Monday, December 19, 2005

Montana Ice

Originally uploaded by cgoble72.
I was down skiing at Whitefish this weekend. I talked to Cletus at Runner Up Sports 862-8880 about ice climbing. He mentioned the main ice climbs were up by Snyder Lake near the Lake McDonald Hotel. He mentioned there were a number of climbs in the valley, mainly 3,4 but up to several pitches in length. (Sorry no more info - check the montana ice climbing guide book for more). On the way back I drove by St. Mary's and took this picture of those climbs. They look to be in pretty good shape. The warm weather should be good for them. I would guess a snow shoe approach would be better than skis in the thick forest. This picture was taken from the road.


At 12/12/2005 03:08:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chances are I will head up there Sunday. If anyone is interested, drop me a line. Cardston would be a good place to meet. 

Posted by chris goble

At 12/19/2005 08:44:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Blair, Jess and myself made it into the St. Mary's climbs on Sunday. The approach was longer than it looker - 3.5h. We headed up and over the ridge left of the main gully, by parking past the park gates at the first turnout. The brush wasn't too bad, but it would have been preferable to head right to the talus below the cliffs on the main peak.

There were a total of 8 climbs on the west ridge, and 4 climbs on the east. All except one of the west climbs were about a pitch in length. One long 70 degree gully was 2 or 3 pitches in length. It would be a classic grade 2 / grade 3 climb.

We ended up on the first main climb on the right. There was one more half pitch climb about 70m to our right, and then the long W2 200m further right. Blair led it. The ice was fairly sun baked, and we were wondering about some of the big cicles right at the top. Luckily they didn't melt out. We didn't climb the very steep 30 foot headwall at the top. The climb was a solid W3 up to that point, and would have been a stout 4 for the top out. An old pin was found at the base.

The climbs to the left looked fantastic. They were mainly body sized pillars glued onto the rock. Several very nice mixed lines composed mainly of ice were around. This is a great spot for strong climbers, however, the long approach makes things less than useful.

There were no cameras between the three of us, so we didn't get any pictures. We went north of the main gully on the way down, and took about 3h. We hand to tend far left to stay away from the drainage, but eventually got sucked down into it. The run out of the gully never seemed to stop, and we were cruising for quite a while in the dark. 

Posted by chris goble

At 12/29/2005 07:44:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in the Crowsnest pass the last two days (28,29) and was able to get up some ice. I thought I would post it here seeing the the most recent post is getting comments about computer chips. The climbs on seven sister are in. Climbed the middle one, the one to the right is in and the one on the left you can see the rock behind the ice. Atlas road was super icy and on the way out we helped some snow shoers that had slid off the road. Is there any ice in Waterton? I didn't think that there would be any in the pass but we lucked out.

Posted by Nathan Shenton


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