Sunday, March 8, 2009

Busy Week of Ice Climbing!

Had a very busy and enjoyable week of guiding!

It started off with an introductory ice course at King Creek and The Wedge Smear out in Kananaskis country on the weekend. Couldn't have asked for better weather with temps around zero degrees and nice soft ice.

Top-roping and learning to ice climb at King Creek.

Monday to Thursday I worked for Rockies Ice Specialists with a really fun guest from the UK. We climbed at Haffner Creek on day 1 and did most of the ice lines in there plus a bit of mixed climbing. On day 2 we climbed Chantilly Falls (WI3, 80m), 2Low4Zero (WI4, 5.7X, 100m), and Snowline (WI4, 100m). Day 3 we headed out to the Weeping Wall and climbed the Right Hand Side route. The main corner on the crux pitch was wet so we took a very steep line to the right which offered great sustained WI5 climbing. For our finale we headed into Whiteman Falls(WI6, 90m) and climbed it in cold conditions. It has become a bit harder than it was earlier in the season but is still in great shape. Near the top, water is visible flowing behind the vertical tube of ice you are climbing on and is a very unique feature.

On the 1st pitch of the Weeping Wall

At the same time this was going on, I had a group of 9 from the Canadian Armed Forces doing 3 days of ice climbing training. For this I brought in two other guides, Mike A & Paddy J, as well as a practicum assistant, Jen K. They had a great few days at Haffner Creek, King Creek, and the Canmore Junkyards. Everyone climbed a ton and learned lots of great skills!

To cap off the week I had one more day at King Creek with 6 beginners learning to ice climb and they were a very enthusiastic group which made it alot of fun.

J. Mills
CRAG Owner & Head Guide

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