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Ken and Tim Beuwolf, Super Bok, Fang and Fist and Silk Tassle
23rd Feb 2012Posted in: Blog 0
Ken and Tim Beuwolf, Super Bok, Fang and Fist and Silk Tassle

Another great trip….Ken and Tim have been coming to the Canadian Rockies on 4 day ice climbing trips for 8 years now…and the last 4 I have been fortunate enough to be a part of.  Admittedly finding new routes every year for these guys is getting hard!  We were blessed this year though, with low avi hazard, and easy Ghost access which really opened the door for some good options!

We decided for our warm up day to head into the Ghost and climb Beuwolf.  This is such a classic climb.  Beautiful canyon, lots of fun steps and 2 longer grade 4 pitches.  Pretty stellar!

There was a dry line the whole way up the climb, but it was still impossible to keep the ropes dry.  By the end of the day we had 2 pretty heavy squeegies running through our belay devices. I’m always impressed with these guys.

They haven’t touched their crampons and tools in an entire year, but right away they make small work of each pitch.

The next day we headed to Field and decided to climb Super Bok, a beautiful long Grade 5 that has a bit of an alpine feel.  Luckily John had put the trail in last weekend during our Field camp, so we had something to follow!  Without that, things would have taken quite a bit longer!  It was a bit of an ominous weather day, with low fog and consistent snow fall.  The first pitch is pretty cool, as you climb under a rock arch!

After this pitch, there is some walking to the last 2 pitches. The grade 4 pitch was harder then I expected, being a bit hollower and steeper then it looked.

The final pitch was awesome, a 60m grade 5 pitch that had lots of variety.

We were psyched on the day, on the climb, and enjoyed great snacks back at the car!

Wisely, these guys know that climbing 4 days in a row is hard…and they are on a vacation, so day 3 was a day of rest.  I managed to squeeze in a few turns at Norquay with some fresh snow, and sleep ins were had by all:)

Our 3rd day of climbing, we thought we would venture to Fang and Fist.  I had spoken to someone who climbed it recently and he warned me of the first pitch, that it is pretty hollow and spicy feeling.  I was nervous about this, but we had a back up plan if I didn’t want to lead it.  We would do Chilkoot Passage.  It was a loong drive to Malamute basin, the farthest place you can drive in the ghost.  We were the first and only ones driving in that morning on fresh snow and the feeling of being quite deep in the wilderness was apparent as we drove over the river bed numerous times.

The hike in was gorgeous and when we first spotted the climb it was stunning!  I hadn’t climbed this route since the early 2000’s and it was much fatter then.  Looking at the first pitch, I had my doubts…I was aware that I would be soloing, but I felt confident in my abilities.

Still, it took a lot of deep breathes and slow movement.  The guys did great on this pitch and soon we were all hunkered in the cave of the second pitch.  This pillar didn’t look very long, but it was very hollow sounding, gongy, and required a delicate touch still.  Still a bit heady! Once again the guys did great, a pumpy pitch and they had to remove a bunch of screws.

The final pitch still looked steep, but once again didn’t look as long as it was in reality. What was great though, was the the sun just started to hit the last few meters of this last pitch, making for some warm temps!

We high fived and headed back down.  Always fun to look at the climb again on the way down. Give you a different perspective!  Not sure this climb will last much longer, but feel fortunate to have been able to climb it.

The final day, the guys needed to get back to Calgary so we started early and did a quick hit on Silk Tassle.  This route has major avalanche hazard, so it is a nice tick when conditions are right.  Today was that day, but we still started early and got off it early, giving it the respect it deserved!

A great, long and sustained grade 4 that is close to 60 meters in length.  Great views from the top and fun butt slides back down to the car. We all were very happy with our 4 days of climbing.  Once again four new routes, and next year we will break the 30 route marker.

Not too many people, even those that live in Canmore and climb ice a lot during the year have climbed as many different routes as these guys.  It is a big accomplishment. They always come motivated and see it through to the end.  Looking forward to next year already..and hoping for another great low snow year and warm temps!!!

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