Friday, November 20, 2009
Since Marc had done the Sliver before, I was given the lead on this gem. Similar (i.e. narrow and thin) to our warm-up but definitely steeper and more technical. Lots of hooking in a body-wide column with a bit of a roof near the end of the difficulties. Despite a fragile appearance, the ice is well bonded and accepted 13 and 16cm screws. The three V-threads scattered up the pitch gave it a sport climbing feel (well, not quite).
Burning and Drowning also look good and we brought the rock gear for it but time was running out with our late start and me having to be back for movie night at Noah's school.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
OK, here you go. This is a photo of an almost-formed, unclimbed, single-pitch, WI 6 pillar. By now, I am guessing this never-before-climbed feature is actually touching down. It was close last week and judging by the amount of dripping, it was still growing. It eagerly awaits the gentle touch of a very skilled climber (if your last name is Lacelle, that would help). Figure out where it is and go do it. Too sketchy for me! Being a slender, free-standing pillar, your first screw placement will have to wait until about 25 metres up once you are above where it attaches to the rock--essentially a free solo. In total, this pitch will be about 60 metres long. It is pretty rare these days to find virgin pure ice routes so go snag the first ascent of it. She won't be a virgin for long; unless it gets cold soon and it collapses. Who will be the first?
Monday, October 26, 2009
Tried to guide ice last weekend too but the warm temperatures had destroyed most of it so we enjoyed some drytooling at the Playground.
photo: Nemesis (left) and Suffer machine (right)
photo: Thriller Cave (left) and Sinus Gully (right). Ice Cannibal is located behind these routes to the left of the visible serac band.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
photo: Black Diamond Neve crampons with gerry-rigged zap straps to make them smaller
Thursday, October 8, 2009
From the ACC website:
For those people who aren’t satisfied with being a spectator in life - why not cap off your weekend at the Banff Mountain Film Festival with some early season climbing with ice and mixed climbing legend Sean Isaac ?
Based out of Canmore the camp will kick off your ice climbing season with some instruction and a whole lot of climbing. This 5-day camp is made up of four days of ice and mixed climbing outside with an optional day in the middle to give you a chance to sharpen your skills at the indoor climbing gym or rest up your arms to “giv’er” for the last 2 days. Sean and Camp Manager Nancy Hansen will expand the awareness and repertoire of intermediate to experienced ice climbers by exposing you to the opportunities, potential and satisfaction of early-season climbing. A few of the many potential objectives include ice and mixed routes on Mount Rundle, the Stanley Headwall, Ranger Creek, Grotto Mountain and the Ghost Wilderness.Turn inspiration into action - this is your chance to LIVE what you saw on the big screen over the weekend.
It is official. I am now a fully certified ACMG Alpine guide, which means I can guide anything climbing related including rock, ice and alpine. I never have to do another course or exam if I don't want to (but I probably will in order to become a ski guide and thus a international mountain guide....). I began the process in 2005 and the sailing was smooth until my full alpine exam last summer. Despite my marking card not adding up to a fail (by the definition in the course outline), I was failed. Confused, I sought counsel from friends who used to be examiners and they agreed it did not make sense. I appealled my mark (a long and wearisome affair that has its own pitfalls) and was awarded a re-test (cost of which covered by the ACMG and TRU) on the day-in-question. They gave me two days out of which only the best day was counted (both days were all P's anyways). That replaced the screwed up day on my marking card. Ironically, with the new marking scheme, I could have messed up both days (got a bunch of M's and F's) and still passed. Essentially, a contrived hoop to leap through. On the positive side, it was a solid two days out with a knowledgeable and respected examiner/mountain guide where I received excellent feedback and coaching at no cost to me. Still a little bitter? Yes. Glad it is over? Definitely!