Tag Archives: ice climbing

ice-capades on a frozen lake

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

perhaps my ice climbing trips are jinxed this season?

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?

all things considered, this day gets a D-

Pro I got to have a sleep-in, because I was doing the Yamnuska Leading on Ice course today. Con Our Jeep still isn’t working, so I had to leave the house early to cycle to the Yamnuska Office. Pro Riding around town is always fun, and it was fairly warm this morning. Con I arrived at the offices at 8am (as it instructed on the email I got) and everyone else had apparently been there since 7.30, and they’d been having a pre-course briefing. Pro I got to carpool with a nice Japanese girl. Con The other car which held … Continue reading all things considered, this day gets a D-

the silliest adventure in some time

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

the ghost

The Ghost River Wilderness Area is an amazing place. Hiking in We hiked in to climb Fang and Fist, WI5. Before this, the hardest thing I’d climbed was WI3 (or maybe WI3+). Fang and Fist This photo was stolen from the Interwebs – it was taken not long ago, so the climb looks roughly the same now. Because when we arrived at it, I was too busy being terrified by how steep it was (and wondering if I’d actually be able to climb it) to think of taking photos. The mission was successful though. Despite my fear that my arms … Continue reading the ghost

completely lacking in cougars

We parked in a parking lot in the middle of Canmore (well, not the exact middle perhaps, but it was certainly surrounded by houses, and there were lots of people out walking their dogs and that sort of thing) and started walking up Cougar Creek. Cougar Creek   Partially frozen, the walking got interesting at times; there was some falling through to lower layers of frozen creek, hardly any cougar attacks, and lots of crossing back and forth across the creek. And this would be why it’s nice to be the lightest one in the party   A side fork … Continue reading completely lacking in cougars

climbing frozen waterfalls

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

ice ice baby

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