Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ice Conditions: Haffner Creek (Dec 13 & 14)

The ice was voicing dissatisfaction with the Arctic weather at Haffner Creek the last two days. All day groans and pops were emanating from the pillars and daggers. Surprisingly, nothing spontaneously broke but a few of the snapping sounds were loud enough to make us think they were close to coming down on there own. We refrained from climbing anything that was not well supported and hooked out. It is worth the reminder that sub -30 C temperatures are not ideal for ice climbing. The ice is very cold resulting in fragile pillars and brittle bulges that are primed to explode. Definitely avoid hanging out under and climbing on free-hanging icicles and skinny free-standing pillars (even on top-rope).

On a different note, I was surprised to see the T2 dagger on the Trophy Wall on Mount Rundle was still in one piece. I was certain this cold snap would snap the pillar. Also, I was shocked to see that Sea of Vapours is formed (or should I say forming). A Few days ago there was no hint of ice above Postscriptum and now there is a silver streak snaking down the entire corner, albeit very thin looking.

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