Thursday, March 30, 2006

Easter Break Ideas 1

UTAH CHRISTMAS 2005-06 179
Originally uploaded by cgoble72.

Hopefully I will get around to including some suggestions for good easter trips. For those lucky enough to have the week off, my pick would be Southern Utah.

The climbing in Moab is great, even if it does take a while to get used to the sandy rock. Objectives like Castleton Towers are always on everyone's objectives, however most people end up getting as much sandstone as they can handle at Wall Street. However my pick is canyoneering.

Goblin valley has some nice introductory slot canyons. The Little Wild Horse / Bell Canyon loop is deservedly the most popular. Escalante has a number ofnice harder canyons. I believe spooky gulch was one I tried before. The escalante guidebook is essential.

While down there, consider taking a trip down Westwater. There is lots of flatwater kayaking for a couple of short rapids. However the views are fantastic. Watch out though, the ranger service is about as anal on regulations as one can be.

For closer trips, I love making it over the passes towards Butte. The Missouri river is quite picturesque. I am planning on hitting it this year. The weather is warmer, and the granite rock climbing just east of town is actually pretty good. Also the valleys east of Helena are pretty. However there will probably still be a bit of snow up there.

Another option are the Lochsa area hotsprings kayaking, and climbing.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Northern Lights

It appears that we may have some clear nights to enjoy aurora borealis. It is no surprise that aurora are showing up now. A solar wind stream hit Earth in mid-March, sparking a geomagnetic storm over the northern part of our continent. Plus, as we enter the spring Equinox, history tells us this is one of the best times of the year to view aurora.

Here are a couple of websites that may help:

For those in the Park, one of the better places to view the lights is on the dock in front of the Warden compound. It gives a clear view of the sky, and doesn't have as much light as the townsite. The Marquis hole is also great if you wander over to the lake shore. Some of the old native sights up on the prairie by Red Rock should also be good.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Q & D

Brett and i climbed Quick & Dirty Sunday which is still in good shape but the top is thinning out. Tried to do a line up between French kiss and the Pillar but the ice was very sun affected and i ended up backing off. Once it warms up this weekend i suspect it will start falling down. Pearl Necklace is in but looks as tough as i've ever seen it. The mixed route on the right is still in good shape.
Did anybody get out and enjoy some of that powder that fell Saturday nite?? I figure there was about 40 cm of nice dry powder just begging to be shredded. This working for a living sure sucks!!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Summit Lake

Saturday Brett and I skied into Summit Lake and climbed Franklin's Motel and Levi's Ankle. The ice was stellar. The fattest i've ever seen it. Both are in grade 3ish conditions.

Levi's Ankle & Franklin Motel

To get there you drive up the Cameron Lake road to the gates. You then ski/snowshoe to Cameron Lake and then follow the tourist trail up the east side of Cameron Lake to Summit Lake. Once your at Summit lake you head over to the south east end ot the lake and follow the drainage down for about 300m. You'll know when your close to the falls because the approach becomes very steep. Kick your ski's off, wade carefully down to the lip, set up a rap off one of the trees and drop down into the ampitheatre. It's about a 35m rap.
The skiing in there is generally pretty good off Summit Knob and Saturday was excellent skiing on very well consolidated snow. Makes for a fun day.......bag some ice, bag some turns. Makes coming back to work Monday all the harder.


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Quick & Dirty Conditions

All the climbs by Quick and Dirty are in good shape. The mixed route to the right of quick and dirty is in the best condition I've ever seen it. It looks like it would protect with a couple of screws in the bottom section and rock gear through the middle, the top curtain looks good and thick. It's out of my leading capabilities but not for some. Also, I started a bolt hole on the first anchor station on French Kiss and then realized I had forgot a wrench, I will try to finish it before the end of the season.


Friday, March 10, 2006

Weekend Wonder


It looks like a gorgeous day in the park. We had about an inch of snow Thursday night, probably more up high. Right now things are looking beautiful. There is no wind, enough snow to ski, and the ice conditions look great.

Cameron Boat Rentals

For anyone interested in submitting a proposal for running the boat rentals this summer, the park is now accepting applications. If anyone is interested I can post the contact information. Last year the paddle boats were removed because they were getting stranded too often. I am assuming it is the same today.


A few people may remember the trade waste pit found at the top of the embankment on the Red Rock highway. It used to be a prime location for bear spotting back in the 60's and 70's. It really hasn't been used for the last decade (funny how a locked gate does that. The park is finally reclaiming the land there.


I believe Pearl's is renting out the restaurant again if anyone is interested in running a coffee shop or something similar in the park. The building is still up for sale. For the price it is probably the best way to purchase a large house in the park.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Crowsnest Ice Conditions

Great weekend for ice climbing in the Crowsnest Pass, Good warm weather and no wind! On saturday Rob King and I checked out Gold creek and Star Creek Falls, we would have found harder objectives but Rob's seven month old son Leo was pretty keen on the grade 2's. Gold creek is open and running, making the crossing a little sketchy for the little pillars on the west side of the creek. Star creek falls is the same as always, lots of ice on the sides and running water in the middle.
Sunday Aaron Hemphill, Rob King and I skinned up to the ice on the west side of the seven sisters, all three lines were in and in really good shape. Our group climbed the Left hand line and the middle line(can't remember the names), lots of fun and the ski out was great.
Chris M

R. King Schralping the pow below the seven sister climbs Middle route (below)

most righter hand route

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Nordegg Tri - Ice - Athon

Last sunday was the sixth annual Tri-Ice-Athon in Nordegg. This fun orientated ice fest is geared more towards the improvement of beginer climbers and everyone having fun, than the honoring of the cool guy pro. Three man made walls are used during saturday, all featuring different challenges and exercises. The events are scored on amount of heart put into the climb, more then the technical ability of the climber. Saturday evening was a swim suit climbing comp which was taken very seriously once the Arc'teryx coats used as prizes were unvieled. The competitors who were chosen for the finals on Sunday meet out at the cline river gallery and gave it their all on a scary looking WI4+ route, afterwards climbing clinics were held by some industry big wigs and everyone enjoyed hot chocolate and smokies.
Check out for more info
Chris M

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