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TrogdortheBurninator

[TR] Banff - - Assorted 1/16/2006

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Climb: Banff - -Assorted

 

Date of Climb: 1/16/2006

 

Trip Report:

With conditions in Lillooet looking exceedingly grim, I searched the internet for cheaper fares to colder locales. I came across last minute tickets and three nights lodging in Canmore for $380. Seemed like a pretty good deal so I searched out partners. Via a mass email, Tomtom expressed interest in heading out. After a few phone calls we purchased the last minute tickets and flew out friday night. The car rental lady gave us a free upgrade to the ultimate climbing mobile, the PT Cruiser!

Banff-%20Jan%202006%20005.jpg

On saturday we drove out the icefields parkway hoping to climb something on the Weeping Wall. About 10km from the wall, a ranger waved us down and said that avalanche hazard was through the roof and they would be doing control work in the vicinity of the wall. We were pretty surprised given that the book says avalanche hazard is virtually non-existant, but perhaps these were unusual circumstances. After turning around, we ran into a guided group talking to the same ranger. The guides said the had punched a trail up to Balfour Creek wall the day before and that it was safe from avalanches. Not wanting to spend the whole day driving around, we took them up on their recommendation. This is a pretty great cragging area with a bunch of leadable and TRable lines ranging from 2+ to 4ish.

Banff-%20Jan%202006%20019.jpg

We climbed six lines in total, then called it a day. After stopping for dinner in Banff, we headed back to our hotel for an early night. Asking around town, there was an overwhelming concensus to avoid avalanche terrain. We talked about checking out Hafner or Johnston, but decided to try Louise Falls instead. I climbed a shortened first pitch a few weeks ago, so I was excited to climb a little higher. The route was great, with lots of variety and some difficult climbing. I lead the first pitch up a slightly steeper line than last time, but with slightly better ice.

 

Tom put up a great lead on the picked out but still challenging crux pillar.

Banff-%20Jan%202006%20028.jpg

While belaying, the rockies drove home the point just how bad avy cnditions were.

Banff-%20Jan%202006%20032.jpg

In about two hours, eight different slides cut loose, with the biggest covering the entire lake in a cloud of snow taller than the falls.

Banff-%20Jan%202006%20034.jpg

 

According to some other climbers they saw a party on Cascade, which is a very frightening thought.

 

I tried to lead the top out ice, but got sketched on a nervous looking traverse. I lowered back to the belay and Tom took over, tensioning the traverse and showing some nice climbing up the final steep step.

 

Thanks to some info from some friendly Canadians at Louise Falls, we headed into Evan-Thomas creek this morning before flying out. Avy danger was low and the climbs are very high quality. We arrived at the base of Moonlight and Snowline with one guided party in line ahead of us. According to the guide, the climbs were quite a bit fatter than usual. The other party was headed for Moonlight, so not wanting to climb the thin looking WI 3 on the right, we decided to climb Snowline. This was another beautiful climb. Tom started with a great 59.9m lead up to a prominent ledge. I climbed up but realized after a while that my left crampon was only attached by the backup strap with both the heel lever and toe bail disengaged. Rather than fuss on the climb, I decided to make due and fix things at the belay. Fixing the crampon on the steep ground was challenging, however eventually we got it back in place. I lead the 2nd pitch which had a fairly challenging step before easing off near the top.

 

Banff-%20Jan%202006%20046.jpg

 

Banff-%20Jan%202006%20047.jpg

 

 

Approach Notes:

Evan-Thoas creek trailhead is actually 20km from the info booth, not 16km as stated in the guide.

 

Avy danger is crazy right now, be safe if you head up there.

Edited by TrogdortheBurninator

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Great trip with Jason. Turns out we had matching outfits for this trip. More pics:

 

Jason leading on Balfour wall

 

1621TB_Balfour.jpg

 

Jason leading the first pitch of Louise Falls

 

1621TB_Louise.jpg

 

Jason climbing Snowline on the pitch that never ends.

 

1621TB_Snowline.jpg

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Nice work guys. I just got back last night from Banff. We did Louise Falls & Finishing Hammer on Saturday. I fractured a slope while walking off Louise hellno3d.gif I was roped to Sam fortunately, but wallowing through chest deep powder as it fractures is scary stuff... Then on sunday we did Hers (which is detached and kind of scary) and grotto (easy) a few times along with some mixed stuff. Yesterday we hit Haffner on the way home. too bad about the avy hazard, but there's so much to do there that even in 'bad' conditions things are pretty sweet. thumbs_up.gif

 

It's also too bad we didn't catch up since we had red jackets and black pants too. too funny.

 

if anyone else is heading up there, let me know since I might be there...

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Nice Kurt. We rapped Louise Falls instead of walking off to avoid any extra avy hazard. We thought about hitting up haffner, but figured it'd be pretty busy and we wanted to climb something a little longer. Evan-thomas was pretty awesome, I'd highly recommend the area if you get out there soon while it is still in fat. I agree, there is always something fun to climb up there, even if weather/avy/ice conditions arent perfect.

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I'm headed there this weekend and need region beta.

Anybody know of a good online road map of the area? Maybe it's time to hit up AAA.

I've never been there so I'm just playing it by ear.

 

I'm taking the wife up there to be tourists but will be packing the gear "just in case" (that's the story I'm telling her anyway). What is a good road to drive to see the sights and "accidently" find some easy stuff to go boulder out on?

 

Thanks for any info, and pretty sweet pics! thumbs_up.gif

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Nice Pictures. Makes me want to get the rust off my ice tools. That's a long drive for just a weekend ?

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that's the only thing it's good for. 4 hours is nothing anymore. Pullman is within driving distance to everything. far from anything, but close to everything. for example:

Tetons - 10 hours

Banff/Bozeman - 7.5 hours

Smith - 6 hours

Sawtooths - 6 hours (I think, it's been a while)

Devil's Tower - 18 hours

Cody - 12 hours

Needles, SD - 20ish hours

Wallowas, OR - 2.5 hours (a saving grace!)

 

the fact that there is no cragging of mention within 1.5 hours kind of cancels all of that out.

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dude, I drove past world class rock climbing just behind the dorms yesterday... and I saw ice formed there in early december. Pullman is the best kept secret of washington climbing!!

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For anyone who is interested in conditions. It has been warm here the last week. It is currently snowing hard. Besides that, on average the climbs are a little thinner than usual. Weeping Wall L is a little thin but the right hand side is fat. Shades of Beauty is in good shap. Haffner...is Haffner. Meltout is in good shap. a nice easy 3. Lady Killer in Golden is in hard shap. Really sun baked. The upper pitch has a huge crack running acrossed it. Really hard route for only a 3. Going into the Ghost tomorrow and will have more conditions info. As a general note, it looks like there is still a lot of snow in the Parkway area. Canmore and K country had less. The Moonshine area is not as fat as last year, but still pretty fat.

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Over the last 4 days took a marathon drive with the wife up to Banff and the ice fields parkway.

Looks to be some fun possibilities from place to place. Since I've never been there before, can't say how it stacks up to other years, but the locals kept saying "jeez, it's warm, eh?" so maybe a lot of the better shit has fallen? Anyway, just to give you an idea of some of the areas that we saw...

 

Weeping wall (saw a couple guys hitting it; looked sweet) -

6214Picture_083-med.jpg

http://www.cascadeclimbers.com/plab/showphoto.php?photo=16098&size=big&sort=1&cat=500

 

From Numti Jah Lodge. Note the two lines on either side of the hanging glacier in the distance. Saw several people coming from this area. Don't know any route details, but looked promissing from a distance -

6214Picture_041-med.jpg

http://www.cascadeclimbers.com/plab/showphoto.php?photo=16097&size=big&sort=1&cat=500

 

Lots of shorter climbs right off the road at Tangle creek/falls. I really wanted to get the gear out in this area for some solo fun, but we were on a tight schedule.

Note my sorry ass for scale on the first blob right off the road (keep in mind that I stand 17 feet tall for what that's worth! smirk.gif )

6214102_4707-med.jpg

http://www.cascadeclimbers.com/plab/showphoto.php?photo=16096&size=big&sort=1&cat=500

A taller section at Tangle creek was up a short distance above the preceeding picture. I bet this area was really fun and it looked fat!

Here is Tangle creek area -

6214Picture_119-med.jpg

http://www.cascadeclimbers.com/plab/showphoto.php?photo=16100&size=big&sort=1&cat=500

 

 

A long, continuous line could also be found right out of Banff. Saw a dood out on it, as well (no pics).

 

 

Avy conditions weren't bad (didn't see any cut loose and slight accumulations). The roads were lightly packed to dry.

Totally mind blowing area; go for the climbing, stay for the scenery! yellaf.gif

6214Picture_097-med.jpg

http://www.cascadeclimbers.com/plab/showphoto.php?photo=16101&size=big&sort=1&cat=500

 

 

Next time I'll have to plan the time better since I was on such a tight ass schedule I couldn't do shit! madgo_ron.gifmadgo_ron.gifmadgo_ron.gif

I'll also have to buy a god damn book so I can find out what the rest of the areas were that I saw.

 

Go get some!

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Your Num ti jah one is Bow Falls

The other one near Banff is Cascade Falls

Tangle Falls is the big one in the trees. The thing you are standing next to is not considered to need a name or grade. You must have been super psyched to take a photo of that laugh.gif

 

Funny driving report. Maybe someone from the Rockies will come down to WA and post up "I saw this big volcano just outside town. Looked really good but I don't know its name" yellaf.gif

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The thing you are standing next to is not considered to need a name or grade. You must have been super psyched to take a photo of that laugh.gif

Funny driving report. Maybe someone from the Rockies will come down to WA and post up "I saw this big volcano just outside town. Looked really good but I don't know its name" yellaf.gif

 

Huh. That almost sounds like sarcasm. rolleyes.gif

I'm trying to contribute; what are you doing?

 

Anyway, for the rest... use it for what you will.

For Dru... the_finger.gif

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