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SneakySix

Rockies in the winter?

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me and a friend are planning a 3 week visit to the Canadian Rockies in the winter of 2006, were both novice mountaineers, ie some glacier travel, crampon work, etc. Neither of us have ice climbed before, and were wanting to find some spots we can top rope and practice, anybody have any good suggestions for peaks we can bag that arent to technical in the winter? Or any good spots we can practice some ice climbing? And for that matter, any good places to camp..... in the middle of the Canadian winter...

 

Thanks

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Your primary consideration will be the cold and avalache hazard: it can be really really cold in the Canadian Rockies in winter, and the cold will seriously affect any decisions you make wrt climbing standard mountaineering routes. The av hazard will be probably be unlike anything you've encountered in the PNW.

 

If its warm enough and not activly dumping snow, perhaps the easiest non-technical route logisitically would be the N Glacier route on Athabasca, which is a simple snow and scree slog fairly close to the parking lot, not too terribly av prone. Its short enough for you to manage it in a day, even in winter, however its also a very cold spot (Sunwapta Pass), so dress accordingly!

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Rockies mountaineering is much more pleasant in the summer, but something like Athabasca might be fun in the winter. I'd suggest that you focus on ice climbing. At the end of three weeks you'll be running up grade 3's, and most likely be comfortable leading easy 4's.

 

Camp if your budget demands it, but do yourself a favour and spend a few nights at the ACC Clubhouse in Canmore or the Alpine Centre in Lake Louise. Great places to dry out your gear, get updates on conditions and meet other climbers.

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me and a friend are planning a 3 week visit to the Canadian Rockies in the winter of 2006

Please report back as to which partner killed the other. For full effect you should be sure to camp out for all of the trip and never visit a restaurant. You'll be clawin at each others' throats after two days rockband.gif

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