Bleak Frontier,100m IV, WI 4+ November 6, 2002, Jeremy Kroeker, Cordell Friesen

Location:                    Map 82N/15  295462

Guidebook Page:  Page 280 immediately before or after Blue Beard’s Castle

Grade/length:                     

Approach:            Park along the Icefields Parkway at the Waterfowl Lakes Campground.  Hike up Noyes Creek.  When the creek forks, follow the left drainage until it dead ends at the base of several prominent lines of ice.  (2.5 hours.)  Bleak Frontier is the left most line. 

Climb:            Pitch 1:  (Crux) Climb 55 meters of thin, featured ice to a comfortable belay stance on a prominent ledge.  Pitch 2:  A short, vertical wall leads to a low angle step.  Hike across the step and finish on more vertical ice.

Descent:              Rappel the route or walk off climbers left (not recommended.)

Route Name:                         Hollow Threat

Date climbed:              November 6, 2002

1st ascent:                   Jeremy Kroeker (Free solo)

Location:                    Map 82N/15  295462

Guidebook Page:  Page 280 immediately before or after Blue Beard’s Castle

Grade/length:                       100m IV, WI 4+ R

Approach:            Same as for Bleak Frontier.  Hollow Threat is the right most line.

Climb:            Climb the 60 meter cone of featured, hollow ice to a ledge.  The ice gets thinner, and thinner the higher you go and the cone gets narrower and less featured.  Work up to a ledge, then finish in a wide, ice choked chimney.

Descent:             Walk off climbers left, or rappel Bleak Frontier.  There was no sufficient ice to rappel the route on the first ascent.

Misc:              These routes are in the shade and are good, but thin in the early season.  I don’t know if they form up fat late in the season or not.  The ice was so thin at the top on the FA of Hollow Threat, that I was able to collapse sections of it just by hitting it with the side of my tool.  There was a large volume of water flowing behind the ice.  I made the ascent by gingerly weaving back and forth to connect sections of thicker ice.

***  Although I have never heard of anyone doing these lines before, I can’t help but wonder if someone plucked them last season.  I did see some old footprints in the area this season, but no evidence of any activity on the ice.  They are good, moderate lines that deserve to be repeated, although the approach is lengthy.  I will send photos of the routes when I can.