Friday, March 9, 2007

Ice Conditions: Louise Falls (Mar 9)

Brian and I climbed Louise Falls this morning (March 9). Temperatures were more seasonal at Lake Louise with a -4.5 C at 8am at the base of the climb. The ice was dry but well pocked with lots of hooking and stepping. The pillar is in easy shape due to the amount of traffic it has seen and is no harder than WI4. The are some big ugly hanging daggers fringing the roof on either side of the pillar. If one of these decided to snap, it would be game over if you happen to be climbing beneath them. Therefore, find sheltered belays off to the sides and avoid spending too much time under them. The far right or far left margin of the lower apron often feels less exposed but today the safest line on the lower half appeared to be right up the middle since there it is only the fully-formed pillar above you and not the big icicles that threaten the sides. The walk off is well packed out and offers straight forward cramponing on hard packed snow.

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