Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New route?

Hey All

Last weekend my buddy Jason Runge and I climbed the east face of Chinook mountain following an obvious ice line. We left the truck at 6am with bikes and got to the base of the scree slopes on the North East shoulder after the sun came up. From there we climbed up the shoulder to the base of the cliffs and traversed along snow slopes to the base of the face. Approach of about 3 hours.

We soloed the first 2 pitches of snow and ice "snice"... up to WI3 since it wasn't that protect able.

the 3rd pitch was a little over 60 meters of "snice" at about WI4 (we simul climbed the last few moves so Jason could get a better anchor.)

The 4th pitch was short up WI2-3 to a rock belay on the left.

The 5th pitch was 3o meters of beautiful waterfall ice up to WI4+ or 5 to the base of the final pillar. It could probably have been combined with the 4th pitch but we decided the rock anchor was better than what we had.

The final pitch was a 20 to 25 meter vertical pillar with a diameter of 6-8 feet at the base followed by a bit easier slush and then a snow bowl to the top. I finished the last of the technical ice climbing as the sun went down, while Jason climbed it in the dark.

It was 5 or 6 pitches up to WI6.

We descended by rappelling and down climbing the North face and got back to the car by 1 am.

There was less than 3 inches of snow so the bikes got us down from the scree in less than 20 min! Nearly as good as skis.

Have any of you climbed this? Does anyone know if it has been climbed? Jason has interrogated Arron from the climbing shop in the pass and we saw no signs of climbers on the route. We know others have tried it but we have no confirmed reports of anyone making it up. However if another party climbed it and descended the North face as we did, they wouldn't have left anything for rapping.

Oh and if anyone wants to climb the North face of Chinook we left presents! I lost at least one screw in the scree when my racking beaner broke some time in the night (falling on my ass). And we left 2 stubbies and a piton rapping off the face.

I will post pics and clips when I get them.



Ice Opener 2007-2008

Any thoughts on dates that will work for the ice opener??

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Just wondering what conditions were like this weekend. I've been stuck in the house all weekend trying to get over this flu bug so i didn't get a chance to check anything out.


Monday, November 19, 2007

Waterton Conditions Nov 17

In a matter of 4 days, almost all the climbable ice is gone. Weird how it can change so quickly. Willis and I bumped into Amy, Brad, and Jared as they hiked out of wall lake on Saturday morning. They were going to climb midnight madness, I believe, but ice fall made them think otherwise. The temps were around +5 and the ice was melting off. I love taking my ice gear for a walk! Maybe the colder weather will form stuff up in a week or two. On a side note there is lots of wildlife out in the park. Cheers.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Waterton Conditions

Dave and I climbed the smears up to the left from the oil well site on the cameron lake highway. It was a bushwack up to the ice and 50 m pitch of decent ice with a little sting at the end. The decent sucked as the ground is not quite frozen and there is a thin layer of snow on the scree. Other ice appears to be forming. Experts appeared to almost be climable on the left side, Q & D is forming, Lineham looked climable from across the valley. I will throw up some pics this afternoon. Cheers.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Canmore Ice Climbing Festival

Canmore Ice Climbing Festival - 2007/11/09 09:19 The 9th annual CICF will be taking place Dec 7 - 9, 2007.

Here are the highlights:

Advanced / Steep Ice Clinic with Shawn Huisman
Women's Ice Clinic with Shelley Huisman - now full
Intro to Lead Ice with Barry Blanchard

Slideshow & Silent Auction - 8pm Creekside Hall
Sean Isaac "Winter Lovers Anonymous; Bugaboos, Alaska and Scotland" and Will Gadd (TBA) hosted by Barry Blanchard. Stories, prizes, beer...

Advanced Mixed Clinic with Sean Isaac
Advanced / Steep Ice with Raphael Slawinski

CICF Village; Intermediate Mixed Ice Competition; FREE CLIMBING on the wall, prizes, exhibitor tent, demo tools by BD & Petzl, etc!

Slideshow - 8pm Creekside Hall
Raphael Slawinski, "The Four Seasons of the Canadian Rockies & Abroad" & Jon Walsh, "Highlights from 3 Seasons in Patagonia", hosted by Barry Blanchard. Stories, prizes, beer...

Intro to Mixed Climbing with Rob Owens
Intro to Lead Ice; guest instructor TBA

CICF Village; Speed Ice Climbing Competition; FREE CLIMBING on the wall, prizes, exhibitor tent, demo tools by BD & Petzl, etc!

For more info, please visit www.canmoreicelcimbingfestival.com

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


I can't believe it! I actually made it out to Waterton for two weekends in a row. Athough one could argue that the level of activity is not up to my usual standards, it's not to late to get ready for the Winter! We grabbed the baby carrier and did Lineham falls. It's a nice 8km hike round trip that gives you a great look at some nice ice in the Winter. I noticed some neat slide activity over the winter or spring perhaps as evident from the picture.

The hike finishes with the falls ahead and I noticed that the freezing has begun. Just thought I would post the shot for all to see as we anticipate the Winter to come.P.S. Hey Blair I'd still love those shots from Chris's Stag eh?

Email me