Thursday, August 11, 2011

Floe Lake Rockwall (IV, 5.9)

Last week I took advantage of the nice weather & headed into the Floe Lake Rockwall in Kootenay National Park for some climbing with Eammon Walsh, Steve Holeczi, and Raphael Slawinski. The route we chose was the seldom climbed Grassman Spohr route which is described in the Selected Alpine Climbs guidebook. It turned out that the rock was pretty nasty (loose!), but it was a fun adventure in a very cool area.

The Floe Lake Rockwall. The route starts under the snowpatch in the middle of the picture, then follows the left leaning ridge feature to the top.

We hiked in the afternoon beforehand and spent a nice night at the lake. In the morning we started early and were soon at the first (and crux) pitch. We climbed as two teams, with me and Steve climbing one way through the crux band, and Eammon and Raph climbing another. Above the snowpatch we climbed the same line throughout. Most of the route consisted on low 5th class rock, but was frequently loose and insecure. The descent involves a long and challenging ridge traverse to a col between the Rockwall and Mt. Foster, and then some rappels & downclimbing back to the lake. Overall it was an exciting day but I can't say I'd recommend the route due to excessive loose rock.

Steve leading one of the steeper sections about half way up.

Steve on one of the highlights of the route, an extremely exposed knife-edged traverse. Floe Lake below.

Back at the lake after a very tedious descent.

J. Mills
CRAG Head Guide

No comments:

Post a Comment