Sunday, March 11, 2007

Ice Conditions: Wedge Smear (Mar 11)

It was a warm, wet day at Wedge Smear in Kananaskis Country (March 11). At 1:30pm at 1760m at the climb, it was +7 C. Light rain was falling all afternoon. Now in Canmore this evening, it is a steady moderate rain. Feels more like late-April than mid-March. Despite these unseasonal weather conditions, the ice was blue and plastic without as much surface water dripping as one might expect. The flow is wide offering a variety of WI3 to WI4 lines to climb. Of the three bolted mixed routes on the right side, only the M8+ is climbable as the other 2 (the M5 and M7) are formed over with ice. The M7 could be climbed but you can cheat by stemming off ice the whole way. With High to Extreme avalanche hazard forecasted, an avalanche free zone, like Wedge Smear, is the only game in town. Please stay far away from any climbs that have even the slightest bit of open snow above them until the weather turns more seasonal and snow stability improves.

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