Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ice Conditions: Arterial Spurt (Nov 25)

Climbed Arterial Spurt today with 3 amateur leaders from the ACC (Al, Al and Bill). It is in excellent shape with zero snow on the approach and nicely hooked and stepped ice. Typically very thin, this year it is thick enough to accept 13cm and 16cm screws. It is 3 main pitches of narrow runnel climbing but has a couple easy WI1 sections in between. Bring 2 60m ropes for the rappels off.

Approach beta: Park at the "official" Heart Creek parking area. Follow the Trans-Canada hiking trail west (towards Canmore) for 30m to the dry creek bed. Hike up this for approx 5 minutes to a cairn where you move left into the forest on a trail. This trail is followed steeply up the spur boradering the left margin of the gully. Where it flattens out you will get a good view of the route. Continue following the trail which leads up a treed spur away from the climb. Near the top follow game trails right contouring into the base of the route.

Ice Conditions: Haffner Creek (Nov 24)

Haffner is super lean on ice for this time of the year. We had an ACC group in there yesterday (Nov 24) and could only set ropes up on 2 ice routes. The right-side ice of the main wall is a narrow hooked-out pillar while the left-side ice in the alcove is very wet and chandeliered. Mixed climbing is good but expect less ice on them than usual. Half n'Half has a very thin sheet. Shagadelic has nothing. Half a Gronk is good but bring a 10cm screw for the top. Swank has no ice but can be easily climbed without.

The anchor situation has changed this year since parks cut down all the burnt trees along the rim. There are various new bolt anchors from the past few seasons that you can use or try to make V-thread anchors in the ice near the lip of the routes.

Ice Conditions: Anorexia Nervosa (Nov 21)

Guided Anorexia Nervosa on Wednesday, Nov 21. A fresh skiff of snow (3cm) made the talus / scree valley approach stumbly. The climb itself is fat thus NOT living up to its namesake. The first pitch has lots of good hooks and takes 16cm screws. We broke the final tier into 2 pitches so as not to bomb the belay with ice. The final pillar also offered perfectly spaced hooks. Cold day with a temp of -9 at 1pm. All 3 of us enjoyed the full experience of "screaming barfies" in various appendages. My feet suffered through them 3 times.

Weathering Heights is also fat but is wet so not a good for cold days unless you like cables for ropes.

Malignant Mushrooms is not in nor is Aquarius.

Wicked Wanda looks big from the parking lot.

Nice clear-cuts near the Big Hill. Feels strange that driving across a creek is bad but de-forestation is perfectly fine.