Friday, May 29, 2009
Another sunny day in the Bow Valley and probably beyond. Derek and myself took advantage of it and went for the first time to the Coliseum this year. There we got treated not only with great climbing in an intimidating surrounding, but also with some amazing light from mid day on. The cause of this was a forest fire on the far side of Spray Lakes, about 50km away from us behind a 3000 meter high mountain range. The smoke it caused dimmed the sharp light of the sun into late sunset colours for the whole afternoon. There were even pieces of ashes falling down the sky, and back at the car the windshield was covered in gray dust.
It was good to be back at the Coliseum after one and a half year of my absence there. I always wanted to go up there again, but it is amazing how hard it is to find climbers to go with you. The area is right above Canmore and you can reach it with a 2 min car drive and a good hour hike, which is actually shorter and less strenuous then going to Bataan. The Setting of the upper wall, aka "Saddle Up Area", is truly fantastic and unique for a sport climbing area. 45m long routes start out on an already airy scree ledge, and the scenery is sugarcoated with a 50m waterfall, which is fed by the melt water of a huge snow bowl below the summit of Grotto Mountain. Why is nobody ever up there?