, done January 7
Fearful Symmetry, Rainbow Serpent - Jan. 9th 2007, B.Edwards and M.Messner (Photos)
Parked the "sports car" at the big hill and hiked way in to link 'em up on the 9th. Fearful has seen more action than a mexican gangbang and its starting to show it...pretty hacked out all the way up with questionable ice. A second large crack (top in picture) might've opened up while we were on it (heard something go on the top pillar) and with this minus a million cold snap in the bag she may be soon to fall. Rainbow serpent is still incredible with uber-fun mushrooms tossing out a couple exciting yet awkward overhangs to tango with.

Gibraltar Wall, January 9th, David Fulton(Photos)
This photo was taken on January 9th 2007. Conditions were really good all over the route with only a bit of wet coming down one piller on the second pitch. Sorry there's no photos but the big drip off and around the corner to the left has yet to touch down in case anyone's interested.

The Ghost (and others), January 9th, John W (Photos)
Jan 2-8, 2007
Temps were -9C to -2C
All the routes up Valley of the Birds are good. The Eagle is in untouched condition and easy WI5 with a sit down rest on the left wing cave. Nice cauliflowers at the start and reasonable gear on the top half. Seagull was similar. Yellow Bird is super fat. Just above Dead Bird is a short WI2 step with an interesting rock bridge.
GBU was a little wet in places. There is a WI 2/3 ice runnel about 100m right of GBU thats still good. the other lines near the runnel have started to dry up (bring a few cams)
Anorexia Nervosa is beat to crap and fat. Just hooking the whole way. Weathering Heights was tougher and more enjoyable but had some thin gear. 3 V-threads at 50m for a free belay.
Claw creek was amazing. a couple possibly unclimbed ice lines to the left before the claw creek fork. ( attached photos). Easy flows on left are good. Lupine lunge was touching down WI 4'ish but short. Fang and Fist was super fat and crazy looking. We were afraid, but definitely some good climbers must get in there and climb it.
The Sliver and Burning in water, drowning in flame .looked to be in.
Aquarius is beat into submission, sunshine is thick and easy. Rainbow serpent and fearful symmetry are still up. Wicked Wanda looks totally insane. Malignant Mushroom is a good work out. giant mushrooms, reasonable gear and thin to finish with water running under the ice.
Pilsner and carlsberg looked good from the road. kronenbourg was not there.

Anorexia Nervosa + Wuthering Heights, Jan 7, Lise B + Tom S
Went out to the South Ghost on Sunday to brave the winds and climb. We climbed Anorexia Nervosa first. First pitch is thin, but takes some pro until you shimmy up through the narrow slot stepping gingerly on detached ice and using the rock. Second pitch is big, fat and babelicious. Last pitch is good as well.

Then we scampered over to Wuthering Heights. Perhaps Tom swaggered, because men don't scamper. First pitch of Wuthering Heights *looks* deceptively benign and turns out steeper than expected. Second pitch is rolling loveliness with fresh V-threads here, there and everywhere, saves a screw or two.

Good Fun. Both of these climbs have seen plenty of traffic already, enjoy being a pirate and having a hookfest.


New Ghost Route (Matchstick Maker), January 7th, Stephen O'Brien
Cory Richards and I climbed a new route in the ghost last week. He has the pictures.

Its 5m to the right of the first pitch of the candlestick maker. It climbs ice, then rock, then ice and then rock and then a nice dagger of ice. It has two bolts which I dirlled free on lead. Its about 25m long and ends up on the same ledge as the start of the second pitch of the candlestick. Grade 5.8, WI 5 The crux is getting established on the dagger of ice without breaking it off. Called it the Matchstick Maker.

Weathering Heights, Jan 9th, Anton Baser(Photos)
I climbed Weathering Heights with Pierre and Randy on Saturday (Jan 6). It's in good WI4 shape and has been well traveled. We arrived before a larger group of 5 (perhaps ACC?) that did Anorexia, which appeared to be in normal shape except perhaps a thinner 1st pitch. Weathering Heights was fairly picked out, but where swings were required it was brittle and platting - climb on the right side of the second pitch to avoid dropping ice on your belayer! If using 60m ropes there are good rap slings at the top and solid V-threads mid climb. Enjoy!

Various Photos, January 8th, Francois Calvarin (Photos)
Various, January 8th, Brian Mulvihill (Photos)
A bit late but just wanted to let people know Brian Mulvihill and Ryan Mitchel climbed THOS Jan 1. same as everyone else, hookery on the lower sections, good ice on top pitches, winds would knock you off balance. Rapped top pitches, walk off left thru trees was faster than the party below us that rapped just lower sections. The Sorcerer. Jan. 2 A bit of a post hole walk once in the drainage and up to the base. The ice was perfect. seriously perfect. Snow storm blew in during last pitch, creating some rad spindrifts from all directions. Bolted stations looked good cept for the one on top of the thin pitch, webbing is a bit mank. Double V-thread on top.

Also trudged into Stanley Headwall on Jan 4th. long walk with the packs. broke trail in knee deep snow till below and across from Suffer Machine. no climbing.not fun.

Jan. 5th Walked on fresh avi up to Super Bock. Bailed after observing more wind loaded slab fracturing going up.


Mark Ledwidge (Public Safety with Parks Canada), January 7th Borgeau Left Avalanche Notes
I assume by now you heard about the two American climbers on Bourgeau Left who said that bombs were being thrown in the start above them. Even though, avalanche control was ongoing on the nearby Bourgeau paths, there were no shots placed in the start zone above them (Bourgeau 9). That said, we are attempting to notify climbers and skiers ahead of time of control operations. we sent a message to this effect on the MCR. The plan is to have something in our daily avalanche bulletin the day prior.

Rocky River Blues, Jan 7, Grant Sikes (Photos) (Grant--I forgot to credit you on the photos page, sorry, looks good! -wg)
Dana and I ran up Rocky River Blues last week(ish) and it is in fantastic shape. The rap station for the 1st pitch is suspect, one loose pin and a rusty 1/4 inch bolt, so we are going to make an effort to get back there again and put in a couple of proper stations. If anyone wants to beat us to it, they are welcome to. We were thinking that it is probably seeing enough traffic these days that the time is right. Happy new year!

Johnston Canyon Upper Falls, January 6, Mike Backus (Photos)
We Climbed at Johnston Canyon, the slabs are fat and partly covered with snow on the lower angle ice.
The middle pillar is touching down and looks to have not been climbed lately.
The far left pillars/face have open water below them. The ice is still growing.
See pictures.

Ghost (Phantom Falls), January 5th, Rob Fulton January 6th photos
Climbed Phantom Falls in the ghost today. Good climbing on some narrow ice and positive rock for the feet. The ice was brittle but accepted short screws well.

Evan-Thomas Creek area, January 4th , Mike Backus January 6th photos
Here is some info on the Evan-Thomas creek area and 3 pics one of the Canmore Junkyards, one of His and Hers from the Grotto area and one of Moonlight and Snowline from the Evans-Thomas Creek area.

The trail in to this area is well packed and very easy to follow.
Chantilly Falls is fat and still growing good warm up climb.
Moonlight is in great shape v-threads placed on the route by others a few short screws are helpful but not mandatory.
Snowline did not have time to climb but looked excellant.
2 Low 4 Zero not in or really mixed depending on how you look at it.

Coire Dubh, SARS, David Thompson, January 4th, Tim Banfield
Jan 2nd - Coire Dubh - Onion skin on the first pitch and good conditions from there on. A bit wet in the narrow section of the climb. There is a rap anchor on the right side in the narrow section just before turning the corner that is not discussed in the guide book.

Jan 4th - SARS on Ice - The route is quite wet, we found the easier section to the left to be the best.

David Thompson Area: Saw a party on Elliot Left Hand, Nothing but the Breast and Five Seven Zero. Snow on the approach to SARS on Ice was 1-5cm deep. No significant new snowfall between Kitty Hawk and Whirl Pool Point.

Icefield Parkway: Drove up to take a look at Midnight Rambler. Didn't notice much along the lines of recent avalanche activity, we were there after the helibombing but the visibility wasn't the greatest. The road was open when we were there between 4-5pm and in good condition.


January 5th, Sunwapta Canyon, Spencer CoxJanuary 6th photos
Went into Sunwapta Canyon last Friday. We climbed the first climb on river right walking downstream from the top. First pitch was much like Tangle, second pitch looked quite vertical (we only climbed the first). Looked like a lot more ice to be had off river right and river left as well as you went downstream. The slopes were mostly blown clean on the approach with a couple spots we avoided.

New Route, David Thompson Corridor: Good Training [WI3, 60m] T.Elson and R.Burden - 2nd Jan 2007.
A long approach to not much climbing. Located on Talus Mountain in the David Thompson Corridor.
The climb can be seen from the Allstones Creek Bridge.

Approach
Park at the Windy point parking lot, cross the road and walk for an hour and a half up Lookout peak, traverse to the Buckle and contour around the base of its summit cliff's. Walk to the col inbetween the Buckle and Talus, at the col descend to the east contouring northward, where you can see the ice. Descend the snow gully before the ice for 150m, untill you are at the base of the gully with the ice in. [3 hours]

Climb
Some rambeling ice interspersed with snow slopes leads to the base of the main ice pitch, this was climbed in two pitches but could easly be climbed in one with a 60m rope.

Descent
Traverse back to the col and walk down.


Hyalite Canyon Survey, January 3rd, John Frieh/Joe Josephson (WG Note--A lot of us have probably climbed in Hyalite Canyon, near Bozeman. The US Forest Service is working on a new access plan that really isn't very climber-friendly overall, John and Joe are trying to gather more information on climber use in Hyalite. Filling out the short survey may help. Sorry for the non-Canadian Rockies insert, but Hyalite is a great place to climb, check montana.ice.com for more info)

We encourage you all to take a few moments of your time to complete the simple survey. No sign up or registration is required and your responses protected by secure encryption.

We can not stress enough just how important it is for us to get as many participants as possible for this survey. Please spread the word to all your friends and partners interesting in ice climbing, even if they have not yet visited Hyalite.

The data will provide extremely useful, if not necessary, information to present our situation to the Forest Service regarding the adopted Gallatin National Forest Travel Plan. As many of you know, the adopted winter access plan for Hyalite Canyon severely limits reasonable access to one of the country's best ice climbing venues.

Here is a link to the survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?A=167795044E65415 ( no sign up or PITA forms, fast, worth doing!)


The Real Big Drip, January 3rd, Gery Unterasinger (Photo with next batch)
Attached is a picture from Marc Piche from the real big drip yesterday. I've climbed the route last year, but it seemed like I was on a different climb with totally different characteristics. The first pitch is only possible with the right hand bolt variation. This is unfortunately quite loose and needs a good cleanup desperately (about M8+/WI6). It is not discribed in the Mixed Guide book and I wonder who drilled it. The second pitch, which was WI6/7 the past years, goes as an easy WI4+ on the left side. Third pitch is very cool with some very steep ice near the top (M7+/WI6+). The last few bolts, including the anchor, are covered from the ice, we had to make a hanging belay on an established abalakov and a piton. One of the most memorable ice pitches I've ever done was climbing around the huge, cracked curtain on the fourth pitch (WI6 X). We rappelled from an Abalakov out left to avoid the freehanging daggers. I know there has been people on it already, but so far nobody reported it.

Dave Campbell sends in a note on the bolts: Jeff Everett and I drilled some self drive bolts up the right side of the first pitch of the drip in the early 90's (I think) before I came to my senses (Jeff doesn't have any) and figured out that besides not being able to climb it when we got there, it would take us years to get there at our pace. I'm not sure if they're what Gery was referring to in his post but they certainly would qualify as shitty by now. I really don't think folks should expect much of those bolts especially in terms of slowing them down on the way by. Jeff is notorious for his half drilled self drives. Thanks Dave!


Crystal Tear, January 2, Mary Bramble
Ran up Crystal Tear today, frist 2 pitchs thin to mix would be very hard to protect without pins. Thrid pitch M4 to get to the ice, as above if climbing with partner would be hard to protect last 2 pitchs nice fat ice. The bolted station has new cord on it and is rigged for 30m raps.


Coire Dubh, Jan 2 Brad Winter.
Andrea Hanley, Tim Banfield and myself were trying for the mixed line however late start made that unrealistic. The ice is in great shape though and we did just the ice instead. There was some sign of passage. The wind and rain was a little annoying though.

South Ghost, January 2, Chris Noss Photos
Here are a couple pics from the south ghost. Everyone seems to know this stuff is fat but here are the pics. (I think the pic of all the smears above the peanut gallery is already posted?)

North Ghost, January 1, Ken Picard Photos
Had a good time in the N. Ghost.
Valley of the Birds in sweet shape. Yellow Bird very good to go.
Found a really nice new screw on the way into the valley. You identify, you get back. kpicard4(at)yahoo.com

THOS has had a ton of traffic, but route is in good shape. Except for the 40-50 km winds. Those kinda sucked.


South Ghost, January 1, Mark Taylor Photos
Joker- Looked Fat
Hooker- In, but looks to have a crack forming at the top. Made spooky sounds so we backed off half way up first pitch.
CandleStick Maker- Fat and fun. First pitch is crux.
All routes were dry. Enjoy

Grotto, Junk Yards, Crystal falls, Dec. 31 , Mike Backus
Dec. 30th, Canmore Junk Yards Fat ice lots of routes to chose from.
Dec. 31 Grotto area Grotto Falls, fat ice very hacked out. His and Hers in good shape. Crystal Tear looked great from the trail

Ice Nine, Happy Days, Dec 30th, Gren Hinton.
Ice Nine is formed large. Not the first one here, so well established trail. Ice is in great condition esp. at top, bottom running some water. Happy Days is down, but not quite structural for human habitation.

Louise, Murchison, Virtual, Dec. 30th, Nathan Brown Photos
Dec. 28: Louise Falls - fat and blue, many people there.
Dec. 29: Murchison Falls. Good trail in. High winds up in the amphitheatre are continually loading the approach slope to the falls, and also the slopes immediately above the approach ice - some avi potential. Ice varies from very good to somewhat sketchy requiring care. Virtual Reality--bottom pitch looks fat but the top is still very very thin.

Iron Curtain and area, Blessed Rage, Dec 29th, Gren Hinton.
Put snow shoe traks into Iron Curtain. Climbed an obvious 1-1.5m column formed on the right hand side,
with excellent ice conditions, slightly brittle. Iron Sliver is forming but not in condition. Deep snow and marginal freeze on river requires snow shoes. All usual between Betty's Pillar and Iron Curtain well formed. Took a drive to Emerald Lk to see Blessed Rage which has formed fat as a pure ice route.

Lost Climbing Rope Grotto Canyon following injury, Brendan Ramsay (he's OK)
My 8.5mm Edelweiss half rope was accidentally left behind in the parking lot follow confusion after I was injured. I would GREATLY appreciated it's return. Standard beer and loads of good karma reward offered. email is theunderscoreclimberathotmail.com.

A Bridge too far, Dec 24, Brad Winter
It is is really fun shape right now, the first 2 pitches are the "meat" of the climb with about 3 nice rambling pitches of snow and ice above

New Routes (getting caught up on these after a drunken holiday, if yours isn't posted here please drop me a heckling email and I'll get it up, sorry. -wg)
Frigging with Gear, posted Dec 26th, Tyler Jones and Ian Welsted
(New Route Right of Dances with Chaos, looks cool!)

More Hidden Ice WAY up Cougar Creek, Chris Willie (full route descriptions)


A solid week of climbing , Dec 24th, Kurt Hicks (thanks, lots of good info!)
2.15 Mini Master. Good shape.
12.16 Lady Wilson's Cleavage...is frozen (or at least passable) all the way up, but covered in snow. lots of scary layers! Skinny Puppy is in. The Totem Pole appears to be in. Ice Nine & Happy Days are very close to coming in. "harder than it looks" and other stuff by Tangle Creek look pretty fat.
12.17 Nothing but the Breast. good condition and dry. bring stubbies for the first pitch. the last pitch is hard 4 right now. Everything else on the Dave Thomson is huge from what we could tell.
12.18 Professors. good shape and pretty dry. Ten Years After is very close to being in with the first bit being thin/mixed right now.
12.20 Mixed Master...but everyone already knows how that's doing this year. If anyone find Matt's screw (as posted below)... no sign of the missing ropes.
12.21 Evan Thomas. Moonlight was the driest line. snowline and chantilly are wet, but take whatever gear you want to give them.
12.22 Cascade & Rogan's. A fun little linkup with the same amount of climbing as THOS, but without the drive and hike.
12.23 Gibraltar Wall...is in good shape. we climbed the left side at WI4, with the 3rd pitch being quite sun baked. ice all the way to the top right now. the road is pretty easy for a subaru, but would be challenging for a smaller car.

Bourgeau Left, Dec. 23rd, B. Edwards
Went up Bourgeau Left today (B.Edwards and M.Messner), first two pitches a bit brittle last two pitches fat and blue. Last pitch is super wet in the chimney and top 5-10 meters are not friendly on climbers right, stick left then traverse across top of the pitch on snow to bolts. wind blowing snow all the way from the valley bottom up to the top of the climb so the approach is mostly devoid of any cover or has a strong windcrust - still some small and avoidable pockets of hardslab thru cliffbands/slabs. lots of ravens out playing in the hurrican-esque updrafts to keep a restless belayer occupied...bonus!

Cascade, Bourgeau Left, Fearfull Symmetry, Michael Messner, Dec 23rd, (photos)
Climbed Bourgeau Left (with B. Edwards) on Dec. 22th, the approach was almost snow free. First pitch was thin in the begining, the the upper pitches were amazing but a bit wet, what allowed great tool placements - good climb.
Climbed Fearfull Symmetry today (with J. Yerly), I think it's known that Fearfull Symmetry is in good condition, many people already climbed it, still very nice.
Thanks to K.Craig for finding my tool and sending it back to me - I spent a good time on those climbs.

Cascade, Guiness, Stout, Dec 23rd, Nathan Brown, (photos)
Up Cascade Friday Dec. 22. Left side of the top pitches is super rotten. Right side better.
Dec. 23 - Guinness Gully and Stout. Decent ice on the main climb. First pitch quite filled out. Second pitch hard to find good screws in it. We slogged up to Guinness Stout through very deep snow. Guinness Stout is in awesome shape! Fat blue ice takes great tool placements and solid ice screws. Best pitch of the day without a doubt. Definitely worth the slog.

A quick note on the loss of Hari Berger


Dec 22, Mixed Master, Robert C. Lee
Was on MM yesterday with Aaron Beardless-- found no screws nor ropes. We both, however, agre
ed that the expression "ran a shitshow" is a keeper!
All Over redux(Cline, Ghost, Kitty Hawk etc), Dec. 21, Tim Banfield/Andrea Hanley (photos)
Dec 15th - Kitty Hawk, good conditions. Watched Craig and John climb Unicorn - Nice Climb
Dec 16th - Cline River Gallery - About 12 people there good ice
Dec 18th - Ghost - GBU and the smears to the right with Brad. - The left two smears were thin
Dec 20th - Cline River Gallery - Super soaking shower wet - Lots of traffic
Dec 21st - Crescent Falls - Lots of open water at the base. Would only climb the far right line

Borgeau Right, Dec 20th, Nathan Brown
Today there was new snow higher up as you approached the Icefields ParkwayWe slogged up to Bourgeua right on Wed Dec. 20. It looks like people hadn't been in there for a while. The trail disappeared under deep snow and windslab. Horrible going all the way up. Deep deep snow, sketchy wind-loaded pockets. Took us 2 hours to get to the base but we broke a trail for subsequent people (until it gets buried again!). Ice was white, aerated, very dinner-platey and sun-baked, like there was a crappy ice shell over the whole waterfall. All in all not great ice, but would go I suspect.

New Routes in Cougar, Dec. 20th, Chris Willi
Went for a hike up Cougar canyon yesterday afternoon, and soloed a couple climbs that don't seem to be recorded anywhere. One had a sling at the top, but I don't know if the other has been climbed. If someone steps forward they can rename them if they like. The canyon is a pain in the ass to hike as it is all loose boulders. Descending alone in the dark with a dying headlamp not recommended!

Good Craic 30m WI 2-3
Would be a great cragging area if not for the hike in.
Approach: At Canadian Forks take the RIGHT drainage and follow the crag around into the LEFT fork. Hike through loose boulders and a few rock and ice steps for about an hour, passing by a small pillar and a few smears, to wide flow on the left with a small curtain and some icicles in the middle.

Redeye 300m WI 2
Found about 100m past Good Craic on the right is a very long easy flow in a fairly large terrain trap. Continuing to the ridge would make for a good day.


Ghost, (weekend, posted Dec 20th), Brad Winter
I was in the ghost this past weekend and thigns are looking great. I did malignant mushroom and GBU, I also played on the smears to the right of GBU, they are pretty fun mixed routes with a fun little 3+ that is narrow but thick.

On a side note what have you heard about those smears since they are not int he book. I did see fresh rap cord and a biner on a death stick, that this fat dude could not use. 15 m above the routes on scree is where the new ancor is on a big fatty of a tree.
I was in the ghost this past weekend and thigns are looking great. I did malignant mushroom and GBU, I also played on the smears to the right of GBU, they are pretty fun mixed routes with a fun little 3+ that is narrow but thick. (WG--there's been a few postings on here about those smears, I'll link in the a.m. late now).


Mixed Master, Dec 20th, Matt Cusack (WG note--What's with Mixed Master at the moment? Stuck ropes, lost screw, adventures! Grin, hope everybody gets the bits back. Please emil me if you find Matt's gear, I'll forward to him)
I dropped a screw, 11cm Omega on mix master today. Can you post something in case it is found? or for a beer. Thanks.

Mixed Master, Dave Nordstokke, Dec 17th, Lost ropes
Ran a shitshow on Mixmaster Sunday December 17th, ropes stuck on rapell. It must have gotten jammed in a crack or something. Had to pull off a creative descent. If someone climbs Mixedmaster and rescues the poor ropes and wants to return them, it would be greatly appreciated. you can contact me at this address. nordstokke@hotmail.com Thanks very much and happy climbing.

Parkway Photos, December 16th, Kevin Wallis (Thanks Kevin, there is a LOT of good stuff on the Parkway right now, get it while it's good! -WG)
Unicorn, Kitty Hawk, Dec 15th, Craig McGee
Climbed Unicorn up in the David Thompson today. The route is extremely fat and is actually touching down. It will need a bit more time till you would want to jump on it as a pure ice route as the bottom of the two pillars are only attached by a few icicles. We found good ice on the first pitch with only a few steps onto the rock needed. As well we only placed a .25-.5 inch piece of gear for a small step over the roof. All other gear were ice screws. The upper pitch was much easier than the given M7 rating as you could stem off the ice and rock throughout the difficulties.
The last bolt (the ones marked off route in the mixed guidebook) protects the 10 feet of steeper ice. Kitty Hawk is also in very good condition. Have Fun.

Dec 14th, Tim Banfield (photos )
Dec 8 - Louise Falls - Top Pillar was hollow and chandeliery
Dec 9 - Haffner Creek - Climbed a 3+ ish route in the back due to the numbers. Also climbed what we thought was In Reverse from the mixed climbs book.
Dec 10 - Lower Weeping Wall - Somewhere between the Central Pillar and the Right Hand route - Good conditions wet in some spots.
Dec 11 - Wicked Wanada - Extremely wet, two groups did not finish the upper pitch due to the shower of water.
Dec 12 - Cline River Gallery - Pure Energy - Great conditions
Dec 13 - Oh Le Tabernac - Did not find the route in as great conditions as the previous post. Was cold, a bit wet with lots of ice shattering taking place. We were climbing at our limit, had a hard time finding protection after the intermediate belay and backed off.

Temporary Access Restrictions to Ice Climbing Routes in Yoho National Park

FIELD, B.C., December 15, 2006 – In early January 2007, the access road to several popular ice climbing routes on Mt. Dennis in Yoho National Park, will be temporarily closed weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m to both vehicle and foot traffic.

The closure of the Field back road will be in effect for public safety reasons while logs are hauled from areas near town as part of the FireSmart facility protection project.

Work may begin as early as January 9, 2007 and is expected to last approximately six weeks. Regular access for vehicle and pedestrian traffic will be available on weekends throughout the project. The start of the closure will be determined once the forest-thinning contract has been awarded in early January.


All over with great photos, Dec 13, Kolin Powick (Photo link)
Dec 6th - Cascade - perfect shape - with Roger Strong
Dec 7th - Polar Circus - good shape - brutal putting in the traverse through chest deep snow - with Roger Strong
Dec 8th - Weathering Heights - great shape - with Dave Carley. looked at but didn't climb Anorexia Nervosa - looks to be good
Dec 9th - Professors - fat and a bit wet - last pitch is easy 4 - with Dave Carley
Dec 10th - Oh le Tabernac - easy shape - wet, warm, sunny conditions
Dec 11th - Aquarius, Fearful Symmetry, Rainbow Serpent - so sick - with Roger Strong, Ian Parnell, Will Mayo, Jim Ewing
and Malignant Mushroom looked amazing on the walk in.


Weeping Pillar, Dec 13th, Chris Geisler
Super obvious, but just to confirm Weeping pillar with lots of lines in good shape.

Bear Spirit, Junkyards, Evan Thomas, Dec 9-11th Paul Matthews, (Photo link)
Fri 9th at Bears spirit with Martin Siddles- Generally good condition, the easier climbs on the right were in good shape and dry with good ice. The centre pillar was really wet with lots of water running down it and some very chandeliered ice. Some people top roping it reported it to be it to be climbable. The far left pillar looked drier but we didn't climb it.

Sat 10th at Junkyards with Alison Ferguson - Scottish gully was in great shape for a Scottish gully (I'm Scottish).

Sun 11th at Evan Thomas Creek with Ben Stephenson - Climbed Chantilly Falls which was lovely, nice plastic ice and fat. Then went on to climb up to the Cave on Moonlight. It was constantly dripping water down the centre of the climb but the Ice was fat enough to accept any screw and took good placements. Lots of V-threads in the Ice some with maillons on for abseiling. P.S The other two climbs there looked thin.


Valley of the Birds, December 11, Mike Warren, (Photo link)
Went up Valley of the Birds yesterday. All the climbs are in. Seagul looks very thin in the middle and the ice out of the gully looks shitty and detached. The Eagle is big but chandalier-y and pro looks
hard; 5 seemed too ambitious for Craig to lead on our first day out...

The approach ice is very slushy and lots of water in spots. Craig found a couple boot-filling holes to punch into.

We climbed Albatross and something else on that side; good shape. Another party did the approach ice for Yellow Bird and said it looked
mushroom-y, too.

Here's a shot of the eagle.


Wedge Mixed/Ice, Dec 11, Found MEC Gloves (IGGI's?), Anton Baser
I was at Wedge mixed/ice area on Saturday Dec 3rd and found a pair of MEC ice gloves. I posted already on Live-the-Vision but nobody has responded. So, could you please put a posting on your site so that I can get them back to the owner. They can email me at email: bazeheadREMOVETHISatgmaildotcom

Professor's, Dec 11th, Sam Prussin
Hi, just went up the route with ross on monday the 11th. A bit wet in sections, but you can avoid the worst of it. The last pitch is climbable with a slab leading to easy mushrooms, then a fairly thin upper section. The ice was clear in some spots and tyou can see lots of water running underneath. Don't dig too deep for the tool placements and all will go well.

The route can be easily and quickly rappelled, maybe with a single, but not positive (70m would do it). All stations are slung just bring a leaver biner for the last station.


Solstice, December 10th, Andrew Paul, (Photo link)
Climbed Solstice with my son Keanan (12) and daughter Kaitlin (10) today. The climb was listed as a new one on your site last year; definitely worthy of mention. The actual climbing is limited to only 25 m of which maybe 12 m could be considered steeper (grade III at the most under present conditions). However, this has got to be one of the closest climbs to Calgary and with an insanely short approach. A three-star route according to the kids; ranking higher than Heart or Grotto. Although, the approach played a pretty important part in the ranking (understandable when your
walking in ski boots).

Photo of my daughter attached.


General, Dec 10th, WG
I've removed the "What's in" table as pretty much everything that's normally in is in. Overall an exellent early season, with many rarely formed routes such as Shooting Star, Dances with Chaos, Mixed Master, etc. in. It's now definitely "Game ON!" Have fun and be a little careful of the south-facing routes, there's been some exciting falling ice as temps warm up in the direct sun late-afternoon. Thanks to everyone who sent updates in, good to see so much ice!

Cascade, Mixed Master, Dec 10th, Kevin Craig, (photos) (Also--We also found some gear on Polar Circus that someone will probably want back. Could you post this to your site and have them e-mail me at krcraigattake-this-outdimdotcom and I'll see they get it back.)
Climbed Cascade on Fri 12/8 very wet with a ton of water flowing within the climb at the top - careful not to break thru. Next storm likely to make the slide danger quite a bit higher.

Climbed Mixed Master on 12/9. Top pitch quite fat and quite slushy; it goes, but with iffy gear. Couldn't find the 2 bolts shown on the right at the top in the topo in JoJo's book so rapped off v-threads near the roll-over.

Weeping Wall continuing to fatten up - party of 3 on it today.

Though we massively underestimated the slogging involved on 12/10 on Polar Circus and so didn't get to climb the upper pitches, they look very good from the last rib before you drop down into the bowl below the upper pitches.
Lower pitches are excellent and not too wet. Snow is VERY deep turning the Pencil but the avy danger didn't seem bad. I don't think us being up there will make your trip any easier - prior steps broke through for us so ours probably will for you.

Ice on the first of the upper tier looks fat and blue. Ribbon looks good but narrow (or course). The main concern would be the top-out at the very top. Looks like snow over rock and maybe some thin ice - looked spicy, but maybe it always does.
Cascade and Mixed Master last pitch pics attached.

We also found some gear on Polar Circus that someone will probably want back. Could you post this to your site and have them e-mail me at krcraigattake-this-outdimdotcom and I'll see they get it back.


Trophy Wall Photo, Dec 9th but posting Dec 13, Grant Davis
Here is a single pic of Trophy Wall from the trail,taken Dec.9/06.

Weeping Wall, Dec 10th, Janez Ales
Valerij and I were on the Weeping Pillar today. I found a back off screw and a binner on the second pitch.
If you tell me what kind on janezdotalesatgmaildotcom it will be yours again :)

Polar Circus, Dec 10, Michael Messner (photos)
We (M.Messner and B.Edwards) climbed Polar Circus yesterday, the ice conditions where amazing, except for the second last pitch, which was partly snow covered with a fragile ice cover. The snow conditions on the bands were stable.

There is another issue, I lost one of my tools (Petzl-Charlet Quark - with hammer) during rappeling (on one of the two last steep pitches on our way down, I think it was during rappeling the lowest steep pitch on that rocky kind of funnel on top - I remember I fell down). If someone finds it, please contact me at my e-mail adress (bigwall@sbox.tugraz.at), I'd be very thankfull for that matter (since I'm an exchange student, I can't really afford to buy a new one and I still hope to enjoy the ice season here).

I wish everybody a good time out there in the Rocky's.


Cryophobia and Hydrophoiba, Dec 9, Gery Unterasinger (photos)
As of Dec.8th, Hydrophobia is in great shape, although quite wet. Cryophobia is in exeptional shape, very fun mixed climbing with lots of mushrooms glued on the rock and more ice than usual (about M8/WI6). As for gear I'd recommend 10 Draws and 8 screws, on top we walked to hydro for the descent. We drove with Shawn's 4 Runner to about an hour away from the climb, chains are recommended for the steep hill.


Polar Circus, Dec 9, Kevin Craig (photo)
Attached is a picture of the upper pitches of Polar Circus. Also, if you would, please note in the conditions reports that I sent that my partner was Matt Shepard.

Bow Falls, Evan Thomas, Haffner, Dec 8, Nick Buda (photos)
Been out and about the last couple days, some photos attached.

Professors was super wet and slushy last Thursday, couldn't get off the ground safely - we and several other parties turned around, though I hear it's been fine since. Visited Evan-Thomas area with Jenn Chikoski on Monday, Snowline was excellent enjoyable climbing on thin ice (suprisingly, I only placed 1-13cm and did the rest on med-long screws, wet and fat near the top, Moonlight has some interesting features for a WI4. We visited Haffner last Friday, seems to be fairly good conditions in Lower, and nice to get one some of the classics before they get beat out! Had a great day soloing and skiing at Bow Falls yesterday, it's in good shape if a bit brittle and snowy, bit of a cornice over the right side. Smears to the right fat and plastic, as is Gorby. Also attached photos of Pointless Gully - looks good and Political World, bottom not quite touching the ground. Incredible skiing/snowpack for this time of year - pits were encouraging on Wednesday.


Roganz, various, Dec 8th, Allen Rollin
I've gone to a couple of places in the last week that are defintely worth climbing. Roganz Gully on Cascade is in and the top vertical pitch is in great shape. Grotto Canyon is forming well and the two M6+ routes are in as well as the ice on Her's. Junkyards is doing well with all the ice climbable except near the falls (soaking). And last but not least, most of the mixed routes in Haffner (The ones requiring ice) are doing great, I know its busy but there is lots of room during the week. Going to try something longer tommorrow, nice and warmed up. Enjoy

THOS adventure, Dec 8, Curt Hegel (photos)
little story about our climb on this house of sky last weekend.

We climbed this house sky, soloed up to the hanging valley., then cotinued up the shallow gully to the upper ice. Bypassed the 4 pillar(wet and chandeliered) went left up a short smear to next pitch. An easy lead for Allan, Then contiued up to wide curtain visible from the top of main route. Allan led it, as Chris and I waited for the belay. A loud crack, folowed by rumble then a visually 3-D ish site of ice, water, rocks and snow shooting from atop the pitch. I though avalanche for sure(all though one doesn't associate avalanche with the Ghost) and deeked left in a big hurry. the ropes got sucked down the slope bellow and I almost felt them pulling on me when everything stopped. Chris was hit by a piece of ice/rock(?) and lost use of his right arm(turned out to be a hairline fracture) When Allan rapped down, he said that the ice atop the pitch began to break and move, then relasing a large volume of backed up water, probably from undermining we presumed.

I've never expierienced this before, and glad it wasn't a big avalanche or no one was buried. Just thought this would be good to share.

Mixed Master, Dec 7, Mike Stuart (photos).
Kristen and I climbed the route today. Its a steal in its current conditions with lots of ice and just enough snow sticking to the rock on the mixed pitches to provide good feet. The last pitch had a very short business section that made us feel like it was a burly grade 4. Busy place today with 2 other parties. Fantastic route...

Dancing with Chaos, Dec 6, Mike Stuart Photos
Climbed the route yesterday with Ian Welsted. Good shape throughout with spots of funky ice and interesting and technical climbing on the steep stuff. Easier than guidebook grade right now due to travel from earlier parties. We thought hard 5. Ran into friends who climbed Shooting Star and they reported good conditions as well.

Fearful Symmetry, Acquarius, Rainbow Serpent, Dec 5th, Andy Arts Photos
JT Gill and I climbed Aquarius, great shape and then JT hauled my ass up Fearful Symmetry. Lots of fun. I don't know how to delete the pictures so you can take out my elated look and the first picture is of Rainbow Serpent. The is a crack going through the top of the first pillar on Rainbow.

Various, Dec 5th, Brad Winter
Nov 30th Water Hole and Irish Mist. Both are in but in thin conditions, Irish mist is only a 6" pillar at the crux, but it is only for a body length.

Dec 2nd Snowline, is in very narrow and thin conditions. very fun but bring lots of small screws. the line to the right of snowline is very thin and probably doable with a mixed rack.
Moonlight is seeing lots of traffic and is in great shape from what I could tell .
Chantilly is fat.

Dec 3rd Weeping Wall Left hand is great for the first half the rest is snow covered and very thing and mixed. central line was very wet and did not look fun, the right side looked nice.

Spray Falls, Dec 4, Nathan Brown (Photos)
we got up Spray Falls Dec. 3. The climb is in fine shape.
The approach isn't too bad. The snow not too deep yet. Up at the base
of the climb and the step above the first pitch the snow is hard
windslab.

A note on the approach: We originally misinterpretted the guidebook
directions as meaning go up the second gully encountered after the
switchbacks. Not so: there is no ice in that gully. After the first
set of switchbacks go up the very first gully you come to. You can't
actually see where this gully goes from the trail, but after you tromp
up there a bit the gully curves left then splits in two. The climb is
in the left drainage.


Mixed Master, Unicorn, Dec 3, Kevin
Mixed Master is nice. Unicorn is in. WG Note--Mixed master has seen a few ascents this year. A fair number of the "rare" routes on the Parkway from Mt. Wilson to the Icefields are "in," good year.

Ghoster Coaster, Dec 3, Ken Picard
I know there is already a bit of info on this one, but here is a tad more.
Went up today and found it a bit underwhelming. About 65-70 M of the route is actual climbing. The "sticks" at the bottom of pitch 3 are a large logjam at the moment. To avoid the hassle of down climbing through it, we set up a rap left of the top of the icy part of the pitch which puts ya down right above the top of the belay. It's a sling with a mallion on a 15CM or so bomber little tree. I'm 210+ and it did just fine for me. Should work great for you skinny little guys.


Dead Eye Dick, Weeping Pillar (AVI hazard), Dec 3, J. Mills
Climbed Dead Eye Dick with Jody Sutherland on Saturday. There was no rock but a small rock rack is usefull for the first belay and the odd peice of gear. Route went at about W5+R with lots of thin, detached, and all round scary climbing. The top pillar made some creepy noises.
Weeping pillar looks climbable but probably harder than normal and has lots of daggers of death hanging above. A note of caution: lots of small sluffs have been coming down at weeping wall area. Climber got hit today and belayer got buried to chest on Whimper Wall!

Whiteman Falls, Dec 2, Cory "Dick" Richards
Don't know if anyone has climbed it yet this year, but Jesse and I went into Whiteman's today...it was really good. Still a little sketchy in terms of thickness...lots of noise coming from the belly of the tube...but great none the less. Thought you might like to post it.

Ghost, December 1, Shawn Huisman
Just a quick note on the Ghost. Rainbow Serpent IS UP, probably needs a bit more time to fill in but it's going to be good. We climbed Fearful Symmetry yesterday. Well Pierre Darbelley climbed it and I belayed. It was dry and brittle and he had to clean a ton plus fight for pretty much everything. It was serious and one of the finest displays of ice climbing I've witnessed in a while.
On the Ghost, there is more ice than I've seen in there for years. It's off the charts.

Bear Spirit, Nov. 30th, Allen Rollin
Me and a buddy from Canmore went climbing at Bear Spirit yesterday (29th), brittle ice but forming really well. Hocus Pocus and most of the mixed routes on climbers right are in and great. Today the 30th we went to King Creek in the Kan, and it was also doing great, the easy 2-3 ice has formed well and is defintely climbable. Also the thin M6 route 100ms before the ice flow is ready but intimidating (thin ice) Both are worth the visit!

Bourgeau Left and Louise, Nov 30th, BE and M (WG Note--check the photos of the slide off of fairview, Brent says that's all the powder plume, not clouds!)
We were also up the approach to Bourgeau L today (I suppose the Nov.28 post excited the masses for an early season ascent) @ 7:30am in very chilly conditions; avoided usual approach by ascending left of avalanche chute through dense trees and traversing back right to climb along base of rockwall. Really hope we didnt destabilize the snowpack and contribute to the grief for the party later on. Note same snow conditions as Josh with a general increase in isolated slab thickness and density as we ascended, however snow thru trees shows very little slab formation and less faceting along nov7 layer. Small slope at base of climb has very unstable hard slab to ~15cm deep that stopped us in our tracks and got us moving out fast to Louise under the assuption that conditions in the bowl above would be similar if not worse. Louise: Pillars are dripping and mushy but are reforming quickly, no sign of those tools yet. at about 1:30 a size 2-2.5 soft slab came down 2 leftmost gullies on fairview overlooking the lake, triggering numerous sluffs across the face on its way down.

Bourgeau Left Approach Avalanche, Nov. 30th, Josh Briggs (glad to hear everbody is OK!)
Had a human triggered 1.0 med hard slab, on the traverse ledge mid-way up the steps below bourgeau left today.11:40am. HS 20 - 30cm... generally boot top post holing walking on ground.
Slab triggered above us on 30 - 35* terrain, crown 10 - 20cm thick, running on facets over the nov crust and the ground. Snow surface temp was still cold enough that it wasn't snowballing when squeezed. Slab was consolidated enough that it pushed us down 30 - 50 feet, and could easily have pushed us over the cliffs.
Still felt pretty cold even in the sun... but maybe making a bigger difference where it's thin?
WG Note: Quote from Josh, "We talked about the avi hazard in the bowls above, and I felt that the only hazard would be small pocket slabs. Unfortunately this is exactly what we encounted on the hike up. There was very little snow--there was grass sticking out of the debris! It had also warmed up a lot, and I was stil operating under the assumption that it was very cold, which it was, but not as cold..." Briggs recently finished his level II avi course and has been travelling in the mountains a lot this winter. Be careful out there, and thanks to Josh for sharing this, it's good info. The point is not to second-guess an "event," but to learn from it, the more we share and think about moving in the mountains the better.

All over (this guy got around!), November 28th, Gren Hinton
Been here 2 weeks and climbed a handful of stuff that you haven't listed as in yet. Dates are rough.
Borgeau Left 13th nov, Polar Circus 26th Nov, Cosmic Messenger 20th, Murchison Falls 19th, Sacre Bleu 16th.
All in good condition. Solo.
Kitty Hawk. Good condition, brittle 24th. Kim and Gren
Also Hypertension has just touched down, but unclimable till thickens. About as thick as your wrist at base. Shooting star is good to go. Virtual
reality
is totally in, but thin mushrooms. Oh le tabernac just came down, and all the top wall is fat.

Various, November 28th, Brad Winter
Nov 25 Hidden Dragon, is in great shape but the ice was far to brittle and to hard to ue the quick feature on ice screws, had to place them the old fasion way, man am I ever spoil with laser sonics, grivel 360's and turbo express's. a word of the wise becareful in those tight canyons, I broke through to my thighs and still did not hit bottom, If it was not for my tool placement I would have gone for a big swim. Not a fun prospect in -20.
Candle stick maker looks awesome! as does the Hooker.

Nov 27
Went back to grotto, amazing how much change in that short time. Grotto falls is in nice and fat, Hers is in great shape, a big change from 4 days before.

Bourgeau Left and right, November 27th, Ian Shavalier
Was ski touring up at Sunshine on Sunday and it looks as though Bourgeau Left and right are good to go.


Aquarius, (report on the 27th, climbed 25th), BE and JM (photos)
Went up Aquarius via alternate gully approach (rather than up sunshine which is in pretty fat but wet). Gully was a soaker and pools not frozen in some places so heads up. Aquarius: first half is a thin tube with running water inside on climbers left and thin solid ice on the right. took 16cm screws with a little creativity. Halfway up is a good ledge, had to dig thru almost a foot and a half of foamy ice/onionskin to get to the good stuff. Top pitch a little thin with lots of running water and covered in several layers of brittle chandeliers so we bailed on abalakovs from here...no fun in -23. Heard rainbow serpent collapse early in the day (sounded like the apocalypse!!) but fearful symmetry is fat all the way to the ground and looks like it'll survive the temperature swings. Wicked wanda is in but seems to be without the usual cave, malignant mushroom is looking fat. Many many thanks to the great folks who pulled us out of the streambed in our little accord that couldn't...we're in your debt (beer, my first child's eyes, you name it!).

Ghoster Coaster, Nov. 27th, Brandon Pullan
The ride is open.. (see last year for route info) it's getting fatter everyday.. 1.5 hours from summit cafe in canmore on feet.. YES! V threads in place but will most likely be iced over. Dec 2 note from Brandon: On the Canmore/K-country Map by Gem Trekk... (1:50000) the coordinates are 64.3N by 19.3E..There is an obvious drainage marked.. its right up there...

Johnston Canyon, Louise Falls, November 26th, Eric Batty
Hiked into Johnston Canyon today, tons of running water, it was expected to be wet, but thought we would check it out anyways, it is starting to form
nicely. Later we drove over to Louise Falls to see what was happening over there, the crux pillar sectoin is super thin with massive hanging ice, well
actually some had came down, minutes before we would have been on the first pitch in is path, The right side of the curtain came down as we were just
roping up. We heard a crack bomm and ran like hell,, the massive chunk of ice missed my tracks by 5 feet. Anyways, my buddy lost his tools under the
chunks of ice, Petzl Quarks. Eric Batty 403 609 8702 and i will send them to him. cheers (WG Note---I'll also forward emails to Eric if anyone wants to contact him that way).

Louise Falls, "scary" icicles and general comments, November 26, WG
Went for a nice ski tour yesterday with a big group, we skied past Louise Falls on the way out. It looked to be rather sporting, thin columns and such at the top. Two guys were just getting down to the trail we as we skied up, and they had a scary story (post above this one from them). They were racking up and tying in to climb when one of the large curtains at the top right of Louise let loose. Fortunately they were both able to scramble out of the way, but lost a set of tools under the huge stacks of rubble. The ice curtains/hanging features that have significant water on them are forming very quickly due to the very cold temperatures (-20 and lower) of late; the rapid ice formation and very brittle ice may result in more dangerous than usual hanging dagger conditions (the Jasper Avi forecast actually makes note of this as well). Interestingly, there is a also a note from Sean Isaac on the November 21st MCR guide's reports that specifically mentions the quantities of hanging ice on Louise Falls--Isaac wrote, "Doesn't look too appealing yet, especially with all those scary looking daggers hanging above your head. If the pillar doesn't snap off with the forecasted -30 temps this weekend, it might fill out and be good to go in a week or two." I'd say that was a pretty accurate comment given the results yesterday, and one that applies to any route with lots of free-hanging ice at the moment... We have a lot of great resources for avi forecasts, ice conditions etc on the web now, I make an effort to read the information links on the banner at the top of this page every day, they are very useful and help build a picture of what's happening in the mountains over the course of the season. (Thanks to Eric for his first-person note above as well, very glad they survived the experience!)

The snowpack was also amazingly deep up high, the best early season skiing I've ever seen in the Rockies. Bizzare to have basically no snow in the valleys and over a meter of great snow up high. Right now the avi hazard is generally low (see the Avalanche Conditions link above in the menu bar), I hope it stays that way but am concerned about what any wind will do to all this great fluffy snow in terms of slab formation etc. We're now out of the "fall" season and fully into winter, something to think about.


Haffner, Stanley, Nov 26, Gery Unterasinger
After checking out your ice conditions page I thought it is worth wile mentioning that Haffner is actually in good early season conditions. There are 2 pure ice lines, the far left side and the regular stuff on the right. Boyd Mistery, Green Hanger, Half and Half and Mojo are all in great mixed shape and leadable. Typicaly no ice on the girl without... and everything right of it until Shagadelic, which is very thin. Shwank over on the right is also in good shape. Also, to complete the Stanley Headwall section, the very rewarding 2nd pitch of Killer Pillar is formed pretty fat since a couple of weeks already. Happy Climbs! Gery

Rogan's, Cascade, Nov 25th, Andreas Schmidt
We solo'd Rogans after bailing (couldn't find Spray Falls), it was thin but fun. The upper pitches are very thin/mixed. A party was on Cascade, it looked uglier than normal but climbable. Yesterday we did the right side of lower weeping wall, bad ice plastered with snow.


Moonlight, November 25, Chris Willie
Headed into Evan-Thomas with Mike Prystajecky today. Aside from being a bit cold, the climbing was actually pretty good. Moonlight is in fairly thick, especially through the curtain. Chantilly falls looked quite thin, as was snowline. Watch the creek, we found out the hard way that it isn't as thick as it looks in places.
Evan Thomas, Nov. 24, Scott McKay (photo)
Was into Evan Thomas today, Climbed some of moonlight, Ice was variable in thickness. We thought it was "steeper then it looked", the group beside us agreed and figured it is WI4+ right now. It was a felt a little steep for us and we bailed after the first pitch. They were on snowline and it seemed thin. We looked at Chantilly falls on the way in and it looked to be thin as well. Attached is a photo.

Mt. Wilson (Near Death etc), Nov 23, J. Mills
Climbed Near Death a few days ago on Mt. Wilson, we were trying to find 'Dancing with Chaos' but got a little lost due to starting too early. It was in good shape, the W5 pillar is very steep but the ice was great. We also climbed a pitch a W4 in the canyon down and Left from it. The book calls this unclimbed but we found a bolted station on top. Many of the regular routes on the Parkway now appear to be in.


Grotto, Nov 23, Brad Winter
Grotto falls is in but with LOADS of running water the sides are fine and well featured.
Hers is falling down with that water water pissing down on it.
His is in and forming nicely. It is a bit thin in places but it was in fun condition, with very few pick holes in it.

Various, Nov 21st, Andrew
Nov 20th 2006 we climbed the first pitch of the watering hole on macgillivary slabs.. the ice was thin and would take only 10cm screws...so we walked around and set a top rope, we climbed it at about midnight, so we didn't feel like a sketchy lead.
nov 19th 2006.. we climbed up unforgiven in the ghost, the ice was fair,but soft. it was thin at the top though so we climbed about 3/4 of it then rappelled. the wind was fierce. and the climb up the scree was hella shitty.
nov 18th 2006 we climbed a short shitty line at the junkyards. nothing was really formed there. but we climbed on it anyway..it's gonna be a while for this place to be considered worth climbing.
nov 12th climbed on phantom falls in the ghost the top was hella thin so we set a station a little past half way and climbed for a while..the ice was great for the most part. a little hollow on one small section. but it's in the shade, so it may form phatt this year..... when we were in the ghost on the 19th we thought it may have looked a little thiner. but we didn't hike up to check it out.

Parkway, Nov 20, Sean Elliot (photos) (Some of this stuff is relatively "rare," cool to see it in! -wg)
Dana and I spent the weekend climbing on the Parkway, this is what we found.

Icicle Fairy has a good trail to the base and is great.
Dancing with Chaos is in and we had the pleasure of climbing this rarity. First pitch takes short screws and is quite kicked back. Second pitch is steep and intimidating but has good rests, ice and protection. Perhaps its best to belay lower down before topping out as there is no ice for an anchor and the rock is either shit or too compact to take pins (we traversed right and rapped from a tree and a sapling respectively).
Near Death looks to be in and we saw tracks leading to the base, maybe you'll get a report.
El Coco (on Murchison) looks close to touching down.
Dead Eye Dick looks fucking kee razy.

Orient Point and Bow Falls. 18/19th Nov, Grant Parkin
The approach ice diretly to Hidden Dragon was not in, too much thin ice and open water. The left hand approach was in good shape though. There was a party climbing The Joker and it looked well formed. Hidden Dragon was in and climbable but not surprisingly with the weekends temps, it was rather wet in places. The right side was fairly dry, the middle was running with more new ice forming on it's left side. The far left side had the driest line, and a nice pillar to start with. The Hooker was touching down but looked chandeliered. The Candle Stick Maker looked to be getting big but a look from the top of Hidden Dragon showed a lot of "candles" and made it a little harder looking than from a distance.

Bow Falls main section wasn't climbed because of it's thin looking sections (and a newbies doubts) but the lower angled stuff on the right edges was climbed along a couple of lines. There were still thin sections on the slabs where it was easy to punch through and a lot of spindrift, especially in the corner and down the main falls. The hardest part of the day was the approach though with it's constant post-holing. Do yourselves a favour and take snowshoes (unlike me).

Ghost, Nov 19th, Lyle Rotter--Possible new routes, photos.
We were in the Ghost (Black Rock Falls drainage) this past friday and saturday and climbed either new routes or at least unreported as far as I can tell. If someone else comes out of the woods to claim the first ascent, we have agreed to still take credit and keep our route names but use the other person's first ascent date. Friday, Tom Schnugg and myself climbed 3 routes up the approach drainage to Balck Rock Falls. The first one was in the second gulley to the left when walking in (45 min), 5 minutes up talus slope and is a 25 meter grade 3 called "Head Butting the Undies", a New Zealand term that we will not get into right now, rappel off a tree to the left. The second one is visible from this point as well, and is 5 minutes up and to the right. It is called the Saint and is a 60 meter WI 2R (thin) with a couple of easy rock moves, rappel off tree to the left. The third was the best of this bunch and is called Sinner, it is a 35 meter WI3R. Kinda of a scottich gulley climb with the only real peices of gear being one sceptre and one small cam. It is just to the right of Saint but not visible until in front of it and has 2 tiers (one visible in picture). This one can be walked off to the right but will not handle many ascents unless very delicate. The next day Colin Wooldridge, Jon Turnball, Tom Snugg and myself climbed Sunset Falls and walked past the Ribbon about 10-15 minutes to a fun 55 meter WI3 we called "Double Fisting Jane". This climb is visible from the valley floor as a thin ribbon of ice and like Black Rock Falls it looks longer than it is. We walked off to the right and rapped down the Ribbon but it would be possible to rap the route. All 4 routes probably form early and leave early. BTW, Black Rock Falls looks huge, Sunset and the Ribbon are in good shape and Bloody Mary is not touching.

Mike Klapey Note Sent November 26th regarding possible new routes:

Just a quick note on the query of new routes up the drainage area to Black Rock Falls.
I have good news and bad news.
There are tons of little seeps throughout that area, as well as so many others that have not been specifically recognized as an actual climb. I personally know they have been climbed as I recognize the terrain, however in various conditions, some better and some worse. But I am unaware of anyone laying claim to the ascent with a name and date of first ascent.
So for the author of the article, congratulations to the naming and historical data provided by your party, however I can confirm that these seeps have been enjoyed by others previously.

I am writing this note from my perspective, and if there are others out there who would like to add to my comments or feel my above comments are inaccurate, please feel free to make any amendments necessary.


Various Ghost, Nov 19th, Sean Kruger
Climbed Weathering Heights on Friday with Jeff Lockyer, it's in great conditions. A few thin-ish spots but otherwise it's good to go. Had a look at Anorexia Nervosa and it's in too. The lower section is definitely anorexic, but the upper 1/2 looked good with a small amount of snow above. Looks fun! The hike in would suck with any amount of snow, so now is the time to go in there. 1 hr from the car.
Malignant Mushroom - not in
Wicked Wanda - not in

Parkway, Nov 19th, Brad Winter
Today a bunch of us checked out the Parkway.
Weeping wall was was really thin.
Wilson's major looked big and blue but Wilson's cleavage is not in. We attempted to walk up to it thought he trees but that did not go as planned.
We drove north and eventually played around tangle falls. It had lots of running water but there was some climbable stuff there.

Parkway, Nov 18th, Rich Marshall (Rich is one of the relatively few people who actually know all the names and info on these routes, thanks. -WG)
Was up the Parkway today.
Attempted to climb Shooting Star with Chris Brazeau today. First three pitches were thin and noisy, but positive, yet challenging for the mind. Upper main piller just touching and pouring with water, will be climable soon. No issues with snow stability.
Mix Master was climbed today by Jon Walsh and Jen Olsen by the direct line. They reported that it was thin and challenging, and they removed alot of crucial ice, thus making it difficult to climb for the next party.
Weeping wall, lower looks thin , but climable on the right lower. Upper looks climable, but very technical, also threatened by looming daggers. I almost died form one of those giant daggers a couple of years ago, they look ready to drop.
Tabernac Bowl looks good, a couple of good choices up there, Oh Le Tabernac would have to be climbed by mixed routes.
Stairway to Heaven looks good.
Mixed Monster is getting there.
Virtual Reality is in , but looks thin and skinny.
Balfour wall is in but small.
Curtain Call has recently fallen down
Rip tied is very thin.
Rocket man has a reasonable amount of ice, but doesn't look inviting yet.
Field climbs are pathetic looking, along with the Golden climbs

Spray River Falls, Nov 16th, Mike Stuart (Thanks for the nice photos-combined with Parkway photos below)
Climbed the route yesterday with Andy Arts. Its in good shape with all 3 pitches taking 13 -16cm screws. The pitch before the pillar was very cauliflowered with a large ice lense over top just before the cave. We entered into the cave from the right and the climbing was a bit overhanging through the features but always with good sticks and bomber gear. The pillar is in good shape, about 4 feet thick at its base and solid all the way up. 80 feet of grade 5 with a good rest half way. The gully after the pillar was quite loaded and kind of nasty so heads up. Down in 3 raps.
We approached from the path and up the drainage (1.5hrs) which was tedious due to little snow cover and very slippery rocks. On the way home we cut over high back to the path(45min). The high trail joins the main trail less than 5 minutes from the car. As you start the main trail look for the path branching off on the right once you get into the slashpiles. Somewhere around 1550m you leave main trail and this dumps you into the appraoch gully somewhere around 1775m. Go get it before it snows too much!!!

Parkway Photos (Weeping Wall .etc), Nov 15, Ian Greant
Here's a few pics from yesterday. Tangle Falls was very wet.
some big chunks fell off of weeping wall while we were looking at it from the parking lot and parts of it were still running

Not sure what the route is to the left of weeping. (WG Note--Dead Eye Dick? If it's still there this route is a real rarity, I've only seen it "in" once before)

Included a pic of the right side of mt kerkeslin.. any idea which route I've got circled? (Ian Hunt note: "I believe that the picture does show Kerkeslin falls drainage. "


Water Hole, Irish Mist, Nov 15, Geoff Ruttan
For anyone seeking some ice the routes Water Hole and Irish Mist are in and fun. Climbed the Water hole (left route) with Mike Stuart today. A bit wet which made it hero ice, super great. That route can take 16cm screws. Irish Mist was pretty thin, resulting in a more serious route when a friend and I climbed it two days ago. Only 10cm screws where going in and they were questionable in quality.


Stanley Note, Nov 15, WG
I've moved Suffer Machine and Nemesis into the "rumor" column from the "climbed" column in the table; apparently both routes have had attempts, but not sure if someone has actually succeeded, apparently conditions are fierce, to be expected early season on these rigs. Reportedly there is a lot of new snow up there with another storm cycle predicted for tonight, watch out for avi hazard from above (thanks to Robert Lee for the email).

Rogans, Nov 14, Brad Winter
I attempted rogans last night. did most of it then walked off. I would not call it in but it was fun. very thin; at most 2" thick in places. Upper sections where formed up in a real cool looking way.

King Creek, Ghost, Nov 14, Brenden Ramsey
King creek faired well with the warm temps last week, but is thinner that a week earlier.
GBU needs at least another week, as does Angel Eyes and Unforgiven. Indiferent is Not close yet.
Man eating liquid mid route on THOS. Went through up to my waist and did NOT find bottom.
Phantom Falls is in, well... in not bad for a WI4 R. Top is narrow with funky ice, but you can get scews in. Lots of flow, so maybe it'll drop the R rating by the time someone else climbs it.
Rumors: A couple claimed to have been up the Joker, although they also spoke of how thin/wet it was. Maybe leave it for a few days to thicken up.

Stanley Head Wall Photos, (last weekend, see post below) Nathan Brown

South Ghost, Hidden Dragon Area, Lise Beaulieu
Ice is good at the Hidden Dragon crag in the South Ghost, however the mixed climb on the far right seems to have disappeared (large rock fracture at the overhang possibly?). This same rock fall may have taken out the second bolt on the middle mixed route as well. The left route is intact.


Bear Spirit, Nov 12th, Chris Noss
Went to Bear Spirit on Nov 12. Pillars forming but a long way from touching down, hope no one knocks them down. Mixed climbs right of No Love good fun.

Ghost, Nov 12, Richard Carr (also check out his blog, some good and funny stuff!)
Went out to the ghost yesterday. This house of sky was thin and wet, good early climbing but the pools are super thin therefore i was super wet. I took some pics of various routes on the way. (WG Note--Thanks to everyone who sent suggestions in to make the links below work. Taking ou the "/" at the end makes the links work in Firefox, but not in Safari.....Grrrr )

The real big drip, http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/7552/4058/1600/PB120261.jpg
GBU, http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/7552/4058/1600/PB120253.jpg
The Indifferent/Angel Eyes, http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/7552/4058/1600/PB120256.jpg
Lots of Ice to the right of GBU that i don't remember from last year, http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/7552/4058/1600/PB120258.jpg
This house of sky, http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/7552/4058/1600/PB120176.jpg


Professor's, Stanley, Nov 12, Nathan Brown (photos now too, nice!)
Rode into Professors Sat. Nov. 11. Professors wasn't in - rotten ice and partially formed pillars only. Biked out and drove to Lake Louise. Louise falls isn't in either. Drove to Stanley headwall and climbed Sinus Gully (fat). Next day attempted Nemesis. Climb was in good shape, but around noon started dripping a lot. Lots of wet snow fell in the area on late Saturday and throughout Sunday. Suffer machine looked in good shape too. People were on it Sunday.

Grotto (His n' Hers, Grotto Falls), Nov. 12, Shared Machine
Not that it's a far slog in for nothing but both sexes fell down after the warm spell, mixed routes partially covered in ice which made for very interesting thin/mixed moves. grotto needless to say is sopping.

Professors, Wedge Smear, Nov 12, Mark Bramble (Photos here)
Professor's is not in or melted out, Wedge Smear is coming but the curtain is nowhere to be seen.

"Shades of Ugly" (NOT Shades of Beauty, new route!), Nov 12, J. Mills. Photos here (WG Note--also photos of Terminator from road, Stanley from road, etc).
Here's a couple pics of the route. I also forgot to mention that the top pitch is just visible from the highway at a sharp bend in the road where Medicine Lake just comes into view from the road.

Murchison's, Balfour, Nov. 12, Grant Parkin
There was a car at the Murchisons trailhead on Sunday so preumably it was getting climbed, but clouds/snow prevented seeing the climbs so myself and friends went to Balfour for a little cragging instead. Given that there was no ice there two weeks ago, it's surprising that it was touching down but no surprise that it was a little chandeliered and hard to protect at times

Evan Thomas Creek Nov 10, Grant Parkin
Chantilly Falls, 2 Low 4 Zero, and Snowline are not in.
Moonlight was in early season conditions with some new ice, wet in places, narrow and thin in other places. We also had to climb about 40 ft of rock to the left to bypass what was as yet unclimbable ice. Another week of good temps may see the start in reasonable condition.

King Creek Ice, November 9th, Ken Picard (Photos Here)
Had a little fun at King today. The main wall is fun WI 2 with some little vertical faces to play with. The line up the creek and around the corner is thin WI 3+ and the top part isn't frozen yet leading to an interesting finish. Got a look at Amadeus on the way out, looked rotten and dodgy.

Fortress Accident, Nov 9, Steve Bomar
Sad news....but a reminder that we need to be careful out there.... Canmore Leader Link, CTV link

WG Note: Tony Devonshire posted regularly through the years on these ice pages, and was a well-respected member of the Bow Valley climbing community. Accidents like this are always heart-breaking--climbing is life for many of us who respond to the powerful call of the mountains, but the beautiful mountains so painfully take the lives of many great people. Peace to Tony's friends and family. Play safe out there.

Also note that it mainly snowed up on the Parkway, there is a LOT of new snow up high. The Avi Hazard foreast is in general surprisingly OK, but it's a real mental disconnect between the amount of snow down low in the valleys and the large amount of snow up in the higher terrain, especially to the north of Canmore/Banff.


Jasper Area, Nov 6, Grant Sikkes
just a quick heads up on some things happening on the North end of the Parkway. Shades was climbed last weeked by Dana Ruddy and partners, but at the time the second pitch wasn't really in so they did a mixed variation following a crack system on the right side. As of Saturday it was in, the middle pitch was thin but protectable. Curtain call is forming up nicely, Stanley Falls senior is in, the upper pitches of Kerkeslin Falls are in, and the Boss Hogg in the WAD valley looks ready as well. I will do a bit more investigating later in the week and give a more detailed update.

General, Nov 6, WG
The weekend was VERY warm. Cascade fell down, looks like a lot of the lower routes took a beating due to warm rain all the way to the tops of the peaks on Friday night. This weather event was actually a good thing as it has put a lot of moisture onto the ground... At least that's what I'm telling myself. The temperatures are heading back down starting tomorrow night, and I expect that the higher ice took a beating but is still mostly there. Good luck!

Little Bobby Onsight, Nov. 3, Mike Stuart (Photo up here)
Hiked up to Little Bobby on sight today with Geoff Ruttan. Only the first pitch is in, while the last two are totally dry. Fun one pitch anyway in a very cool setting. 3.5 hours to the base.

Professors, Urs Hole, Cascade, Nov. 2, DRE (Photos up now)
Headed out to Professor's today. photos attached. first pitch a tad wet. still lots of ice. Climbable. Cascade had a party of 7 on the second pitch. 3rd pitch from top has a car size hole in it. needs a bit more time. Urs hole is good. 2 parties on it today.

Sacre Bleu, Nov 2, Andriy and Danylo
We found the gate into the golf course unlocked yesterday morning, so drove in and saved some energy for later. Good thing we did. approach ice wasn't down yet, so resorted to bushwacking up climbers left - pebbly slippery slopes, thick bush. Rapped in off the buttress to the left of the climb. Took a LOT longer than planned.

Ice was wonderful, but a lot of work, thanks to a snow crust. M15 horizontal offwidth maneuvers to get to the fixed belay way, up high and to the left.
Bailed off the second pitch, as there were more excuses than reasons to continue :-( Delicate and wet, but not that steep...

Since we couldn't find any rap anchors and were concerned of getting trapped in a water polished gully, we rapped off the buttress to climbers right, and faced another bushwack... Sprinted back to the car, in a rush to catch Kirkpatrick's show, only to find the gate locked - it's closed for the season... We did, however, catch most of his high speed rambles. What a riot.

PS - Proffessor's is coming along nicely, but is probably really wet.


Haffner and Lone Ranger, November 1. Guy Lacelle
Haffner Creek: went on October 31st, not a lot of ice yet but things are starting to form.Probably best to train on the usual dry routes and wait a week to 10 days before swinging tools on the new thin ice.

Lone Ranger: climb the first 35m on the left side on Nov. 1st, thin for the first 15 m then some grade 4 ice to a low angle bench. I put a double V-thread for an anchor.


Amadeus, October 31, Jason Billing.
Went up to Amadeus today with Nick, plenty of powder snow in the alpine made for a bit of extra work on the approach. The climb is in classic mixed shape, dry rock on the big traverse (we cleaned out a few loose blocks) and a moderate grovel across the snow ledge. The small pillar was sustained for 8m with a tad brittle ice, but good 13cm screws. The second pitch followed a nice groove with wet 'hero' ice. Bring camalots 0.5-3, half set of nuts, 13-17cm screws and a few pins that don't really need to be place but you never know. Head into the forest on skiers left for an expiditious and exciting slide down to the car. No sun on the route even at 5pm.

King Creek, October 30th, Heather Slivinski
Went to King Creek October 30th. The large main smear is not formed well yet, but was climbable if you need to. We did, and it's not great climbing!


R&D, October 29th, Ken Picard (Photos up now)
Went to R&D this morning and found it a little spindly, but good to go. With the weather outlook for the week it should be good and fat by next weekend.
The included photos give a good idea. Looks like the season is upon us.


All Over the Place, October 29th, Grant Parkin
Field: Couldn't see anything in
Banff: Terminator was noticable as indicated in the above post but ice was also appearing on other climbs along the NF of Rundle.
Bearspirit - not in.
Icefields Parkway: All are observations only.
The thing we tried stumbling up loose choss in blowing snow for - not in. :dry:
Crowfoot Falls - In.
Political World - Maybe in. Is a W5+R ever really "in"?
Bow Falls - Some running water, not in.
Waterfowl Gullies - Some Ice visible but not in.
Balfour Wall/Bison Falls - Not in
Murchison Falls - Upper section was two pillars or had an open section in the center but coming along.
Lady Wilson - Water
Wilson Major - Some ice but still far from "in".
Polar Circus - Some ice on the final pitches but the lower pitches were ice free and running.
Weeping Wall - Lots of water.
Bridal Veil Falls - Lots of water.
Consolation Prize - Some ice but not quite in.
Schism Game - looks decent except for possibly the start.
Tangle Creek - Lots of water with a couple of mushrooms starting.
Bastarir Sirdar - not sure if this is the climb but something was in up there.
Curtain Call - Not in but ice was starting to form.
Shades of Beauty - In but looked narrow and more like a pillar than a curtain so far. Also the middle pitch looked tough and like a lot of hanging ice. Can the middle pitch be avoided by scrambling left?
All in all the Icefields was a little disappointing in how it was coming along but that should change quick enough with some colder temps. Although this weekends snow closed the road Sunday and prevented us from going to the ice we'd seen the previous day, it might help more things to form up too.


R&D Area, October 28th, Brad Winter
R and D has been in for almost a week now with multiple parties getting up it since oct 23rd although it was very thin. Oct 28 saw 3 parties at the base and the conditions were good as was screw placements. Lone ranger and Chalice are not in, however there seems to be quite a few mixed offerings availble up there. Stuff up in trick or treat area is starting to come in with at least one line already in. First blood looked in from the road.


R&D, October 29th, Brenden Ramsay
R+D has been climbed numerous times. Good ice for early season, with the ice being more consolidated after the first steep bit. We didn't even need the stubbies we brought with us.

-Brenden


General, October 27, Will Gadd on "Any Ice YET?" Rockies Climbing Cycle page up here for more "What's good this time of year?" answers.

Today I received no less than a half-dozen emails asking how the ice was shaping up. Some from the US, Canada and one from a guy in Poland... I had hoped to have these pages on a more organized forum-style server by now, but I don't so they'll be looking like this until we get it sorted.

The short answer is that ice is forming like mad, and people are swinging tools. There's not a lot in, but it's below freezing pretty much every night now. As I've been driving around over the last week I've seen what I think is generally more ice than I normally see at this time of the year; I think there's more surface water than normal thanks to a couple of heavy snow falls in September and early October, that's been melt-freezing like mad. If you're thinking about a trip from Edmonton or farther I'd say you might find good ice, you might not, but it will be an adventure. Yesterday Arterial Spurt looked to be feasible, as did a lot of the routes to the east of the Three Sisters (Twisted Sister area). I suspect that a very motivated party could climb the Terminator or at least have a really fun adventure on it--there's more ice up there than I've ever seen this time of year, including some smears on the wall I haven't ever seen before.. The K-country usuals are forming up, although still spotty. Ten Years After was forming nicely as well. If you're a visitor check the old conditions pages and generally assume that if something isn't north-facing it's not in. None of the "Big Fatties" are in, nor is anything in a short walk from the road as far as I know. The forecast for Monday on is calling for double-digit lows, so I think by about Wednesday we'll have a pretty good crop of action. It's time to, as my friend Ben Firth says, "Get Amongst!" Good luck, send in a report if you get up anything so we can have some real information on here.