Jo and Steve

I had the wonderful opportunity to get out for 4 days again with Jo and Steve during their holiday here in the Rockies. This was their 4th year coming out ice climbing and this time we really had some great weather!

Day one, we headed to Haffner Creek to get the arms and legs swinging again. Didn’t take them long to find the groove and we each probably climbed at least 8 laps! Sadly though we did leave a tad earlier then we might have wanted to. A group of people were trying ice climbing for the first time and decided to do this leading! Needless to say, despite some friendly attempts from many other climbers, this group persisted to do the most crazy and dangerous things, clipping into their tools with daisy chains, choking up on their tools, while placing screws above their heads. After a couple upside down whippers of narrowly missing their heads, most people decided to leave the canyon. I hope everyone was fine the rest of the day, but I really didn’t want Steve, Jo, or myself to have to witness an accident that could make the thought of ice climbing the next day a very bad one.

The next day, avi hazard was high. We decided to try Louise Falls since they hadn’t climbed it before. We were surprised but thrilled to find ourselves second in line with no one else behind us all day! The climb was in great shape and the pillar fat.

Leaving the cave can always be a bit of an adventure, lots of exposure, lots of air under your crampons and usually leads one to question why the hell they left the comfort of the big ledge they were just standing on!

Steve and Jo did great and we all enjoyed a great otter slide down back to the main trail.

We enjoyed a New Years day off, and got out again on the 2nd. Once again avi hazard seemed a little suspect for some of the objectives we were hoping to do, so we opted for Coire Dubh, which was also new for them. I also hadn’t been on it in years, so it was a fun adventure. We could see headlamps up high on the route as we left the car and we knew that some early birds were well on their way! We only wanted to climb the ice and the first rock pitch so we weren’t in a big hurry.

The day was gorgeous and we had great views of the foothills and Yamnuska. On route we ran into a few other friendly climbers, all having a great day in the mountains. As we headed back to the car we were warmly greeted by my buddy Sylvain and his friends. These were the headlamps we saw earlier on the route. They sailed up and down the route and were enjoying a restful afternoon in the van. Always great to run into friends in the mountains and back at the parking lot! Hope you guys had a great day on Red Mans the next day!

We had one more day left and with the still iffy conditions we decided to head back to Evan Thomas Creek for Moonlight. The first year we did Chantilly and the second year, Snowline, so we still had Moonlight to tick off! We had a very early start, knowing that getting there after another party kind of has you waiting a long time. We were definitely the first there, and this time all the “Bourne” trees had been removed off the roadway so I didn’t feel lost and boobie trapped like I had last time I was there!

The route was in great shape. I would have liked to break the first pitch up in two, but there didn’t feel like a great place for 3 people to camp out anywhere in the first 60 meters, so we did a long pitch. Plastic ice and great climbing for our last day. Sure enough a group of 6 other climbers were at the base not too long after we arrived, so I was happy with our early start time. They recognized our pink Sterling Ion Rope as they had been on Coire Dubh the day before as well! Small world…but a super friendly one!

Thanks Steve and Jo for another great trip and for trusting me with your hard earned vacation time! Every year you improve so much in such a short time! Looking forward to next year:)


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