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.


At 11/21/2005 05:44:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We climbed a route on Sunday that is across from the oil well site on the cameron highway. It is visible from the road just before the oil well at the bottom of a large bowl. Not sure if this route has been climbed before. It was 35-40 meters of WI3. Not a bad little climb. The approach wasn't all that fun up the gully fighting with the slide alder, took about 1 1/2 hours. We descended to the skiers right of the gully which would probably have been a better approach route. If anyone has climbed this route before please let me know.

On another note Q&D was pretty well melted out when we left on Sunday afternoon. Experts was missing the bottom 30-40 feet and a section in the middle. If the weather stays like this for much longer we might need to get the rock gear out again for next weekend.

I also second the pray for cold comment.
Climb Safe

Posted by Brett Weisser

At 11/21/2005 06:12:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw those routes on saturday and thought they looked fun, did you get any pictures? How thick was the ice? 

Posted by Chris Morris

At 11/21/2005 08:49:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes I got some pictures. I have to get my girlfriend to download them off of her camera and then I will try to post them. The ice was pretty thick. It looked blue and fat from the road, but wasn't as long of a route as it looked from the road. There was about 2 inches of slush/ice over the ice and pretty airated. I didn't trust any of the screws too much.

I don't know if I'm retarded but I can't for the life of me figure out how to make a post on this web site, so any info on how to do that would be great, then I will try to post those pics.


Posted by Brett Weisser

At 11/21/2005 09:27:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the Logan Pass road (in Glacier Park)was open again as far as Rising Sun, I went hiking with my wife and a friend in towards Otokomi Lake (about 8 or 9 km in from the Rising Sun Motel). Where the trail and valley turns to the West (about 6-7 km in), there are literally a dozen ice climbs along the South Facing wall of the valley. Most of them were well-melted out, but if one could time a cold spell when the road to Rising Sun was still open, one could climb more ice than they know what to do with. The climbs vary in length (from 1 - 3 pitches), and difficulty, and appear quite safe avalanche wise. It's a long hike in, so one would have to be very fast to do them in a day, but the trail in is great (and crosses no major avalanche paths) -- so if a person could camp for a few days, it would be wonderful. Again, the usual trouble is access, with the road to Rising Sun usually being closed in the Winter. However, if one REALLY wants a whole bunch of probable first ascents........


p.s. some great potential telemark/skiing slopes back in there too... 

Posted by Brad Hagen

At 11/22/2005 08:27:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blair and I hiked into Otokomi last year with much the same result. Things look nice, but don't seem to hang around later in the season. At the head of the valley there is a good looking flow. It seems to have quite a bit of avy terrain around it.

Also look by St. Mary's, often there are a couple of nice looking climbs in the bowl behind the lake. 

Posted by chris goble

At 11/22/2005 08:28:00 AM , Blogger chris g said...

Brett, if you want to make posts here on a semi-regular basis, just send me an email cgoble at , and I can send you an invite to get you set up on blogger.

At 11/24/2005 12:46:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to introduice me girlfriend to ice climbing this week-end in Waterton. Is there any good spot to top-rope in present condition?

Posted by John Smith

At 11/24/2005 04:43:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It depends on how well you lead. If you do, chances are you want something with a shot approach. Right now this is problematic. Drywood has a relatively easy approach for ice, but the far right side of the Gasser isn't overly great for toproping. It tends to have a bit of exposure for new climbers even if the angle is quite laid back. The low angled Buchannon gullies would be good, but it is a bit of a bushwhack to get to. Plus you have to cross a creek. Other than that, most people would tend to wait and take a newbie to Jensen's resevoir. 

Posted by chris goble

At 11/24/2005 04:43:00 PM , Blogger chris g said...

Oh just to add. The pillar at Drywood is a good toprope problem. However it may be a bit steep for a first crack at ice.


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