Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Cobra Verde

Saturday Dave S. and i climbed Cobra Verde in Kananaskis. We were both quite dissapointed so i thought i would post this as a "don't waste your time trip". The guide book says it's a 250m, grade 3 climb. For some reason i had this picture in my head that it was going to be a mini version of "House of Sky" in the Ghost. When we arrived at the base of the first pitch i figured this was the easy part. This pitch was 40m. After topping out we headed up the gully to the next pitch which was a 5m section of grade 3 ice. Once on top of this I was looking around for more ice. There was a little bit of grade 2 ice off to the right through the trees but i was sure that wasn't the route so we rambled on up the gully in search of the crux. About 50m or so from the top of the ridge and no more ice to be found i realized that we had climbed all the ice there was. So basically what the guide book should have said was;
One 40m pitch of easy grade 3 ice followed by a 60m scramble leads to a 5m pillar. 60m scramble again leads to a 20m pitch of grade 2 ice.
It would be a good route for a first time leader but that's it.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Center Compound Gully

Dave and I climbed the center gully on saturday, ice is in good condition. If anyone finds a 17cm laser sonic screw I'd be willing to trade for beer, seems we lost one along the way.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Sunday climbing

I'm busy looking for friends......anybody interested in climbing Sunday??
E-mail: info at hayshed dot com
Ph: 327-9914
Cel: 634-0077

Blair Piggot

Monday, January 23, 2006

Waterton Anchors/Fixed Gear?

I believe we have discussed fixed/bolted anchors and routes inside the park boundary a little bit last year, if memory serves me correctly. Was there ever a consensus as to replacing some of the old pins with bolts and or creating new modern mixed routes (winter or summer) ? I know the park does not want "sport routes" or the use of an electric/gas drill but there are a lot of untrustworthy pins and the potential for some really good new routes. Experts choice for example, above the dolomite, has the potential for some good routes. As far as old pin replacement goes, one spot in particular that I was reminded of on Saturday was on French Kiss. The two existing pins are fairly suspect and like it was on Saturday there was not enough good ice for a trustworthy abalakov. If nobody objects I wouldn't mind replacing the old pins with two rap rings.

Discuss away.

PS - Ice Conditions as of Saturday Jan 21,
Experts looks to be in good shape on the center
Quick and Dirty is thin, wet but climable
French Kiss was climable but poor gear
Pillier Du Putains was blue and wet
Pearl Necklace was blue, wet, and steep
Trappers Choice is snow covered
Compound Gullies are in - Dave and Willis climbed the right gully and reported good ice

Too bad it is supposed to be in the + temps again this week.

Cheers, Scott


Sofa Ridge
Originally uploaded by cgoble72.
Everyone knows that Waterton can get rather windy. Kayakers tend to think the Gap is the windiest place around, climbers usually think Drywood gets this honour. While definitive answers don't exist one way or another, all I know is last night was windy!

In Waterton, I usually gage the wind by how noisy the Park office flag is. If you can hear it down the block, you know you are in a windstorm. Another popular method for gauging the wind is by counting the number of shingles that get blown off the Waterton Lodge. Last night I only found one, and I think that was from some time ago.

Perhaps due to the sadism engendered through ranching, locals love to have their own wind gauges to measure storms. Last night things were clocked at 122km/h. This makes it a weak category one hurricane. (However, the lake surge was probably no more than 2 feet)

The highest record I have heard about in the area is 175km/h. I guess that means we still have a ways to go. Who knows how strong the wind was back in the 1920's when the unfinished Prince of Whales Hotel was pushed off it's foundation by a wind storm. Locals often gauge the wind speed by whether or not spray from the lake makes it up the 150ft hill to hit the hotel windows.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Mt. Victoria

Jill and I gave a go at Mt. Victoria on Sunday but a late start and post holing up to knee deep made the time slip by too quickly. There apeared to be a possible gully across the valley that looked to be of some interest with a couple of rock steps.


Monday, January 16, 2006

Road of Bones

On the 7th of January (sorry we bailed on the ice opener), Aaron Hemphill, Martin, Rob King and I headed up to the mythical box canyon in the West Castle valley. Aaron had stubled apon a small canyon and ampitheater this summer while hiking down from the Rainy Ridge lakes area. The climb is located roughly 5KM or so down the West Castle valley from the ski resort and on the west side of the valley. Travel the left hand road for an hour or so until you get to the first large old clear cut, hang a right and scurry across the river and trend up stream until you get to a small drainage that heads south west and uphill. after about half an hour small steps will start forming about 100m to 200m apart, most walkable and a few required climbing, the tallest being 5m at the most. After another half hour and six or seven of these step you will arrive at a "Y", the climbers right hand leads quickly to a small ampitheater that holds two 20m gr3 pillars and a 20m gr 2 ice fall, quite a pleasant little area, the ice was blue and great to climb, pleanty of ice for "V" threads and trees to rap off of. We called the place the "Road of Bones" because it was kinda a long slog and we were talking about hot Russian women on the trip in. If it has been climbed before let me know and if not go check it out, I would recomend sledding in the first half of the way to speed things up a little.
Photo's may follow at some point.
Chris M


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Ice Opener

As was mentioned in the fall, we decided to move the ice opener to January 7th in hopes of more consistent weather. With our luck the weather during December was ideal when compared to the sunny days we have been having now. While the sunny climbs up Crandell may be out of shape, the drywood ice box should be in stellar conditions. As such I think moving this year's rather small event to Drywood would be wise.

Ropes will be set up on the large large where the pillars are located. Enterprising groups can tackle the Gasser on any number of different lines. I have a feeling a number of mixed lines will be put up, so this year may be a bit of a new route show. Hopefully Blair will bring the newly refurbished bolter - no carrying batteries in your pack side pockets!

I think a meeting time of 9:30 at the gates seems reasonable. That would mean hitting the ice at 10:15. Bring your rock shoes, if it is warm you can rock climb on the upper tier while people bash away on solid ice around the corner in the shade.


More pictures are up at here and at Dave Stepehen's FTP page

Good conditions, but now there are a couple of new routes that are just crying for some attention.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Wolf Falls?

Has anybody heard of Wolf Falls in the Crowsnest Area? Where is it? What's the length and grade? How's the approach? Can you ski the approach, or is the bushwhacking too bad? Just looking for as much info as possible.

Email me