2003/2004 Ice Condition Reports and Photos Home
Click this for current 2004/2005 conditions
Please drop an email to [email protected] if you climb something and don't mind sharing it, it's our reports that keep this current. Pictures are good too, I'll resize them for easy loading, thanks.
The Photo Pages are still a mess but improving, lots of photos from 2003 and previous years.
2002/2003 Ice Conditions are still up here if you want to see what was in when, photos, etc.
Avalanche Conditions: This is very relevant, most of these climbs are in avalanche terrain to some extent. As usual the Rockies are an intricate range with surprises. Check the avalanche forecast for Alberta and BC by clicking here.
Hydrophobia (Ghost) through the Waiparous approach beta here.
Barry "Bubba" Blanchard, Ice etiquette, a proposal
April 6, FINAL, WG
There is still ice out there, but the temps are warm and it's really time to go rock climbing! If you're over the top die-hard then try the north-facing stuff and the higher stuff, good luck! Thanks to everyone who sent reports and photos in, good luck with the summer and see ya next year! Play safe, WG.
ps--http://www.live-the-vision.com/wwwboard/index.shtml will probably have a few later postings for anyone looking for conditions still.
March 29, Pharmacist Needed, Lillooet
March 29, Ghost, Dana Coffield
The Scorcerer is still fat and excellent, with three parties climbing it on March 27 (Saturday). Phantom Falls is also still fat (same day). GBU looks to be soaking wet – probably finished for this season. Driving access to Ghost is no problem.
March 28, Avi note, Kevin Dyck
Maybe something to post. Jyoti and I went into Storm Mountaion today. Although shutdown by the condition of the approach, while we were silently watching the mountain i defeat we heard no less than 4 avi's when the sun came up and the clouds cleared, and then spindrift came down where we were going to decend. All this with an alleged "moderate" avi hazard. Once the sun comes up, anything goes. Fucking scarey!!!
wg note: Yes.
March 28, Bath Creek, Eamonn Welch, new routes
Bath Creek is still in great shape. The approach is good in the morning,
becoming less pleasant as the day warms, right about when it's time to come
out. It will take 3-4 hours in good conditions. There are two possible
new routes and the four climbs in the guide book are in and fat. The routes
(from right to left) are Menthos, Bathos, C'est Douche, Ravens End, Three
Men in a Tub and Washi-Washi. There is fat easy ice further left as well.
New route descriptions here.
March 27 but done in January new route, The Shire, WI 4, 60m, Dave Marra, Tom Schnugg
March 27, Parkway, Ghost, etc, WG
It's getting to be late season but the ice is holding up surprisingly well. The mixed start to the Terminator has been done two different ways in the last few days and the ice is still good despite the warm temps. Weeping Wall (Upper and Lower) and Polar Circus are holding up well although getting sloppy in the afternoon. A very large slide came down Polar Circus a few days ago, more to be expected with the radical temps forecast for the next few days, get off it early. Professors reportedly has a 10M debris pile, amazing to think where that came from. Hydrophobia and Sorcerer are still in and good (see Colin's note below). The Cineplex is good, Ben Firth is very close to sending the Game sans spurs or trickery but it's hard. Hafner is still there but melting out fast. Riptide never really came in this year and hasn't improved this spring. Curtain Call is in and good with daggers at the top but OK. Field is variable, in general it's going away fast. The Stanley Headwall is holding up well but watch for avi hazard as usual.
Avalanche Notes: The weather forecast has often been "wrong" lately; snow on "clear" days, clear days on "snow days," etc. I have seen some really dramatic slides all along the Parkway for the last week, and although the avi forecast is generally more solid I'm still really suspicious of even small loaded lee slopes and the effects of afternoon heating both on these and sun-affected slopes. This time of year things change dramatically from hour to hour, it's probably more important than usual to really pay attention to what's happening above your climb and what the day's conditions are doing rather than, "Hey, the avi hazard is moderate and the temps are supposed to be relatively cool today, enough about avalanches..."
Happy spring climbing, yeah!
March 24, Slideshow April 2, Canmore: Marko Prezelj, Alpine Evolution
Friday, April 2nd at 8pm
Canmore Collegiate Highschool
1800 8th Avenue, Canmore, AB
Come see stunning photography from a man with an even more impressive resumé. Marko Prezelj will be presenting "Alpine Evolution" on Friday, April 2nd at 8pm in Canmore. Win tools and crampons from Grivel North America and clothing from Patagonia!
For more information, check out: http://www.infekshusmedia.com.
March 24, Hydrophobia, Colin Wooldridge
Hydro is still in great shape (Sat Mar 20). If you get there early enough and climb *quickly* enough you will be in the sun the whole time (about an hour). Drove to the bottom of the rutted hill from Waiparous side. River crossing is still frozen. Quads are making it all the way back across the meadow. 4 chains and we couldn't get up the ruts (too deep). 2 hour stroll from truck. Couple dudes also did the Sorcerer/Hydro link-up on Sat. - good going guys!! Making us look like chumps!
March 17, Evan Thomas, Jim Baker.
Here's the info on Evan Thomas area from the weekend (March 12).
Snowline - Moderately thin at the bottom, but good full depth ice screws
once you're up a bit.
Moonlight - patchy, mixed ice at the bottom. Top pitch looks fat.
Chantilly - Wet at the bottom, brittle at the top, snow on the low angle
March 16, Lost Ropes still lost...,wg
Randy Colwell ([email protected]) lost his ropes a while back on Bow Falls when they got stuck, he went back to get them and they were gone. We're doing well on lost gear ads here, be great if somebody knew somebody who could help get them back, it would be the stand up thing to do.
March 16, Parkway, various
Polar Circus is in fatter than I've ever seen it, surprisingly fun and non-baked for this time of year, even the lower pitches are good. Upper and Lower Weeping Wall are both in very fat shape with some sun affected ice. Curtain Call is in interesting but solid shape, it formed "differently" this year (good though). The ice smear at the start of Stage Fright is super fat, making this an enjoyable outing. The first pillar on Seven Pillars of Wisdom has fallen down (you can't see this from the road unfortunately).
March 16, David Thompson, Everett Fee (photos here)
Yesterday (March 14) Doug Nelson, Wayne Shackleton, and I had hoped to climb Echo Madness. Unfortunately, from the highway we couldn't see whether the big slope in the middle of the climb had slid or not and thick murk obscured the mountain above the climb. Given that the avi conditions report for Jasper Park were "considerable/considerable/moderate" we decided to give it a bye. After driving around seeing a suitable alternate venue (parties had already laid claim to Shades of Beauty and Kitty Hawk) we settled on two beautiful grade 4 routes in the David Thompson Highway area: SARs on Ice, and Five Seven Zero. The attached pictures illustrate the fine conditions that we enjoyed on these superb routes.
March 14, Suffer Machine, Caveman, Anna Torretta
We did yesterday the "Suffer Machine", well the ice was not really god, it was frozen snow... Today I did the "Caveman" on sight and I
don't think we will go for the Terminator Wall tomorrow, let's see!
March 12, Grotto, Sylvain Vanier
Grotto Falls is still in very fat and nice shape. HIS will fall any day with the warm weather and the wind. Not supported from the bottom. I pulled the top mushroom (200 lbs) on HERS yesterday so I had to mixed climb to the chain. Your last piece is in the icicle to the left which is about to fall off. Lots of water running behind both of these climbs. I would suggest to stay away as they are both very lightly attached to the wall. It has been really warm in there and both HIS and HERS are getting cooked by the sun.
March 11, Ghost, Alden Pellett
Ian Osteyee and I had a great time on the Sorcerer yesterday. Did the long walk in from the riverbed flats at the bottom of the big hill via the Ghost road from the Bar Cee. We decided things were too slushy to drive further and that it was better to just walk from there. Someone else was stuck a few hundred yards in there with a Durango. Sorcerer was pretty decent ice all the way up - very fun. Hauling the snowshoes paid off and avoided postholing in the drainage. Easy hiking. (WG Note--today it was possible to drive all the way to the start of the cut line for Sorcerer).
March 11, Aquarias to Rainbow Serpent, Professor's, Valley of the Birds, Hydrophobia, Weeping Wall, various.
Aquarias is actually in again but wet, Rainbow Serpent sports a large crack but still goes at WI Wet as soon as the sun hits (see the photo down a few posts below from Feb 12).
Hydrophobia is in good shape but the "big rutted hill" is in tough shape so the walk is a bit longer than usual for the north ghost approach.
Valley of the Birds is still OK but bleaching fast. GBU is mainly ugly.
Professors is well-trodden but not as beat out as it sometimes gets, lots of new ice, good shape. Biking in results in butt trauma unless you're on a full-suspension ride. Possible to rap the route with one 60M rope and no serious down climbing.
Weeping Wall is still fine but baking, upper looks interesting.
March 10, Various, Craig Zubris
Hello there, here is a little info for everyone.
March 7 / Lake Louise Falls: While cow town was enjoying sun, Louise was getting a steady light snow and heavy wind. Managed to climb bottom 1/3 to 1/2. By afternoon 3 -4 teams. Upper right pillars were taking some abuse from crowds and one 2-3 meter chunk went flying. Interesting on right side bottom: some very hard ice that would bounce tools and feet although all points sharp. This required more energy. In the middle section (where all the debris falls) the ice was soft plastic= no worries about placements.
March 9 Grotto Falls & Hers with a look at His
Climbed Grotto Falls in rain, quite interesting. Ice was good, nice and easy pockets along with solid placements, overall quite fun.
His is truly a mixed climb now with 95% of the bottom missing. It would be beneficial to climb the bolted route just to the right and then swing the tools on top rope.
Hers: ( Lead by partner Justin) ice was soft but base of climb was thick and sturdy. Up top things got very hollow sounding and ice started to chunk off. My pal Justin said the top was pulled well away from the rock and the anchors proved to be a bit much for us to reach. Ended up down climbing.
Although we are more on the novice side of things, Hers was sounding funky and was soft. Most of the good foot placement on top near the bolts were supported by nothing. Perhaps climbers who have more experience can read this ice better at this time of year.
*** Could someone give me there judgment on the piton at the top of Hers? It looked rust and old to my partner.
Summary, Grotto good, His and Hers warrant some caution.
March 9, Ghost, Scott Simper
We (my partner wants to remain Anon) hiked into This House of Sky 'cause GBU looked whiter than a bed sheet. This House was good. Somebody went into the Sorcerer and it was way too white for the party in question to climb, plus they got stuck horrendously on the way out--we walked by 'cause our Subaru was parked at the base of the hill and they didn't give us a lift when they drove past us on the approach. I did this house of sky with no spurs, no truck, and leashless, and I forgot my glasses too, and I had to carry spare boots because my others hurt too much to walk in, and I pulled out (by hand!) a bunch of worthless V-threads, radical style. Anyhow,the snow is really soft...
March 9, cineplex report, various
March 7, Canmore Ice Fest Photos
March 7, Spurs are for horses
March 7, Ghost, SH
Fist and Fang in Mallamute Valley in the North Ghost is in really good shape (it's not 400M despite what the book says). Wicked Wanda is in, Aquarias is a bit bleached but still good (Rainbown Serpent is in fat too). Sunshine isn't in, and Malignant Mushroom is sun-baked/snowy. Buewolf is in too. All the climbs in the Valley of the Birds are in. The driving is generallly in good shape, although the new snow might change things.
March 6, Ghost, "Hans Solo"
few tidbits worth reporting...did lacy gibbet on fri.mar.5...route's still
in but its getting beat up pretty bad...last pitich won't last much
longer..good trail and v threads all the way up and down melting out...wind
howling..perfect ghost day!..driving conditions were good for the south
ghost..also climbed sorcerer on feb.26(i submitted the wrong date on the cmc
web page)...route was in excellent shape then..3 long raps straight down
will do the trick(60 meter ropes)..good beatin trail into the
climb...driving conditions weren't to bad if you have good clearance.
March 5, General, WG
The season of longer days, warmer temps (some people have been rock climbing!) is upon us. I'd say this has generally been a very good year for ice conditions, and this is reflected in the quantity of routes in and getting done daily. Conditions will change daily based on the sun's ever-higher position--expect south-facing routes to start melting out pretty soon if the sun continues (for example, south-facing Cascade has fallen down but north-facing Professor's is still fat and good). In general though, overall conditions are excellent and the avi hazard stabilizing (watch out on climbs threatened with south and south-west facing slopes as always this time of year!). The town is full of visiting Europeans, Americans and a lot of other nationalities, good energy.
Feb 29 , Ghost, Martin (Laura Lee)
Hello, was in the ghost today. A few cars were out today as the drive in is quite nice. The trail is well driven and the creek is low. Climbed in the Valley of the birds, all the climbs are still in. The Eagle was in the sun for most of the day and looked like it was eroding. GBU was also melting (the right side is still forming) as was Angel Eyes. As you approach the Valley of the Birds there is a small piece of ice to the left of the ice ramp...any idea what it is called? And the mixed route on it does any one know the grade and it's name?
Thanks to whom ever is replacing rap stations with new cord, but could you please carry out the old cord!!! Martin.
Feb 29, Borgeau R., Dr. Hunt
Climbed Feb 29th. Great shape, though ice is starting to degrade on the
first two pitches. Fortunately it clouded up enough to keep solar
heating down = avoid warm sunshine days. The first pitch is the crux
(grade 4) but it's obviously fat compared to guide descriptions. The
exposure is interesting. The bolt belays could do with an upgrade for
someone with the skill required to do it. Hike in was solid on Sunday -
couldn't have been better.
Feb 22, Ghost, Martin Reuter
Hey climbed Wicked Wanda yesterday. Really nice. Left side was good and the right side was very technical. Mag Mushroom looked good from a far. Sunshine was still up as well. Drive in was great. Martin.
Feb 22, Heart Creek, Craig Zubris
Threw the tools on Heart Creek Falls 02/21/04. Nice shaded ice, easy to hook pockets, slightly britle on verticle (right side) section at start, on top after ledge became plastic with slight running water. Left side of falls looked to provide a td bit more difficulty due to wet and softer conditions. Still solid though. Nice climb and good weather.
Feb 21, Takakkaw Falls, Dana Coffield
Did Takakkaw Falls last weekend (Feb. 15). The ski in is well set, but the climb is actually in bad shape. The Grade IV pitch isn’t in (there are overhanging Grade VI daggers instead…); we started at lower left, skirted the overhangs around the right side up behind a pillar and giant airy mushrooms to join the right side of the snow field, then continued up normally, mostly on crummy unconsolidated ice. Definitely an ‘alpine’ route in current conditions. Also did the Pillars and Field of Dreams, both fat. Iron Curtain looks super fat.
Feb 21, Bow Falls (lost ropes), Randy Colwell ([email protected])
Climbed Bow Falls today -- beautiful day -- blue skies, no wind. Bow Falls is in fair condition with several nice lines. Another party looked like they had a blast on Gorby Falls... If someone picks up my ropes (which got snagged on the anchor at the top of the falls (climber's left) I'll come and pick them up from you!
Randy (a friendly, but embarassed ice climber)
Feb 18th, Shawn Huisman, Field and Ghost
Glad to see the site is back and running, it's an excellent resource.
Noticed that you didn't have anything up on Field, was there on
Saturday and Pilsner is in nice shape. Really easy this year, but good
fun. That route that Rich and Abby did to the right One for the
Road(M8) is really good. It has seven bolts but I couldn't find the
last one, I think it's covered with ice, so take a couple of ice screws
for the top. The bowl above Pilsner has slid so that makes things
alittle better at least until we get another big dump of snow.
I've attached a picture of Pilsner (WG note--I'll have those up a little later today) and one of our ropes blowing
straight out yesterday in the Ghost at the top of Rainbow Serpent, Sue
said it was just like Patagonia, except we were half an hour from our
Feb 18th, Poop Chute, Jon Popowich
Edmonton's only WI2 waterfall is in great shape this year (well, there's
also a great WI 1 in town...but we call that one "the North Saskatchewan
River"). As with most ice routes this season, this 5m flow is thicker than
usual. This has helped to keep its unique odor to a minimum, although
recent warm temps may change all that. There are several good lines worth
doing: centre is easiest, while the far left and right sides offer the very
bold an opportunity for occasional dry tool moves in the concrete. If it
weren't for the fact that you were climbing on a frozen sewer drainage
coming from a concrete chute on the banks of the river you'd swear you were
on a 5m version of Rogan's Gulley! Classic! Approach: park in the
residential area on the S.side of the James MacDonald Bridge, drop down to
the riverbank, hang a left (westerly), and give'r. Objective dangers are
similar to those experienced in Third World water supplies (in that it is
advisable to keep your mouth closed when taking a shower). Fortunately it's
not raw sewage (i.e. there's nothing "interesting" trapped in the ice), but
Gore-Tex is still recommended over soft shell (for repellancy); HazMat suit
Feb 17, new route, For Father, 1000m, WI 6, VI, right of slipstream. Dave Marra, T. Schnugg creation.
Feb 15, Various, Jerome Chin
Feb 8, climbed Guinness Gully in Field, first pitch hacked up but good screws, upper two pitches in good condition.
Feb 9, climbed Professor Falls, nice and fat, beware of large amount of snow sitting above last pitch.
Feb 10, climbed Weeping Wall, all routes in decent shape including Sniveling Gully.
Feb 11, climbed Sunshine in the Ghost. Good thick ice and lots of sun. Drove easily all the way to the first lake with 4WD. Malignant Mushroom and Wicked Wanda look in great shape.
Feb 12, ate dinner at Melange in Canmore, outstanding food and martinis.
Jerome Chin, California
Feb 14, "Nanny Goat Ice," WI3, 20M Tony Swain and partner
WG note: They climbed this Dec 23, not sure if it's a new route or not, but it's not in the book. We approached it from the trail to Coire Dubhe and cut across to the left, but the easiest approach would be to go up the gully that is the down route from the Kid Goat rock climbs and cut right below the Nanny Goat cliff. This was the first year I've seen ice there and I don't know if it is still there. I'll check next time I go that way.
Feb 14, La Goute and Terminator Photos, Avi Commentary, Gery Unterasinger
Nothing new, but La Goute is still in excellent shape and in easy WI6 condition with bomber screws and lots of rests, similar to the first pitch of Rainbow Serpent. The aproach up the "Welcome" gully has already avalanched, which makes for good travelling conditions and a relaxed mind.
On a different note: Unfortunatly 3 American climbers died in an avalanche on Thursday on Mt. Wilson! I don't want to judge on a tragic accident like that, but let's try to learn something out of it. Specially the last few years with the ice climbing boom I observe more and more climbers with good climbing skills on big routes, but with no respect or know how for avalanches. The Rockies do have one of the worst snowpacks worldwide and most routes here have serious terrain on the approach or above, so when we step out into the big country, let's treat it with respect and caution!
Have fun and play safe! Gery
Feb 13, Parkway, Laura Lee
Hey, was down the Parkway over the last 4 days. Climbed Snivelling Gully which was starting to become rotten on the bottom but still very nice on the last 2 pitches. Weeping Wall (upper and lower) was seeing lots of ascents. In the sun from 9 a.m. on. Shades of Beauty was really nice. Stanley Falls Senior was in, it receives sun for most of the day so be aware of the hazard from above and on the approach up. Memorial Route was in as well. Melt Out was great, sunny and warm. Curtain Call had some guys on it as well. The Wings and The Stage were also in. Temps were -15 to -20 overnight to +5 during the day. The south exposures were like a sauna.
A good friend of mine is a Park Warden, while we were out having fun on the ice, he was busy recovering the bodies of the 3 americans who died in an avalanche not too far from us. I always envied his job 'til today. Just wanted to say thanks to all the Wardens. Please climb safely, the ice will always be there another day. Namaste.
WG Note--I second the thanks to the Wardens, they deal with a lot of hard situations and are an integral part of the ice climbing community here. Be sure to tell someone reliable where you're going with who in what kind of car and when you'll be back, it makes life easier for the Wardens when push comes to shove.
Feb 13 Avi Hazard Note: Yesterday there was triple fatality on Mt. Wilson--check http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2004/02/13/avalanche_040213 for info.. The Mt. Wilson and Cirrus Mountain climbs are all threatened by very large south-facing bowls. The same goes for many other routes in the range. I would not recommend climbing anything under any south facing slope or bowl this time of year on a sunny day. Yesterday south-east facing slopes were sluffing and running at 9:30 in the morning, and south facing slopes as early as 11:30. Be careful amigos, these climbs will still be good in a week or two when things may have settled out. In January we were all searching for the sun in the very cold temps, it's different now.-wg
Feb 13, request for Takakkaw Falls Info, Dana Coffield.
Great to see your site up and going again. Any idea what condition Takakkaw Falls is in?
Feb 13, Rainbow Serpent, Jeff Honig
Climbed rainbow serpent on Thursday feb 12. excellent shape and a must do. Aquarias fun approach, climb the gully right from the bottom as opposed to traversing in as stated in waterfall ice. RS p1 45m wi6, wild features great rests no pump. P2 45m wi5-5+ wet and sweet. Descent well fixed. Amazing postitions, don’t miss this one yall!! Fearfull symmetry non existent.
Feb 12, New/unreported routes along the David Thompson corridor, J Mills, Todd Learn
Feb 13, Various, Dr. I.R. Hunt
Professors is in good shape (Feb 8th), top pitch easier than I have seen it in the last 10 years. Approach : bikes only good for the golf course, too much snow beyond that. Skis maybe a reasonable option, otherwise its a 1.5 hr hike.
Panther falls, Bridal Viel Falls all in interesting shape for grade 3s (Jan20/21)
Snivelling Gully in great shape Jan 14th... Snivelling Direct looks good grade 5.
Feb 12, Ice Nine, Parkway, Andrew Houseman
Route is fat and in great shape although exceptionally wet today. Lots of slush slides coming down south facing slopes all over the parkway, including over Happy Days whilst we were in the cave behind Ice Nine.
Feb 11, Lacy Gibbet (Ghost), Everett Fee (real live photos here, thanks Everett!)
Hi Will, Glad to hear that you're working on breathing some life into your ice conditions website. It is a valuable service to the climbing community!
Last Sunday (Feb. 8) Wayne Shackleton, Doug Nelson, and I climbed Lacy Gibbet in the Ghost. It is in fine shape; the attached pics show Doug leading pitch 4 and Wayne on the crux pitch 5, which was quite wet -- take your Gore Tex!
Dec 20th, Ghost and Kananaskis theft commentary, Martin Reuter
Hey went into the ghost again on Dec 17. Valley of the birds was great all the routes are in and very nice. The road in is getting better but still has some wind blown truck traps!! Climbed the King Creek Seeps which were quite nice as well on the 18th. A word to the climbers, there have been numerous car break in's on the Kananaskis highway. Our vehicles were broken into twice in three weeks. Once at King Creek and once at Evans Thomas. Keep an eye out for your stuff, they, the low life bottom feeders are mostly interested in credit cards and picture less ID. They will do damage to your cars like puncture tires or bust items in your car as they break in. We believe they are watching the vehicles as you pull in and hit them just after you head in for the day. Be safe. Martin.
Jan. 13th, Opal Ridge ice issues, Brett Wheler
attempted a climb from jo's book on opal ridge this sunday, when he says they are training climbs with long approaches, he means it. therefore dont seem to be much visited, which is cool. anyway, a trail seemed to lead up on the left side of rocky ridge creek(i think its rocky ridge...), just south of fortress junction, kananaskis. indeed it did lead up, and up, unfortunately, it did not lead to the waterfall which exists at the top of the creek. it was a nice hike anyway, and good training on a nice day in the mountains. king creek was the consolation prize, a short bit of interesting ice is just touching down above the 3rd waterfall in the creek. and it was pretty quiet in there for a sunny sunday.
anyway, sorry to bother you, this is the first year ive ever visited your site.
Dec. 4, Ghost, Brent Hedley
We tried getting into the Ghost on Nov. 21, but we were steimied. Everything was going good until the big hill. We made it down the hill and about 200 yards past but then got into trouble. It was pretty cold that day. The reading hovered around -23 all day. At the bottom of the hill we started pushing a lot of snow. The demon of high centredness was upon us. We decided before we go any further we better be sure we can come back from where we came from. We put the Dodge 4x4 in reverse and let the ruts guide us back. Now, getting up the big hill. It seemed simple enough, right? It took us about 12 trys before we made it up that hill! Percevering in 4 low or 4 high, spinning out, spewing out a few chosen words that fit the occasion, and then backing back down the hill for another run at that sucker. After finally succeeding at our escape from the Ghost, we decided not to look back. It was time to head to Summit Cafe for caffeine. Our reward for not submitting to the powerful Ghost.
Dec 4th, Field New Routes, various
Nov 29th, Good Luck and Bad Dreams, Todd Learn?
Went and climbed a new mixed line on the weekend up the rock to the right of the unformed ice of Good Luck & Bad Dreams. Fun Mixed climbing up overhanging rock past 6 bolts to the ice dagger. Bad Luck Good Dreams M6+ FA Mike Adolf & Brad Boychuck.
Nov 28th, Mt Crowfoot new lines, Sam Lightner. Click here for photo
P.A. and I did two new lines, we think, on Mt. Crowfoot above Bow Lake. The left line, in the gully, is "Worry Line". A pitch of WI4+/5 leads to a steep snow gully (don't be in here when it slides... its about 10 feet wide) that runs for about 100 meters. Then another 25 meter WI4 step puts at the base of a headwall that, at the moment, is impassable. Needs more ice.
The right line is "Age Spot". ITs a 30 meter WI4 curtain.
Lots of routes, Nov 28th, J. Mills
Pilot Mountain, Nov 26th, a crew (Marie-Michelle, Darran, Brent)
Various, Nov 26th, Brent Peters
Just a quick note. Climbed Snowline, Moonlight and 2 Low 4 Zero today. All are thin for the first 30 m (means no ice gear) after which they thicken up into beautiful plastic ice. The latter route is quite thin, bring rock gear or run it out... Makes for a nice day out.
Various, Nov 26, Robert Rogoz
Saddam Insane is in. Rafael was our rope gun. must say this route has a lot of character ans was super fun.
Erol Altay and I went to Redmen Soars today. Whitman is just gushing water. A lot of water spray going to the base to Redmen. There is no ice at the end of the first pitxh of Redmen.
We decided to do a chimney/OW about 60m upstream from the rap anchor over the approach tear. it's on the right side of the canyon. there is a large tree on the ledge 50m above. the route starts to the left. Don't get fooled by the ice, it's just crust covering snow. M5/6 full set of cams, a couple of Kb's, spectre and stoppers. I am not sure if it's a new route, but it looks this way. I will have some pictures in a couple of days
Green Gully, Nov 25, Andre Iwaskiewicz
Green Gully is in thin shape this year as of November 25. Every pitch is thin with little or no gear. All are thin egg shells. The final grade 4 pillar is in although not in grade 4 shape maybe grade 3. First party this year so a trail is now visible. Please respect land owners property and not litter or PISS near his stream. It is his drinking water and not many folks like drinking your urine, some maybe, but not him.
South Ghost, Nov 25, Jeff Moore
Was just in the South Ghost on the weekend. Climbed Green Angel, it was in great shape but a little thin and exciting at the top (pic to follow). Wicked Wanda looked like it was coming along but it still looked like it had a significant rock section near the top...
Polar Circus (broken Pencil, exciting...), Nov 25th, Mike and Jen
Here is a pic of Jen climbing just below what used to be the Pencil. It broke with us about 100m and just down the route from it. Very exciting. Thought I'd pass this pic along as a contrast to the other one you have with the Pencil in. See ya at the Bella, Mike
wg note--still having battles with photos, I will get this fixed soon, sorry for the delay.
Wicked Wanda, Nov 23, Jeff Lister
Guiness Gulley, Nov 21st, Andre Iwaskiewicz
Guiness Gully is in fine form this year. The bottom pitch is entirely in. More ice then previous years as it covers the slab rock underneath. Second pitch requires an attack from the right side (climbers right) but is in sporty shape. Third Pitch has not entirely formed as one big curtain but more as 3 seperate lines. Snow is starting to pile up on the approach. A great time to blast. Thanks Deb, Al and Terry D. for a great [email protected]
Ten Years After, new route, Nov 18, Barry Blanchard (AKA Bubba)
Phillipe Pellet and I did Ten Years After on Nov 13 and it was great. The direct start is basically ice right now then 5.9 mixed to the ice, some short screws then mediums for a healthy 55m to the first belay at a small overhang climber's right. 50m WI 4 to the top, look for a fixed angle in the last 10m just right of the ice. The Terminator Integral looks incredible (all the pitches up the gulley finishing with the Terminator, Guy did it once).
The Wally-Lama and I had a grand day yesterday (Nov 15) out in that deep cleft across from Louise Falls (lower slopes of Mt Fairview, down and climber's left? of Suprise Pass). I know that Ken Chambers and Greg Golobvach attempted this thing when it was grey, back in the day. It is blue and green now and really fun. 20' of 5.9 mixed climbing leading in from the left (fixed LA), 20' of WI 5, then 60' of fun WI 4/4+ chimneying and collumn. Safe, take some small nuts, hand sized cams, and a couple of knife blades; full length medium and long screws the rest of the way and some threads. Approach is an hour up from the end of the Lake, we stepped into several shallow creeks to cross, no big. The drips that form off of Fairview kind of look like the pics I see of Point Rouge in Quebec right now: overlapping daggers backing up into space, could be some nut torquing fun/terror to be had there, and you can watch everybody else going up to Louise Falls from this side. Hear them too ... Smithers has released the hounds.
Peace and love
David Thompson, Nov 20th, Todd Learn
Was out on the David Thompson Highway on the weekend and just thought that I would let you know that all of the ice there is forming well. We were in the Cline river Gallery and there is lots of ice there as well we did Nothing but the Breast and it is in great shape. I took photos of a bunch of the routes along the highway and posted them here: http://members.shaw.ca/climbingconditions/
Chantilly Falls, Nov 18, Chris Haacke
took a new guy out to Chantilly Falls on Nov 13. Nowhere near to being in. Nice walk though. Cheers
Polar Circus, Nov 18th, John F
TTFN, John FVarious, Nov 17, Sam Lightner (see photos here)
On Thursday we climbed Rick Blak Memorial. Excellent route in great shape.
Shades of Beauty to the right was also in, as was Stanley Falls Senior of the valley.
Saturday we went up the David Thompson. Kitty Hawk is in good shape, but the top pitch, the grade 3 bit, is thin. Its climbable, but needs a few weeks to thicken enough to handle a good beating. The lower pitches and crux pillar are blue and in good shape. I have not climbed The Unicorn, but perhaps from the photo you can tell whether its in shape or not. You might want to restart the trail.. the current thrash wanders about a bit in the deadfall.
Curtain Call is in, though we did not climb it.
Looking up at Polar Circus, I noted that the Pencil is about 5 feet from touching.
Pilot Mountain, Nov 17, Brent
Vapour Trail is in on Pilot Mtn. Ren and I climbed it yesterday. About 2.5- 3 hrs on the approach, then three pitches of ice that get easier as you go up (WI 6R, 5, 4 respectively). The first pitch is definitely the crux, a steep detached pillar with poor gear to discontinuous bands of icicles. If this is the second ascent, then the guidebook grade isn't too far off, 6 R/X was our consensus. A #5 Camelot might help at the top of the pillar in a large horizontal.
There is a second line 10 m right of Vapour Trail that Grant Meekins and Dave Thomson established last week at M6.
Both routes have descents established - 3 x V-threads on Vapour Trail and 2 x V-thread, 1 x slung pillar on Fog ?? (sorry Grant, all I remembered was Fog, not the second part of the name.).
Tatonka, Nov 17, The Scot
Nov.11: Ventured over Highwood to take in "Tatonka". Contrary to report of being "huge" it is far from it - we made the "adventure" to base and found ice poorly formed, hollow and 2-3" thick generally. From road route certainly looked good but far from it once at it. Approach, is long and sports a fairly tenious tour over some smooth snow covered slabs. Approach slope had lots of deep pockets and was filling up further as wind increased late afternoon.
Polar Circus, Nov 16, Jeff Lister (photo here)
Ten Years After, Nov 15, Gery Unterasinger
Climbed ten years after today, great shape, as discribed in the mixed climbing guidebook, with more ice at the initial 8m to reach the rock. A few small wires will do as rock gear, no pins required (3 fixed ones in first pitch), stubbies recommended, all belays in place, a good route you don't want to wait another 7 years to climb it!
Two O'Click Falls, Andre Iwaskiewicz
Two O'Clock Falls on the David Thompson highway is in. Left side is dry and
good to go although the right is wet and bad ice. Upper curtain is
slightly soggy but still makes for a good day out. Enjoy.
Various, Nov 13, Kurt Hicks, Lots of Photos too
Lady Wilson's Cleavage is in and climbable, but thin and wet. Much like Grotto Falls. The Junkyards are filling in nicely as of Monday, but all of it seems to be pretty wet.
Bridal Veil Falls is in as are some other seeps downstream. Panther falls still has a few meters to go still (see photo).
Gibraltar Wall - stopped by Tuesday morning to check conditions, didn't climb. Looks quite anemic at this point.
Lots of ice everywhere you look...
"We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done." -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Sacre Bleu, Nov 13, Marco Delesalle ,Yvan Sabourin
Sacre Bleu, November 13, Marco Delesalle
Red Man Soars/Whiteman Falls, Nov 11 (wg note--So the date's out of order, live with it, but here's a report from both climbers), Tyler McGowan and Rene Chapman
*Red Man Soars - in, but ice is thin
*Whiteman Falls - needs a few weeks. Top half is a straw...pouring
*Kidd Falls - still pretty small
Sunday November 09th we went an climbed on Red Man's soars, the climb is in, just not really filled out to potential where the ice is usually at just at the end of the rock. No chance for ice gear until you are up into the cave part. Whiteman's falls is not even close, giant spraying straw from half way up the second pitch. Lots of water so it should be fat when it is formed. The approach ice is good, still a little thin but good.
Tyler McGowan & Rene Chapman
Northern Rockies, Nov 12, Scott Pomeroy (photos)
Hi Will, just thought you might like some pics and beta of the Northern Rockies. Sikanni Falls is located just off the Alaska Highway at mile 171. The main falls is still flowing hard (to much spray), but once it freezes over there will be some interesting climbs on the sides of the canyon. If you look at the top right you can see one of the resident goats that like to hang around in pic 20013.jpg. As far as I know none of the climbs in the 20013.jpg are named. They go at about WI 3 and were a great season warm up. I have just moved back home to Fort St John and have a lot of unexplored places to check out this winter.
Parkway ice, Nov 12, Josh Briggs
Some fodder for your site. Just drove back to Hinton today, after a 12hr trip home.
Icicle Fairy (not much dagger over roof)
Upper Route with No Name (couldn?t see lower)
Lots of Drippy things on the shoulder of Crowfoot across Bow Lake... some very cool looking mixed potential, and one very aesthetic vein/ piller (Senior Project??) NOTE: lake could be sketchy
Cool pillars to Gully on the Right of the transparent fool drainage (on bowl S of Murchison)
Cool Mixed drip to the L of Murchison
Routes above Oh Le Tab (Le Tab doesn?t touch)
Polar Circus (looks Fat)
Weeping wall (bit slimmer than normal)
Very cool looking chandeliers and mushrooms to two short pillars at the right side of the wall. About 3 pitches. Not the thing that usually forms
Upper weeping wall. Very cool sender pillar... looks hard. Lots of not commonly formed stuff on the right side of upper... easier, but thinner. Very aesthetic looking though.
Dead Eye Dick. Verglas with rock gear to thin chandeliered ice.
Mixed Master. More ice than normal.
Curtain Call. Single piller. Could have overlaps at the top.
Take care, Josh
Various, Nov 11, Rene Cote forecast and report--if you find his jacket drop me an email to [email protected], thanks.
Rogans, Cascade, new routes (?) at Highwood Pass, Nov. 11, Tony Devonshire
Borgeau Right, Nov 11th, Jeff Lister
New Route at Bow Lake? Nov 10th, Sam Lightner
Sunday we climbed a stepped bit of WI3 that is not in any of the books. Easy access in a remote setting, no crowds, but the route is only 30 meters high and therefore perhaps not even worth mentioning... If it is and is new we would call it "Ursus Growl". Approach it by walking around the north side of Bow Lake and then look for north facing ice flow at the mouth of the canyon on Crowfoot Peak. Work your way up and through the trees. Takes about an hour from the car. You might want to make a lot of noise on the approach as we saw very large bear tracks in the snow and heard some strange noises in the trees... hence the name.
Lake Louise, Webster's, Nov 11, Jeff, Peter, Darcy
Smithers. Release the hounds. Lake Louise is in. The left piller on Louise Falls `is wet, but was pretty straight forward. The right hand piller is another story. Webster's Smear (or what ever it will get called) to the left is really fun and worth the trip.
-Jeff Perron. Peter Macpherson, Darcy Chilton
Cascade, Nov 8th or so, Andrew Iwaskiewicz
Borgeau Left, Nov 7, Sam Lightner Jr.
On Nov 7 Michelle and I climbed the first couple pitches of Borgeau Left. We left the parking lot with it -15, but on the route the temperature was well above zero. We planned to do the whole thing but the amount of ice falling off the last pitch persuaded us otherwise. Big bricks of ice every two minutes or so made upward travel a bruising affair. When we left, the top curtain was still there. However, some cloud cover or colder daytime temperatures would be needed to make the top reasonable. That said, the bottom pitches are fat and very much worthy. It runs with water as soon as the sun hits it, making it wet but really sticky for the tools.
Sam Lightner, Jr.
We don't rent pigs. No attempt to correct spelling or grammar was made when this silly email was written.
Bourgeau Right, Nov 4, Doug Fulford
Climbed it on Sunday, Nov. 3. The first 2 pitches are fatter than they've been in a few years(1 metre thick at bottom of first pitch!), but after that it thins out in places so bring stubbies. The 2nd pitch was pouring with water on Sunday. If you intend to rap the route bring extra cord/sling as the existing tat on the fixed rock anchors is... well... tatty. Might want to bring some pins as well. We didn't climb the very last pitch because it was too thin(for us). We had an adventurous walk off right which required a couple single rope(30m) raps off trees. Ice climbing in the sun...what could be more fun?
Grotto, Nov 3, Chris Haacke
Various, Nov 3, David Dornian (Read this...).
Brenda and I wandered around in our trainers, hungover after the Guides Ball at Lake Louise this weekend, looking at ice, looking at approaches to ice, and looking at where ice should be.
Louise Falls is reasonably well-established for the first and second pitches, but the curtain/pillar of the third pitch isn't touching down anywhere. Someone should tackle this as a good steep mixed adventure - the rock behind the drips looks wicked, moldy, and steep. There is a five metre wide sheet of ice streaming intermittently down from the trees over the quartzite, beginning 20 metres left of the falls, too. This is unusual and would provide no end of alternative entertainment. There is ice across the valley on the steep band where folks were working mixed projects on Fairview last winter (and no avi hazard yet), and Linda... and those things up toward the Plain of Six are happening.
Haffner Creek truly is closed, and promises to be for the rest of the winter. Ditto Marble Canyon. Ditto Stanley Headwall. Highway barriers have been placed across the entrances to the parking lot there, and even pulling over for a look seems to attract attention from the wardens (who have a residence half a mile further down the road).
There is, however, huge and well-developed ice all over the upper Storm Creek Drainage as viewed from the highway. This may be the consolation prize of the season, as the previously hideous deadfall-straddling approach looks like it might be circumvented by nipping up the firebreak ploughed and cleared this past summer on the hillside to the south of the valley entrance. Let's start beating a donkey trail now.
Borgeau Left had a first pitch and a last pitch and not much in between when we looked at it from the Sunshine parking lot yesterday afternoon. Borgeau Right was thin, connected and had climbers on it.
And as everybody who was driving past Rundle on the weekend no doubt knows, Ten Years After and Two Piece Yanks are in bigger than any guidebook picture. So is Replicant. Steal these routes now.
Drip at the Center of the Universe, Nov 3, Stuart
Waterton, Nov 3, Dave Stephens
Blair Piggot and I climbed Midnight Madness on Saturday 01 Nov. A bit chandeliered with lots of water still running on it. It had a 10 ft vertical section that actually got to be overhanging, so I wouldn't say it was in WI-3 condition. Also the last 20 feet or so was all chandeliered. You'd need a 40cm screw to get some protection. We didn't climb the last 20 ft. It should be filled out nicely by now. Three hours to hike in, 2 hours out. Nice climb in a remote setting. Lots of snow down there. We should have taken skis.
Quick & Dirty looked really phat. Expert's Choice was only verglass, but with the temperatures staying below freezing all week, it should be good to go next weekend. Compound Gullies are not quite in. Kill Keisha was almost in, but as Chris Goble said, it's a bit harder than its 5.7/WI-5 rating.
Various, Nov 2, Tony Devonshire
Ranger Creek, Nov 2, WG
Most everything is in and well-travelled as the early season feeding frenzy takes place. Bring your galoshes, things are wet!