Friday, March 16, 2007

Ice Conditions: Carlsberg Column (Mar 16)

I climbed Carlsberg Column today (March 16) with Richard Hunter. The access road is still open, or at least it was today. They seem to keep putting off the closure. They are doing logging work near the beginning of the road but were allowing vehicular traffic through.

Carlsberg is in its usual big blue condition; however, it has not seen as much traffic as usual (probably due to the fact that many people think the road has been closed) so it requires a lot more swinging and less hooking. Use caution on the 3rd class approach/descent. Last weeks avalanche cycle combined with recent cold temperatures has made the snow surface very hard. A small slip traversing across the slopes could easily turn into a tumble (with major consequence).

Of note, when rappelling from the small tree on top, it is very easy to get the knot stuck at the lip. This has happened twice this season to me. The solution is to rappel to the lip then feed the rope so the knot is beyond the troublesome lip. With 60m double ropes, this leaves just enough on the ground. Both times, I pulled the ropes from way over to the right and used a small tree to set a 3-to-1 Z-pull (with my ATC-Guide and Tibloc) to pull the rope.

From the road, Pilsner Pillar looked fat but has a brown streak down it which is probably a ruminant of the heavy rains last weekend. Guinness Gully is still big and fat and had two parties on it today.

The weather today in Field was more wintry than the Bow Valley with temperatures maxing out just below zero and snowing lightly all day.

1 comment:

Thomas said...

Great blog, Sean, thanks. Hey, any chance you got a glimps of conditions of Pilsner and Kronenbourg? Thx. Schnugg