Monday, November 16, 2009

General Ice Conditions

I just spent the past seven days straight guiding ice. Early season ice climbing is always a challenge due to the fact that psyche and conditions are typically at opposite ends of the continuum: psyche high, conditions variable. Having said that, I really enjoy November ice. Usually very little snow on the approaches, wet ice and minimal avi hazard all contribute to make it a special time of the winter. The ACC Banff Ice Camp was a success. For five days, we attacked the new ice and managed a good variety of climbing styles from sport mixed to pure drytooling to classic WI4 multi-pitch ice. The next two days were private mixed guiding at haffner Creek and up Rogans Gully. Normally an easy WI2, Rogans offers fun scrappy traditional mixed climbing at this time of the year. It has an alpine feel grovelling up the narrow gully and is currently in M4 WI3 condition. The following photos give an idea of conditions encountered. Routes/areas we did include: King Creek, Bow Falls, The Playground, Haffner Creek, Hidden Dragon and Rogans Gully.

photo: Hidden Dragon

photo: Haffner Creek

photo: Bow Falls

photo: King Creek

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