Sunday, December 4, 2011

Trophy Wall

Almost a month ago, just after our Zion trip, Lisi and I planned to climb something on the Trophy Wall. We packed our gear the night before, but contrary to the forecast, temperatures in Canmore at 7 a.m. showed a way too warm +11 degrees with the wind threatening to uncover the roof of my house and blow it towards Exshaw. After a long breakfast, fruitlessly discussing alternative options, we decided to go for the hike anyways. If nothing else, Lisi would get to see the approach trail and we get some fresh air and exercise in. We used bikes for the dry golf course road and barely had to pedal with the wind in our back. The warm weather made me (unfortunately not my partner) strip down to my last layer an soon we arrived at the base of our goal, with little intentions to actually climb it. After a closer look with no visible running water and other climbing parties, it was hard to argue against "not giving it a go".
It's always amazing how different the Trophy wall forms each year, and how regularly you can climb there already early season. We initially wanted to climb the Replicant (center line) since it had not been climbed yet this season and appeared to be relatively fat. At the base I realized that I forgot my helmet (what else is new), so we decided to go for the Terminator (left line). At least from below it looked like that this climb had more sheltered belays to offer than it's neighbor to the right.
First pitch was surprisingly easy, the few rock moves are protected by 2 bolts and one pin, and the overhanging pillar is short and offers plenty of no hand stances, like it often is the case with mushroom features. The wind was annoyingly strong, but it was warm and the belays at least were sheltered from wind and falling ice, which were both plentiful.
Lisi arriving on the first belay and leading out the "false" amazing second pitch (below). This pitch uses a cool ice ramp out left and was really a variation between the Replicant and Terminator that avoids the continuos steep pillar of the latter. We later named it the "Termi-Cant", unbeknownst to Lisi what the second syllable might stand for.
The holy tree on the approach, just before the scrambly rock steps under 'ten years after'. I always give him a hug on the way by for good luck, so far it seems to work.

1 comment:

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