Looking through the guidebook for an ice climb to do on a windy day with high avalanche risk, we struck upon the climbs down by the edge of Lake Minnewanke. The guidebook told us that the first ascent team had used iceskates to get to the climbs – but for later in the season recommended bikes. “Ok”, we thought, “bikes it is, that sounds like a great idea”. Walking the bikes across Lake Minnewanke Arriving at the lake we had to hunt around for a while to find a good place to get onto the ice – neither … Continue reading ice-capades on a frozen lake
Unfortunately this time the jinx did not take itself out on me, but my hapless climbing partner. We drove to Haffner Creek, changed into boots, loaded ourselves up with climbing gear, hiked in to the climbs, picked a likely looking first climb, climbing partner racked up and started leading. The ice was quite hard, the climb was very vertical, and climbing partner started to get pumped and shaky, attempting to place an ice screw that just wouldn’t bite. Front bail of one of climbing partner’s crampons popped off, and climbing partner rapidly went from being a few metres up on … Continue reading perhaps my ice climbing trips are jinxed this season?
Fed up with not having any exercise for the last week and a half, I decided to test out my knee on a short bike ride. Unfortunately the warmest it managed to make it to today was -22oC (-8oF) or so. And there was a lot of snow around, so it ended up being a longer than planned bike ride with large sections of pushing. As I set out it was like a world of pastel though, with everything snow-covered and subdued sunset pink and blues soaking through. I went back out and cycled along my nemesis track … Continue reading back on the bike
It wasn’t going BOOM at all (except for once perhaps, on the way up). Starting from a parking lot not far South of Castle Junction, you head up through the trees, then up and down a meandering path through the trees til you hit the lake about 5km later. When we went up there were only a few sets of footprints there, some of which had obviously given up after a kilometre or so. The lake was mostly frozen (except for those few disconcertingly slushy sections), and had a few inches of snow on it. There are a … Continue reading boom lake
So, with the Jeep still out of action at the mechanics (and while it’s away we’re secretly looking at every Subaru we see for sale), we ended up cycling to the ice. First we tried to have a look at the Pigeon Mountain Falls near Dead Mans Flats, but the guys at the quarry in front of it weren’t having any of that. So we cycled onward to Heart Creek. Creeksicles Nothing was looking particularly inspiring – and Heart Falls definitely didn’t sound very frozen, I couldn’t be bothered with the scramble round to confirm one way or … Continue reading early season ice
It was 8 o’clock in the morning and we had thrown on our backpacks (heavily laden with mountaineering boots, crampons, rope and axes) and leaped on our trusty bicycles. The bicycles had been rescued from the fence outside our house just a few days earlier, after sitting in the snow and ice all winter. It took a while to cut through the locks, but in the end we were rewarded with bikes of … well, dubious quality, but at least they went. After meeting Jody in town and we confirmed all bikes were in working order (although in an attempt … Continue reading the silliest adventure in some time
And the moon turned red Also, we had an igloo. It was a bit melty though.
In lieu of any new ice climbing activity on my latest days off, I’ll just have to reminisce about climbing Cascade Falls the other week. Just outside of Banff, the 300 metre high Cascade Falls are a popular tourist destination in Summer (there was even a tour bus that had stopped to admire them as we were walking back to the car after finishing climbing for the day – noone on the bus showed much of an inclination to get out though). And in Winter they turn into a fairly classic WI3 ice climb. We only … Continue reading climbing frozen waterfalls
Because standing in a snow and ice filled gully receiving no sun is a perfect place way to spend a negative fifteen degree day. Even the glacier worms were finding it cold
All right stop collaborate and listen … Erm, so I went ice climbing. Nine in the morning and we were strolling along a packed snow path up to Mt Stanley Headwall. Two hours later, and we’d completed the final slog up through deep fluffy snow, arrived at Sinus Gully, and were strapping on crampons. In my case they were a pair of antique crampons that attached to my ski boots via a mechanism involving a couple of trusty leather straps that were probably just as good as they were when the crampons were originally purchased (in Kathmandu in … Continue reading ice ice baby
How to remove ice from one’s car at 6.30am in the morning Step One: Realise the ice is there. This may take a while. You hop in the car sleepily, and cannot see out. Turn on the windscreen wipers. The windscreen wipers do not move. Become confused. Try to roll down your window. It does not move. The realisation may gradually dawn that there is ice preventing both items from moving. If you come from an area where it does not often get to 0oC overnight (or if it does, you’re usually not near the car until after things have … Continue reading the patented five step method for removing ice from one’s car windows