Wednesday, May 25, 2005


There is an interesting post over at Left2Right discussing freedom. Here is a brief quote

Here are two examples of how people can exercise cherished freedoms: One, you buy some land in the country — 20 acres, say — and because you don't like snow-mobilers or hunters or hikers or just 'coz, you put up a chain link fence around it and lots of "No trespassing" signs. Two, you love the outdoors and rejoice in the fact that wherever you go, you'll be able to head into the woods without having to worry about fences or "No trespassing" signs, knowing that pretty much everywhere you can pick berries, collect mushrooms or wildflowers, swim in lakes and even camp a night or two.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Mountain Challenge

Some people have found their way through the sidebar links to Dave Walter's Mountain Challenge.

Dave has taken a hiatus from organizing the challenge, and has kindly offered it up for suggestions. Normally the challenge is designed to be a good ridge run connecting a number of peaks. It is meant to be accessible for good scramblers. The 2002 challenge ran the ridge north of the Red Rock higway (Newman, Glendowan, Dungarvan, Galwey, and Bellevue). The 2001 challenge ran the Blakiston to Lineham horseshoe. The (friendly) competition is based solely on time to complete all peaks. Winners will get to choose next year's cirque.

So for the 2005 challenge, we need some good suggestion before we can get things started. The only condition is that it should involve local peaks, whether inside or outside the park.

May Long Weekend

May long weekend iin the Park usually seems like a time for strong winds, rain, sleet, and lots of cold campers celebrating their misery with lots of beer and steaks. I am sure this weekend won't be any different. For those that are coming down, I thought I would post some quick updates.

As usual the Thirsty Bear is going to be packed all weekend. Usually Saturday is quite rocking. Enjoy the smoke, cinge those lungs, free those cellular radicals and boogie down with all those underage high school students. Don't forget to aske them about "Mr. Goble".

The rivers in the area are up and at perfect flows. There should be a crew of kayakers out on uppper Cameron and Blakiston Sunday afternoon. Canoeing on Cameron Lake may prove to be a bit windy. The peddle boats are gone from there. Apparently parks figured they were getting stuck in the lake too often, and got rid of them for the contract last year.

Hiking trails are in surprisingly good shape. The snow level starts higher than it normally does. Of course the park has up to date trail info. For hikes this weekend, Crandell lake should be fine, Bertha falls will be clear while the lake should have a bit of snow to cross getting up there. Lower Rowe will most likely have a bit of snow right near the lake, but would be my bet for a nice hike. The hike across the prairie to horseshoe canyon should be really nice. Wall lake ay be doable, but will involve a fair bit of snow to plow through. There won't be much if any up to the border though.

For scrambles, Galwey looks almost completely clear of snow. The hike up the ridgeline of Bellevue would be another nice one. There is still a bit of snow at the top of Crandell. Sofa will involve a bit of snow to gain the ridge, so may be better for another day. The front ranges by Drywood are clearing up nicely. Perhaps another keen party could try the east ridge of yarrow (south east butress of Spread Eagle). The potential snow route on the south east face of Anderson looks connected. Just hope the sun doesn't come out and start a spring slide.

For rock climbing, the Hump looks to be in great shape. Expert's choice may be a bit wet for the starting routes. Split Cleavage should be drier, but with the wind from the falls, things do tend to get a bit wet. The Slab above the Warden Compound still looks moist. The arete's to the left look fine though. The information bureau may have a few wet spots along the top jugs, however the only thing to really worry about would be the ticks in the area. Of course with the weather warming up, Montana may not be a bad option.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

The Hump - Rosedale

Dave and I tried to climb Rosedale on Saturday but we figure we were off route. Does anyone have a photo or two of it? Or a clear description. Does it follow the red lichen up the slabby face? I think we trended to the left to far. Cheers Scott.

image added by chris


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Captain Tractor!

It looks like the infamous Captain Tractor is coming down south on the long weekend. They wrote the original "Pirate on the river South Saskatechewan" Here is the info:




MAY 21 @ 8 PM





Sjoerd Schaafsma - Secretary & Email Guy
The Lethbridge Folk Club - Since 1979
Our Web Site

Monday, May 09, 2005

South Ridge Of Lorette

While the south ridge of Mount Lorette up in Kananaskis is a bit far removed from Waterton, I thought I would include a short write up of it anyways. Outside of this link which may give people a little bit of an overly harsh view of the peak, there is little information on the internet (at least that I have been able to find).

The South Ridge is described wonderfully in Sean Dougherty's book. The time estimates of 6h to 8h round trip sound about right for an average party who haven't been on the mountain before. The rock on the mountain isn't good to say the least. As someone who hates the rock at Wasootch, perhaps I am biased, but I would take many of the piles of shale in Waterton over this heap. At least shale is predictable!

The South East Buttress which is not described anywhere that I can find, seems like a much nicer route. The positions are more exposed. There is more scrambling involved. There is also at least double the amount of scrambling as on the south ridge. This is good, because there really isn't a tonne of 4th class terrain on this route.

There is a very good game / climbers trail that head through the obvious meadow to the left of the ridge. It continues to where the scrambling starts. Things start off with a bit of a chossy step to gain the ridge line.

After this there is one more serious short section where the rock is thankfully better.

After this it is pretty much a standard scramble until you start getting to the knife edge section. There is one spot where a 10 foot downclimb looks improbable. It is actually fine, even if we did scramble beneath it just in case.

Finally you get to the famous section where all the images are taken. However, this is a relatively short section. It shouldn't be used as an indicator of the overall route level.

Even if it is exposed, this isn't as bad as it looks. You actually avoid the continuation of the ridge above where all the fun seems to be. Instead traverse down to the left heading towards some trees.

There are a couple of different routes that look like they would go. One includes a nut we left behind with a biner on it. The chossy rock certainly curtails one's options. Head down low on the ledge, and rope up for the scramble to regain the ridge. There is good pro on the broken face, even if there are more loose boulders than my local gravel pit. I would simul climb up to the next short crux around the ledge to the left. This will save some time coiling up the rope. There is a 5 foot section that has a 5th class move in it. Above this was the only spot I found an old oragne ring pin.

When things get hard again, traverse left, downclimbing some gravely ledges to reach a large shale gully. This leads directly to the summit.

Overall, I would say the south east butress is a much better route. If you are more of a scrambler you would prefer the South Ridge. There is less climbing, and less exposure. However, I only have gone 2/3 the way up the SE buttress before we figured a rope would be wise. Personally, I think the knife edge on Crandell is a MUCH better route. The scrambling feels more exposed. The second knife edge feels more committing. Also, the rock while blocky, is much more reliable. Also, combining it with a quick jaunt up Mainline or Lichen Line Right makes for a good day.

Photo Contest Winner

With voting over fo the picture contest, it looks like the winner is this image of Custer with 30% of the vote.

Congratulations Blair

Park Roads

The gate to the park is now open and checking passes. As usual the automatic entrance can't verify proper bar codes. Apparently the company who made the machine didn't get the work done on interpreting bar codes. All it can do is recognize that there is a bar code. After selling a few machines with a false promise of what they could do, they quickly went out of business. This reminds me of the flat roofers who did the Cardston and Crowsnest High Schools.

The road to Red Rock is now open. Rain over the last few days has made things quite wet. The fields heading down to the park have all turned green at once.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Happy 6 month Anniversary

The first post went up 6 months ago on November 2nd. So far we have over 6,500 hits. Each day the number of unique visitors is roughly half the number of hits. This means about 20 unique visitors a day with about 10 first time visitors a day. If one counts the cummalitive number of unique visitors I'm sure it is far less. Judging by the number of comments that get left this works out to about 500 hits per comment (excluding the 3 or so regular commenters). There doesn't seem to be a single day where the hits peak. Of course weekends always see slow traffic.

So with the anniversary, I thought I would just give readers a run down on the posters.

Chris Morris

Our newest contributor, and the connection to the pass. He is intending to put up some mountain bike oriented information, as well as get out the old folk off their keesters! He is currently off on a trip for a few months.

Chris Goble

That's me, the ever moving, ever balding Watertonite. I tend to post on kayaking, science, as well as anything else I can think of to keep things going.

Dave Stephen's

Dave run one of the original version of a blog up on his very popular website, The 200lb Flame Thrower . com. So far no posts from Dave, but I am sure he quest for all the peaks in the Park will generate more than a few scrambling posts over the summer.

Blair Piggot

Blair is our local welder and business stress case. He is out every week gragging others along as he impersonates a rope gun. He's the man for back country skiing and climbing.

Joe McKay

Probably back up in Banff running his guiding business. Joe's been on the routes the rest of us dream of.

Mark Iwaasa

Another 90's era climber who has gone and gotten soft in a Kayak. We are still waiting for Mark's first post. When it comes, expect something about making your own gear. He's the pro.

Rob Hagler

Rob is our Glacier connection. Having put up a number of routes down at Blackleaf, and now living in Whitefish with a new child, chances are he knows someone who has done that alpine rock route you have been thinking about for the last few years.

Scott Harms

Scott has the most gear of anyone I know. WIth his line of work, I hope he has a good insurance policy for it all. Scott posts on the climbing in the park, as well as all the nice new toys one could want.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Photo Contest 2005

The pictures are now up here. Just click on any image on this page to expand it to a 640x480 view. For quick voting you can just use the thumbnails below.

Corner mtn.


Mt. Blackfoot

Carthew Summit


Pearl Necklace


Winter Sun

Custer 1

Custer 2






Bear Grass

Hansen's ranch

The Prow

Remember, when voting for your favorite image, you can not vote for your own picture (honesty appreciated).
Voting will be closed on Friday May 6th. The winner gets a free rock climbing guidebook for the Waterton Area.

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