Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ice Skills Clinic

After a great Ice Skills Week, I was joined by another great group of guys for a 2 days Ice Skills Clinic.  Again I had met all three of them before so knew it would be a fun weekend with Mark, Chris, & Steven!

Saturday we headed into Haffner Creek and as usual got pumped silly on the steep ice & mixed routes.  It was a good chance for everyone to work on both movement techniques, and leading skills like placing screws and building anchors. 
 Steven leading on The Water Hole.

The next day we went to The Water Hole and a couple of fun pitches above.  Since two of the guys had already done some leading in the past, they were able to lead us up the first two pitches of climbing and did a great job.  Above we climbed the same thin ice pitch that I had done earlier in the week, but instead of scrambling around to the side we set up a toprope on a short but steep mixed corner which ended up being really cool climbing.  So far this season The Water Hole has provided a lot of variety for a roadside route! 

Chris taking his turn leading on The Water Hole.

 On Monday, Chris stayed for a day of multi pitch climbing so we drove out to Field to check out some steep ice.  Pilsner Pillar looked to be in great shape so we decided to give it a go.  The climb was really sweet and involved some steep climbing on variable ice with lots of stemming onto the rock.  Chris had never been on a WI6 before but didn't seem to have any problems and was able to follow me up it in no time!  Since it was still early in the day, we headed across to Carlesbourg Column for some more climbing.  The first two easier pitches went smoothly, but the main upper part of the route was mostly pouring with water.  I made it part way up the edge of the ice but after 15 meters with no useful screws decided to call it a day.  Despite not making it up Carlesbourg we still managed to get lots of good climbing into the day and were psyched! 

Pilsner Pillar in great shape!

J. Mills
CRAG Head Guide

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