Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Possible new route from last weekend

I am having problems uploading the pictures I took so if you want to see them, email me at brett at energysmartcanada.com and I will send them to you.

These climbs are located in the basin directly across from oil city.

I beleive these climbs are the one mentioned the other day as the Buchannon climbs. I never did find out if Joe Mckay climbed them while he was down. They form regularly, but during the main season, the avalanche danger is usually pretty high. I am not sure if they have been climbed before this or not. - Chris


Monday, November 28, 2005


lineham right
Originally uploaded by cgoble72.
Blair and I hiked into Lineham on Saturday to try the ice. The trail didn't quite have enough snow to ski. Luckily the end of the valley didn't end up being as full of spindrift as usual, making the approach quite easy. Unfortunately the bottom of the left climb was melted out. The base pillar was in, but the slabby rock above made climbing it more than questionable.

The right route also didn't look overly fun. We ended up hiking out and hitting Trap Line. The approach wasn't too bad, despite being out of shape and climbing much higher than needed. The top of the climb can be spotted by two pieces of purple webbing around a tree near the lip.

The climb wasn't too bad. A nice Grade 3. It would be fine to lead, but you should rap down instead of trying to come up the bottom. There are a number of uniced ledges down lower. We didn't climb the left hand route.

On the way out, Blair gave up trying to hop across on the boulders and just waded in.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


Originally uploaded by cgoble72.
Here is a shot of the main climb taken by Blair last weekend (Nov 19th). Quite a nice section of ice. It is too bad about the long ski in, and the bad avy hazard.

Buchannon Ridge - Swedish Gully

Buchannon Ridge - Swedish Gully
Originally uploaded by cgoble72.
A couple of years ago I wandered up the narrow gully with a Swedish exchange student. As it was late winter there was a lot of post holing. We made it up past the notch before avy conditions started to get worse. It was quite a nice, though low angled route. The gully narrowed quite a bit, making stemming the best option for getting around bulges.

Right now the top face doesn't look to be in shape. The bottle neck also looks a bit rocky. However the lack of snow means the upper face isn't the avy hazard it usually is. Also the early season means the cornice up top is not present.

The approach for this climb is pretty easy. We went down through the trees just past the Lineham turnoff. There is an old cut there. Cross the creek and scramble up by the small creek. There really isn't much brush to worry about. The snow at the base of the route did take a while to ascend. We bailed off to the climber's left to descend through the thin trees.


Thursday Ice conditions

Trap Line
Originally uploaded by cgoble72.
I managed to get up the Cameron highway just as it was getting dark. Expert's and QD are obviously out. Trap Line area looks thin, but good for top roping. The freeze thaw cycle this week has also started a new mixed style line going up on the nose of Buchannon Ridge. Sorry for fuzzy picture.

The begginer slabs up the first drainage on Buchannon look quite good, especially without their regular avy hazard. I will have to look up the names Joe McKay gave to them last year.

As for other conditions, Sullivans looks in but thin. I am guessing Drywood will be in great shape for the pillars. I would expect a number of new lines to be possible up there. I would guess Lineham left could be in, but I am not sure on that one. Midnight Madness should still be fine. Crypt I would guess would be in. With the forecast of rain though, who knows what one should do.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Ice Opener 2005/2006?

I know it's hard to think ice when it's 18 above outside. Does anyone have any thoughts to this years ice opener? Maybe the first or second week of January or do we want to try for mid December again? I was looking at the Dec 6, 2003 pics from the opener and the ice was pretty decent.

Cheers, Scott

PS. Anyone have pictures from last years ice opener breakfast?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Low elevation Waterton ice

I headed up to the Left hand Warden Gully early on saturday morning hoping to sneak in a little climb before the sun and afternoon heat melted it out for good. It was already close to gone at 9am with the ice being less than an inch thick and a good flow of water underneath. So I scratched my wayup the first 60 meters or so and finally had some sense and walked off to the south. After a tasty brunch at the Kilmory I went for a drive to see what I could see. The right hand picture is of the Warden Gully, middle photo is Kill Akisha(sp) Kill and the left hand photo shows experts choice melting away. I am pretty sure that the middle of the middle route fell off in the time it took to drive up Cameron lake road and back, the quick and dirty area is probably melted out by now as it was severely sun baked. Sounds like midnight madness was fun and I hope someone braved the winds in the drywood. Pray for cold.

Midnite Madness

Skiied into Wall Lake Saturday with Jessica and climbed Midnite Madness. The skiing sucked but the ice was in pretty good early season shape. In fact most of the ice in there is in not bad shape. Needed a KB at the top of the first pitch for the belay station. Got hit with quite a bit of spin drift from above, most of it being carried and deposited by the wind which leads me to believe that the slopes above are getting cross loaded so there will probably be some pretty good size avalanches in there after the next snow fall unless the wind scours those upper slopes clean. For the moment though, things are fairly stable and there was very little sign of any previous avalanche activity so far.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Originally uploaded by cgoble72.
Here is a bad shot of ruby falls. Not many people make it up there. Both climbs are actually pretty nice. This pictue is reversed (took a picture using my webcam as I can't find the power cord for my scanner). I think skiing in over Crandell is the easiest way in. With winds, the red rock road quickly turns to hard pack through the trees making bikes problematic.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

vimy at night

vimy at night
Originally uploaded by cgoble72.
The full moon last night was spectacular. I tried to get some good shots in the wind. This was the best I could manage. It almost looks like a painting instead of a photo.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Drywood Conditions

On Sunday I was solo up at drywood checking things out. Didn't dare to solo any of the actual climbs but climbed up the ramble to the base of obliteration. Things are thickening up nicely. There is one pillar touching down on the left side. Also, the roofs look doable with a good solid curtain hanging down.(there out of my league but not for others on this blogg).

How were things up in K country or ghost? I believe that's where a few of you were heading.


There are a couple other shots at http://www.flickr.com/photos/28065565@N00/


A few tidbits of information this morning. Last night while driving back from Cardston, there was quite a good fire by Belly River. It was up on Hanson's ranch, by the flaring well in front of Chief Mountain, just west of the Belly River Bridge. It was quite noticeable all the way from Hillspring. I was going to stop to take a picture, but was running low on gas after being diverted around Cardston due to a car accident, just north of the town toward Standoff. I would guess the front was about 300m long. It made for quite the spectacular Christmas lights.

Brian Baker of Tamarack mall is doing a large landscape makeover. The gas station is coming out, as well as all the concrete in the front. He is landscaping things quite a bit. The red paving stone is going to be used for the sidewalk. That means over the next few years the sidewalk in front of my house down to Pat's may end up being replaced.

It is rumored that the Pizza place may be moving next to the empty lot by Pat's. I understand that the neigbours in the current location weren't too happy about the noise at night. It was about 20 years ago when that loned was rezoned to be a crepe house.

Last night about 6 inches of fuffy white snow fell. Skiing up to Wall could be nice, however I am sure the road will need more base for those who value their ski edges.

Elk were out this morning on the pass creek flats. The deer have also been rutting in the townsite.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

kill aisha

kill aisha
Originally uploaded by cgoble72.
While today's chinook may change things for the weekend, the ice isn't looking too bad. The left Gully almost looks climable. The right gully is pretty thin. Irish dreams still has a ways to go, but aisde from the mid level break is looking promising. So what does that mean for the other climbs?

Here are my GUESSES
-midnight madness - in but a bit thin
-lineham - not in
-ruby falls - in but wet
-red rock - just a few icicles
-sullivan's - (keep forgetting to look) - not in
-crypt - upper routes thin
-drywood - gasser in, pillars not

Monday, November 07, 2005


There is about 2 inches of snow on the ground in the townsite. The compound gullies are starting to freeze up. Right now Kill Aisha is looking pretty thin, but good for some mixed fun. The slab is forming up. I would imagine Midnight Madness will be good for the weekend. Chances are once you get off the road, the skiing should be tolerable.

I'll see what I can find out as the weekend approaches.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Wall lake ice

Originally uploaded by cgoble72.
I was up hiking to Wall lake on Sat. I was surprised that there was an inch or two of snow almost all the way up. At the border things obviously got thicker than down at the trailhead. With the socked in weather, I would guess there would be about 4 or 5 inches by now.

We didn't get to see midnight madness, but for this next weekend I would guess it would be quite thin. Probably not protectable, but good for mixed climbers.

An interesting route was looking to form up on the back left side of the lake. I don't think this is one of the many ice routes Dave Stephens and Blair Piggot have put up in the area. It normally doesn't thicken up much during normal season (from what I can tell). Plus the avy danger is pretty crazy. Give it a few weeks though and it could be a good alpine climb.

Another shot is also on line.

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