Ice Porn /WI 7+? /M9/A3/VII

First Ascent: Dec. 8th, 9th,10th/2003;
Joe McKay and Paul (Not real Name)
Usual Mixed rack required, few extra blades and stub screws helpful. Hook could be useful in one or two places.

Approach: As for slipstream stay right on the moraines. Keep trending right and stay out of basin. Follow the top of moraines till you come to a 300 meter wide curtain where the bottom of “Ice Porn” spills into the dome glacier valley. Best to gear up here behind some large blocks. It is evident that anything that that falls off the top runs a long ways out. Best attempted with good avalanche conditions and longer spring days. Solo about 200 meters of grade three ice of various quality to the beginning of the route.

Pitch1  - 70 meters: WI 6+/M9...You will come to a large pillar completely detached from the wall. There is good ice inside the cave for a anchor. Start up the wall (M9) for about 20 meters. There are two really good tied off  knife blade placements. The pillar is rotted out at the base so this seemed like the safer thing to do. You swing out on fairly chandeliered ice so leave anything that you don’t need at the base or in the car. I was sure that if I had kept my car keys I would have ripped that tool the ice was so bad. After about 10 meters ice gets better and you can get a decent screw in.

Pitch 2,3 - 135 Metres: 5+.... Climb two full pitches of steep cauliflower ice. Can get gear if you get creative!

Pitch 4 – 65 meters: 6+/7 A3 .... A steep series of icicles form under a super obvious ice roof. At some point coliseum size pillars broke away and the new pillars formed about three meters inside. Climb the steep free standing column that is there now for about 35 – 40 meters. Here you come to the roof and it gets a bit tricky.  About 8 feet out on the lip of the roof of a 8X12 inch hole in a well attached piece of ice coming off the roof. Best to place a screw here to protect this move. Aid up by hooking your tool into the carabiner ( AID Part) Gather about three meters of extra slack till it is draped well below you. Work your feet up. At this point I unclipped my leash, then like a coiled leopard I  launched myself out to the roof my remaining tool extended aiming for the hole in the curtian out in space. It was a big hole but there is the odd chance that I could have missed it. I recall it seeming like for ever before I came to a sudden stop, my arm ripping three quarters out of the socket. I relaxed my grip letting my nerves calm a little, then I reached back grabbed my third tool...(You may want to switch tools before pulling that last manoeuvre if you are not comfortable climbing with your second tool)... I pulled up locked off and was relieved to feel the security of a well placed tool in good ice. I few more pull ups and  and I could get my foot into the hole and take a well deserved rest. The screaming barfies  sent waves of nausea through my body, probably much like what you are feeling now as you read this. Push it another 10 meters to a hanging belay.

Pitch 5,6,7 – 165 meters: 6/6+ ... Climb vertical sustained ice to hanging belays. Ice general of good quality the odd pillar caped with a mushroom roof. Good fun and a welcome relief from the “Gong Show” pitches below.

Pitch 8,9 – 120 meters: 2/3.... follow a cave that leads back into the mountain. A head lamp would be use full but not really required. The tunnel is horse shoe shaped but with a spiralling upward twist. You are deposited back out on the edge of the mountain at the base of the most enormous free standing column I have ever seen, even in Star Wars.

Pitches 10,11 – 115 meters: 6+/7 ....Climb this incredible display of nature. Top of first pitch  set up in the middle of something that can only best be described as an upside down “Grand Sentinel” made of ice. Belay is hanging in the middle of this suspended solid.

Pitch 12 - 45 meters: 4... Top kicks back with excellent ice to finish.

Descent: via the route. Take extra sling material for anchors

Paul and I took our video camera’s and are just in the process of editing “Ice Porn” to show our friends. Perhaps we will enter it into the Banff Film Festival next year to share our experiences with others.

WG Note: I am absolutely flabbergasted that I missed this route, obviously the ice climb of the Millennium. My sponsors have all canned my sorry ass as of this morning, my credit cards are dead and my full-time masseuse quit with the comment, "Obviously you're not the climber I thought you were. I'm going to work for Joe McKay,  he's a real man." Even my ever-loyal 4WD limo driver took off without a backward glance, his trunk stuffed with personal memorabilia he once hoped to sell on EBAY for big coin but now plans to take to Switching Gear for pennies on the dollar. In short, I am finished but stand in awe of this accomplishment.