Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Chinook's Suck

Just thought I'd rant about the recent weather. Anyone know the elevation that freezing is at? I'm sure the regular south facing aspects are going to get beat up pretty bad with the +10 temps.

Also of note, the Banff Film Festival will be at the Lethbridge Public Library. It is being held on January 4 & 5th at 7:00pm, unfortunately tickets were sold out in three days, the first show was almost sold out in an hour or two. As in other years, people might be hawking a few tickets at the door.


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.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Chinook Hikers

Trevor sent me some information on the Chinook outdoor club based in Lethbridge. They don't have a website, but I thought I would post the relevant information here. If anyone has questions, hopefully one of the members can chirp in.

CHINOOK OUTDOOR CLUB : general information

Regular monthly meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month,
September through April, at 7:30 p.m. at the Helen Schuler Coulee Center
in the river bottom, north of Fort Whoop Up, Lethbridge. No meetings
during the summer months. There is a short business meeting, followed by
a slide presentation.

Please register with the coordinator of the outing between 5:00 and 8:00
p.m. on the evening before the trip. To facilitate car pooling, please
arrive at the meeting place 5 - 10 minutes before the scheduled
departure time. If it is your first Chinook Outdoor Club outing, please
ask the coordinator about car pooling arrangements.

All distances are round-trip. Elevation gains and distances are
approximate. Scheduled trips may be changed because of weather
conditions, and may become more difficult.

Whether hiking or skiing, come prepared with adequate waterproof boots
and warm clothing (e.g., touque, mitts, fleece jacket, anorak, long
undies, waterproof overpants). Bring a lunch and adequate fluids (e.g.
hot tea, water). Please check with the coordinator to see whether any
other gear is needed (e.g. ice axe, avalanche shovel, skins, transceiver).

Reminder: In the interest of safety, stay together as a group with your

Non members must sign a Guest Waiver/Membership form before leaving the
town point of departure for a trip. If you need blank waiver forms,
contact Lucie Linhart (329-8324). Please turn in trip logs to Barbara

For information about becoming a member of the Chinook Outdoor Club,
please call Lucie Linhart at 329-8324 or email:

- Soccer Centre: Parking lot south-east of building (access via 28
Street S.).
- University of Lethbridge (U. of L.): northwest corner of Far West
parking lot, next to service buildings (near Printing)

Destination: Ski somewhere in Waterton
Leader: Barbara Dickinson
Elev gain: moderate
Dist: Moderate
Dept: 8:00am Soccer Center

Barbara would really love to ski to Forum Ridge/Lake, but will settle for the best snow available, likely a tour to Wall or Summit Lakes.

Sunday, December 18
Destination: Join ron for a truly binding ski experience, Waterton
Leader: Ron Renwick 328-9594
Elev gain: 1300ft
Dist: 10km
Dept: 8:00am Soccer Center

Ron plans on touring/telemarking in the Summit lake area in lots of fresh, light powder, so don't miss out on this truly binding experience!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Crowsnest Report

N face Chinook (october 05)

I got the chance to go home to the Pass this weekend, all climbing plans on Friday were put on hold due to frozen water pipes in the shanty. Saturday we checked out the Gold creek climbs, which are a group of short pillars that line the side of the creek, there are also a few short falls on the creek themselves but the pools at the bottom of the pitches were open and flowing. A great place to bring a beginner. We also checked out Brian Bell sized which is on the bottom of Sentry mountain, it's a 30 -40 meter grade 2 which is usually quite thin and gives the calves a good pump. The three climbs on the west face of the Seven Sisters are in but the quality of the climbs was too hard to tell from my view point. Watch the avi hazzard on the approach and from above on those climbs. The three routes on the north face of Chinook peak have sublimated into thin streaks and there doesn't seem to be too much snow above or below them, so I dont' think the skiing in that area would be too great. We then drove up Corbin road all the way to the coal mine to check out the ski touring areas, their are lots of sled tracks on the old logging roads but not really enough for great skiing. There is a small gully filled with ice next to the Welcome To Sparwood sign it has some fun climbing for beginners, it's about 60 -70 m in length and feature very fun crazy looking ice.
Sunday on our way back to Lethbridge way stopped at Sleepy Hollow which is a little grade 2 on the 940, it is located in between km24 and km25. Stop at a pull out next to a gaurd rail and look down. either rap from trees at the top or walk around on the left or right. A really great place to bring the coleman stove, hot dogs and beer.
Chris M

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Quick & Dirty Dec. 10

Dave and i climbed Quick & Dirty Saturday. It's in pretty good shape although there still seemed to be quite a bit of brittle ice left over from the cold snap. French Kiss is in good shape but there was quite a few missiles coming off from somewhere above it so we stayed away from it. Pillar Des Putain is still a free standing icicle and Pearl Necklace i believe is still to thin to lead. When the sun came around and started to shine right on the ice and the warm temps we were experiencing, we decided to get out of there which was about 12:30. Hopefully it will survive this warm spell.
We headed up to the gates at Cameron Lake, put our skis on and headed for the ridge between Forum and Wall Lakes figuring we be able to bag some turns. The east aspect of the ridge has been scoured by the wind leaving what snow's there crossloaded with a nice wind slab but we did manage to get some fun turns in the trees on a north aspect. Although it probably came close, there was no melting at the gates so the freeze line must have been somewhere between Quick & Dirty and the gates. Hopefully it's still freezing good at night and hopefully we get some more snow soon!!
Only saw one person all day. Another reason why Waterton has to be the one of the crown jewels of North America.......

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Drywood Conditions

Brett weisser and I headed into the North Drywood last Saturday. Both Fluffy and the Gasser were in, Fluffy being far too wet to climb despite the minus 20 temperatures. Brett lead the left hand side of the Gasser on very nice wettish ice. The top of the climb was very thin and rocky so we stopped about ten feet from the top. I lost a screw on the way down some how so if any one finds a blue handled express around there, I'll trade it back for a case of beer. We drove down to Waterton on our way home and checked out the Cameron Lake road climbs. QD ampitheater was looking thin but it will probably be awesome this weekend, Experts Choice was thin and mean looking but all there, the Warden gullies and slab climb were covered in snow and Kill Akisha Kill was looking skinny but doable. I get to go back to the pass and check out our ice out there this weekend and I will send in a report on monday.
Chris M

Friday, December 02, 2005

Conditions Dec 2

Lots of fresh fluffy powder is in the townsite. We got another 2 inches last night, making a good foot and a half on the ground. It is quite light and should make for great turns.

Looking at Crandell, Kill Aisha looks pretty thin. The bottom pillar looks body sized. The right gully really isn't in at the bottom. The top looks thin. The left gully is hard to access. At any rate the ice should be quite plated due to the cold snap. I haven't seen QD and Expert's. I would imagine that they are both still too thin.

I was just up the Cameron Highway. QD is fully touched down, but looks quite difficult. The middle route of Expert's looks the best formed. QUite steep for the first pitch though. The left hand route is hard to say if it is formed all the way down. Usually the first pitch can be quite thin when it looks like it does now from the road. The routes between QD and Expert's are almost formed. The right hand one, Midnight Curfue (or Malboro Cowboy?) has the bottom pillar formed. Topping out the pillar could be tough, but the upper main pitch certainly is in.

Things are still quite cold though. My pick would be a ski tour up to Summit lake, down the big open bowl to the left (east) and come out boundary bay.

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