Tuesday, October 30, 2007

First Ice!

I postponed my trip to the lodge for one day in order to get a chance to touch some ice with Marc P. Our initial plan was to climb a fairly easy route up high in the Stanley Valley, just the right thing to do when you have not touched ice in a long time. Just before the parking lot of Stanley we spotted a line of ice on the Storm creek headwall. We took or chances and went for the 2.5 hour approach, which was covered in 5cm of new snow, and in places not a lot of fun. Unfortunatly the ice was thinner than expected, specially in the lower part of the 2 parallel lines we had spotted. We gave the right hand line a shot (picture), but I had to retread from this great line way too early, due to the lack of protection and self confidence. Hopefully we have a chance in the future to give it a try in fatter conditions (or bigger balls).

Friday, October 26, 2007

Columbia Valley ...and beyond

What a wonderful drive home from the lodge. After a good hour on the 52km logging road you have to cross the Columbia Wetlands, which are not so wet anymore in the fall. Everytime I go to and fro the Bobbie Burns for work, which is actually about 30 times a year and about 15000km, I get a chance to drive through this beautyful landscape. I think one day I might get off road due to the amazing visual distractions!

A couple of hours later I witnessed the full moon rising above Banff on Mt. Girouard. I was always surprised how such a big and dominant peak, perfectly in your face on the highway east bound and right out of town, is soo little known. I bet you if you ask ten random people on Banff Main Street, one might know. The peak is with it's 2963m also the second highest peak visible from Banff! And now, who knows the highest?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


As noted in my last post, I thought the rock climbing is over for me this year. Today I got another chance to go out though, and with Marc Hammer we settled for a last (again!) multi pitch on Yam. The forecast was for sunny all day and +18, but in the parking lot it was really windy and overcast though. With little hope we hiked upwards, no real goal in mind, the wind at least eased off a little by the time we reached the base of the cliff. Now our mind was set on "Unforgiven", a new route from Andy G., which is supposed to be very worthwile. I really liked the route, consistend climbing in the low 11s and quite steep for Yam. Excellent rock from the first to the last pitch. Although I have outmost respect from the first ascentionists, I was a little disappointed in the style the route was outfitted. The route info on Tabvar from Andy suggests a "light" full rack of cams to 3.5 and a set of microcams and a med. set of wires. We thought this was way too much gear, all you really need is a set of wiers and a few cams. There were a lot of bolts placed right beside perfect gear placements, and some in fairly easy terrain. I would assume that if you can climb 5.11, then you should be quite comfy 2 meters above a bolt in 5.8 terrain.
But again, this should not come across as a negative comment, we had a great day on "Unforgiven" and thanks for all the effort those guys put into multi pitch sport climbing every year, so us lazy bastards can enjoy a challenging, but safe day out in the mountains.
and it's almost a full moon outside!

Monday, October 15, 2007

finally back in the Ghost

Today I had a chance to go climbing to the South Ghost with Marc P. It was the first time in the summer in oneandahalf years for me, that time I had a good day in the North Ghost with Jay on a route called "good night New Orleans". This time we settled for the "old" classic "Dreams of Verdon"on the massive Wild West Wall, a seven pitch bolted line rated 11+. Maybe we were out of shape, or it's just not our style of climbing, but we both found the rating a bit stiff. Nevertheless we had a super day, not a cloud in the sky, no other soul in the Valley (which was surprising since it's Turkeyweekend!), and back for dinner with the kids. Maybe the last day for touching rock this year for me, I got to go to the Lodge again tomorrow, and the temps are supposed to drop, like they usually do at this time of the year.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

fall at the Bobbie Burns

I love this time of the year, the colours are changing and the hectic of the summer season is history. It snowed here yesterday, but this morning the snow line is already up at 1700m. Let's get the Lodge ready for the ski season, there is still a lot to do!