Monday, July 30, 2007

Experts Choice

Climbed Experts Choice on Saturday with Brett. Up Crispy Ambulance and over to Split Clevage makes for fun day of climbing. Right below the roof on the last pitch Brett tore out a large rock that spit him over backwards and left him hanging upside down off a #3 cam a 120m off the deck. Talk about exciting. Unfortunately the rock he tore out weighed about 20 lbs. and landed on our ropes with enough impact to fuse them together. We finished the climb and rapped off but i now have two half ropes that are about 45 m long (the other one got hit coming off the miter in Lake Louise). They just keep getting shorter and shorter.


Monday, July 09, 2007

Mt. Custer

Took a friend from Toronto out climbing this weekend. We left early Saturday morning from Cameron Lake and hiked up towards Summit Lake. At the top of the hill we turned and followed the ridge over towards Custer. From the Summit Knob/Custer col we hiked around the east flank of Custer and headed up towards Herbst Glacier. We found a nice place to have lunch and put on our crampons and begin the slog up. I was amazed at the amount of snow there yet. When Dave and i did it a couple of years ago the rock steps were fully exposed but this year the first one wasn't even visible, the second one only had 5' sticking out above the snow and the third step had about half showing above the snow. There's only one crevasse that i'm aware of and it's completely covered with no signs of any sagging anywhere. Once on top of the glacier there's one rock step up to the summit ridge. The summit block has some fun scrambling. We climbed up the north side of it to the summit. Assuming that everyone who climbs signs the register, there was one summit last year from some americans, one in 2005 from Dave and i, and i think the previous summit was either 2003 or 2002. It's one of those peaks that doesn't see a lot of ascents. By looking at the register i would say only one or two ascents a year. We bivied on the summit ridge and watched a very active lightening storm somewhere over to the east. We woke up Sunday morning to see the valley bottom below us covered in cloud with only the peaks showing above. It was quite a sensation because by looking down all you could see was the top of the clouds as far as you could see but when you rolled over and looked west you could see the valley bottom. The cloud cover only went as far west as the continental divide. On the west side of the divide the visibility was unlimited but east of the divide all you could see was the cloud cover in the valley bottoms for as far as you could see. We enjoyed watching the sea of clouds while we had our morning cup of coffee and breakfeast. We then packed up and did the traverse from Custer over to Forum Peak and then down to Cameron Lake. It was an excellent weekend with stunning views and i'd highly recommend it for anyone that want's to put in a good weekend.


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