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Drop your cocks and grab your socks. CAN ice is in

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Canada ice is in. Had Weeping Wall to ourselves yesterday. Urs Hole the day before. IceIceBaby lives and breathes ice, leading WI5, and *really* wants to get out there again (hint). He has beta and photos. Go there before avy danger becomes a problem. Cascade Falls, Bridal Veil Falls both in and phat. The list goes on, but it's everywhere.

Dru, your fellow canucks are very nice people, eh. Seriously. thumbs_up.gif

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I need to learn how to better copy and paste. Retyping this stuff is tedious, so here's a copied version (warning, lengthy TR for all who hate them):

 

Went up yonder to Banff this past weekend. Those Canadians are really nice people. Three Vets on 6th and Yukon in Vancouver sells a double-burner propane stove for $40 Canadian if you forget to bring one. The list goes on... they all drive FAST on that Highway 1, 80mph can be slow in comparison. They have the BEST sunflower seeds, Spitz. Banff and Canmore had the cheapest gas outside of Vancouver at .709/liter.

"The Waddington Guide" by Don Serl, Elaho Publishing ISBN 0968247253 www.elaho.ca

This is the best guidebook I've ever seen. You'll drool with awe at all the inspiring photos on a very remote range of peaks.

Ice was in darned near everywhere in Canada. We even spotted a three or four pitch huge frozen waterfall at exit 129 on Hwy 1 in CA. That's 129 kilometers from Vancouver, essentially four hours away from Seattle! Further up the road there was climbable ice near the tollbooth on Hwy 5. I'd suggest parking near one of those holes-in-the-divider "emergency vehicles only" so you can avoid paying the toll when you get done climbing for the day.

Tons more ice near Rogers Pass and by the four avy tunnels on Hwy 1 headed to Banff. In fact, the ice near the tunnels has approaches of five minutes for a few of them! There is legal parking nearby. The time to do these is now before the avy danger becomes high.

Kicking Horse appeared to be thin, but everywhere else we saw thick and phat ice. Cascade Falls outside of Banff was a popular area and Urs Hole was getting into shape with a few climbers on it. The Icefields Parkway had oodles of fat ice everywhere. We pretty much had the Weeping Wall to ourselves on Saturday, a party of two had left four or so hours before us. Bridal Veil Falls was huge and fat. Car camping was had at the rest stop outside Banff, Weeping Wall parking lot, and Bridal Veil Falls parking lot with no disturbances nor visits by the warden.

Valhalla Outfitters in Canmore has a "current conditions" book for local ice routes, effectively the climbers "word of mouth" for route conditions. They also sell that Waddington book and everything else you could need for your climbing/hiking needs. Charlet Moser Quarks for $275Can. Those things are sweet.

Weeping Wall has a rappel anchor in the center rock exactly 60m up. This was our rappel when I chickened out after I heard of the impending crux 5 pitch as being next. I assume WI# is the same as #, so a 4 is WI4. Two pitches of 4 was good enough for me. The ice had varying conditions for what we climbed. That chandelier ice was a bit of a pain to go up. I used my regular crampons, Grivel 2F, for Urs Hole and then IceIceBaby's unknown brand monopoints for Weeping Wall. I was so pumped from the exposure and such on Weeping Wall, I'm not sure if the monos were any better or not. While I was getting better with tool swings and hooks into existing holes, I had trouble trusting my feet on vertical ice. Also, I didn't quite get the whole hand-foot synchronization thing worked out for efficiently and effectively moving up the ice. As it was, IIB yelled out on the second pitch, "Quit having sex with the ice and hurry up and climb!" I guess my grunts were a bit loud rolleyes.gif I finished off on some funky horizontal cracks in the ice on a rising traverse through a water shower to the belay. Nothing quite as humbling as making moves while getting drenched!

The weather was awesome the whole time we were there. Cold of course, but nonetheless great. Spectacular, actually, as we had a full moon out with nary a cloud in the whole sky. The temp was around 40 I'd guesstimate for Saturday with virtually no wind and still no clouds. This made the climbing a little harder as the day progressed, plus all hell was cutting loose as ice and rock started letting go with the warm temps. Putting a backup on the rope would have been smart as there were some chunks coming down that could've easily knocked me out (or hurt like hell) when I was belaying.

 

After Weeping Wall, we headed up north to Jasper. The scenery was excellent. We had dinner, gassed up and then headed back down to the Bridal Veil Falls parking lot to car camp. Chess helped the night progress, the dark hours are long up there. Putting your sleeping pad on the floorboard is a trick he showed me, it sure did help out quite a bit for the feet.

I awoke early Sunday realizing I'd better get back to Seattle to study for this wonderful accounting class if I wanted to pass the class. It's so easy to slack when climbing enters the brain. It was a pretty cheap trip with the big expenses mainly being gas, book, and stove. I brought almost all my food from Fred Meyers, which was nice. I should've brought more doughnuts as the stuff I brought to cook never got around to being cooked. It was cold enough outside just getting the water warmed. The huge chocolate bars were nice. My windshield got a huge crack in it from the defrosting each morning, plus I got a couple of nice stars in it from rocks on the road frown.gif

Of course the border patrol flagged our car to be searched on the return. At least some of the BP folks in Blaine were nice. Estrada either wasn't in a good mood or was on a power trip... either way, it was kind of funny thinking about how disgusted he must've been searching through a ton of empty sunflower shells on the floor of the car smirk.gif Those Spitz were good. At least I got a smirk in reply when I told him how good those sunflower seeds were, when he gave me the car keys back. Which was better than the trying-to-look-intimidating stare I got which prompted me to tell him to smile, wherein I got the, "You got a problem?" response. rolleyes.gif I felt like that Sutherland character in that WWII movie (Hogan's Heroes?)... "You gotta stop with those negative vibes, man." Or something like that. Then this old BP guy came out from behind the two-way mirror and all was cool.

All in all a nice trip. Get up there before the avy danger becomes high. There was still only a light dusting/coating of snow. Sun Peaks near Kamloops isn't in yet. $10 toll on Hwy 5 but it's like the autobahn in Germany as I guess there is no state patrol in Canada. Near Hope, Kamloops and then close to Vancouver we saw patrol vehicles, but only on the Hwy as it went through these cities/towns.

There was a weather front moving in as we were leaving.

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Cool TR.

 

Any thoughts anyone on if Trans Candanda highway 1 is quicker then cutting over to Spokane and then north?

 

One guy told me he made it to Banff in 9 hours during winter from Seattle (without much speeding). Was he pulling my leg?

 

Also would it be quicker during this time of year to cut north from Spokane or continue about 30 miles east on i-90 before cutting north?

 

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Your huge frozen waterfall at exit 129 is called Elk Falls and is unclimbed due to private property issues at the base. Also it wasn't in last week, still had a huge open gusher in the center.

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If you're going to bank through Spokane, it is better to continue on into Idaho and take 95 north to the border. The drive north from Spokane to Sandpoint takes almost wice as long.

 

Of course, if you want to shop in Spokane, Mountain Goat and Mountain Gear are both on the way North through Spokane. Support our local shops

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Jens said:

Any thoughts anyone on if Trans Candanda highway 1 is quicker then cutting over to Spokane and then north?

 

1 is slower than I-90 unless you are headed to Jasper.

 

One guy told me he made it to Banff in 9 hours during winter from Seattle (without much speeding). Was he pulling my leg?

 

Maybe from the border, but not from Seattle. I think I've done it in 10, but only very late at night, no truck traffic, with alot of speeding and great road conditions.

 

I've done the trip via 1 about 10-12 times now, and via I-90 twice, and I think 90 is faster to Banff by about an hour and a half/2 hours. Plus not having to go over Rogers Pass in inclement weather is a big plus for the Southern route, if you need to decide during periods of winter weather.

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plus driving i-90 thru idaho you can park at the base of gib wall and then be in golden/banff right b4 dinner.

 

 

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Jens said:

Cool TR.

 

Any thoughts anyone on if Trans Candanda highway 1 is quicker then cutting over to Spokane and then north?

 

One guy told me he made it to Banff in 9 hours during winter from Seattle (without much speeding). Was he pulling my leg?

 

Also would it be quicker during this time of year to cut north from Spokane or continue about 30 miles east on i-90 before cutting north?

 

Yes, he was BSing or has a bad memory. Me and a climbing partner did the trip from banff back to Seattle last year traveling in the middle of the night (read: no traffic) with heavy amounts of speeding. It took us a shade over 9 hours. There were large sections of I-90 through eastern WA where we going fast enough to get you arrested. 9 hours with minimal speeding is BS.

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