Friday, December 31, 2004

Waterton Scrambling

Ice climbs and avey conditions January 4th 2005

The cold weather has had a positive effect on the ice conditions in the area. The south facing climbs are all in and continueing to form rapidly. Check changing conditions with the wardens office. They have a new sherriff in town and wants to here how climbing and skiing conditions are.

Quick and dirty- This is totally in and well formed. Still has a lot of water running even in these colder temps so should be fatting up nicely. The other climbs associated with Q&D are forming with French Kiss being in but a little thin on the top. I saw that the famous Blair piggot climbed this route yesterday (3rd). The other steeper line with the french sounding name is yet to form. (note that it is possible to walk around Q&D if one wanted to climb the routes up higher. I personally would wait till I had more daylight)

Experts Choice: This climb has always fasinated me. I have yet to climb it but it truly is an amazing piece of ice.Ever sience Yuri and yvon featured this thing in climbing ice way back when i have wanted to climb this. The central line looks to be a honest sustained grade six. There is plenty of room for newer sport lines in the area

Buchanon Ridge: These climbs are continueing to form and are looking real good. Located a bit furter west of experts area and you couldn't miss them even if you had two glass eye's. park at the crandell lake parking then go back 50 meters to the clearing. There is a big tree that fell over and makes a great bridge across the creek.

Swedes: I call it this because a couple of swedes climbed this cute little canyon feature next to the road. they left it unnamed and did not leave their names.It is on the north side of the creek close to Q&D

Irish Dream: This climb on Vimy is in and forms every year. Grade 4-4+ is a cool feature but has a bit of a approach. Certianly one of the cooler climbs in the area even though you have never heard of it. No Photo

Compound Gullies: These puppies are looking great. If you are new to climbing or just enjoy getting out and your grade level is around 3 or easy 4 these climbs are totally for you. 300 meters with a 10 minute approach. There are 3 obvious climbs behind the warden station. The one on the left being the easiest and the climb on the right pushing grade 4 at the top. you can walk off the top of these routes but be sure to eye your descent. Another good thing about these climbs is that rescue is a stones throw away. Your cell phone should work here when you get higher.

Avey conditions: was up on Forun the other day (2nd). their is 25 cms of low density snow sitting on a bullet proof crust (44 mag) This allowed for good skiing (spit) but you still penetrated down to the crust causeing a bit of skidding. The crust broke down at about 1900 meters (22 caiber). the cooling temps certianly have the ability to cause serious faccetting below and/or above this layer. There has been little wind lately but when it returns there is plenty of snow available for transport. At the moment I would say that the avy hazard is at th elow end of moderate and non existant below tree line. It will be interesting to see if this cold and that crust produces a sliding layer similair to those in the interior back in 98/99. however at the momment skiing (spit) is good to very good and a bit more snow will certianly bump it up to excellent


At 1/04/2005 02:50:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe, did you nab that climb before the swedes? I am trying to remember the details around that route. The swedes were staying at my cabin when they did it. They called it swedish plumbing due to some problems at my house, as well as the soakers they got on the approach. They were quite excited about getting a FA in the rockies while they were here. Apparently there isn't much ice over there unless you go to Norway. I sent the info in, but (here's where things get foggy) I seem to remember some info to the effect that they had gotten beat by a few days.

By the way, thanks for the picts. Are you going to the film fest, or did you already check it out in Banff? 

Posted by chris goble

At 1/04/2005 04:11:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Joe. In your spare time, if you find yourself around Summit Knob or Cameron Lake, could you take a quick picture of the Herbst Glacier on Custer for me? There are three cliff bands on that glacier, which I'm waiting to fill in. That glacier should make an awesome ski run from the notch below Custer's summit to the basin SE of Summit Knob. Interested?


Posted by Dave Stephens


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