Field in February

What a great weekend! A group of 7 motivated women, one amazing camp manager, and 4 hard working guides enjoyed 4 days of ice climbing in and around the Field area. This year I thought I would book the Fireweed Hostel. I had seen it on the web and it looked great…truth is…it ended up being WONDERFUL. I highly recommend this place and wish I could use it for all my camps! A true gem in a mecca of a climbing area. I booked the whole hostel, so we had ample room and quickly made ourselves at home.

The first day we started out by getting the rust off in Haffner. Half the group however had already been getting after it this season, so it was fun to watch these women show their skills. A beautiful day in Haffner had us climbing lots of ice and few fun pitches of mixed. Its always a challenge to not go toooo hard the first day, but the knowledge of 3 more days of multipitching had us heading to the hostel with still a bit of energy to spare.

John Freeman joined us that evening and gave the most thorough and useful tool sharpening clinic. Everyone packed their bags with smiles knowing that they would be swinging newly tuned tools the following morning.

The next morning John took Mary Ann and Andrea to Super Bok, a long sustained grade 5. I went with Claire and Maria to the classic grade 5 Carlsberg and Jaime, Michele and Merrie-Beth enjoyed the day on Guinness. That night we shared stories and enjoyed Sonja’s mega home cooked lasagna. Soooo good!

The next day Sonja, LeeAnne and Gery headed to Super Bok, Maria and Claire headed to Masseys with John and Jaime and Michele conquered Carlsberg with myself. Mary Ann and Andrea headed off to Pretty Nuts with Merrie-Beth. Once again, great weather in the valley. Mostly cloudy while on our climbs, but when we got down, we were blessed with amazing sun a real rarity in Field, and 2 days in a row! Watching these women charge up these challenging routes, I was so inspired! Carlsberg and Super Bok were likely most of the women’s first grade 5 climbs and they were no give aways that’s for sure! Pretty impressive!

I think the best comment came from Gery over the radio while climbing Super Bok with Sonja and LeeAnne. “We almost got pulled over by the mountain police, these girls are speeding up this route”.

Once again, the crew reconvened at the Fireweed and enjoyed another memorable meal a la Sonja! The official BEST camp manager ever…chocolate fondue? Homemade Carrot cake? Chicken curry??? No one went to bed hungry that is for sure!!

Well, the 4th morning is always a little rough. Everyone is getting pretty tired, but of course, we all still want to make the most of every day and so off we went bright and early. Today was only Kris and I so the ratios were 1:3 for the women who wanted to do some leading. Kris went with Michele, Claire and Mary Ann to climb Silk Tassle…which can only be climbed in LOW avi hazard, so that was a nice tick! The group enjoyed this long 60 meter pitch and then Mary Ann and Kris also climbed the first pitch of Masseys! Andrea, Maria and Jaime went with myself to Green Gully to work on their leading. All three of them did some fine leads despite the very sun baked ice. I was like a proud mother hen…:) We froze in the shade but when the sun came out, it was down right hot and time to get out of there!

We reconvened at the Truffle Pigs and shared our stories from the day and gave each other farewell hugs. Till next year…looking forward already!

Once again, a HUGE THANK YOU to Outdoor Research for supporting these women’s courses with amazing jackets!

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