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Dru

I'm having Fun

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Climbed South Ridge of Gimli yesterday. good sandbag at 5.8. off to the Rockies now. smile.gif

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Dru, you coming to Bellingham next Friday for some Elsinores and a round of BEERHUNTER! , then a quick rasher of back bacon in the AM before some climbing stateside?

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On Thursday i did Kain Route on Mt. louis. fun fun. Friday sat around Canmore drinking coffee & reading Petzl catalogue. saturday went to kelowna , it rained. sunday went to squamish, & rode rollercoaster at Pne for first time. monday did laundry. back at work today frown.gif

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Dru,

We're thinking along the same lines. We did Gimli on Thursday. Thanks also for your sandbagging assessment - one route description I saw called it 5.9 which is closer to my experience. Gimli is amazingly aesthetic with great rock. The first pitch is intersting and continuous. I kept thinking I was over the crux only to be confronted with another one. In between the two crux pitches are lots of stretches of 5.6ish unprotected face climbing. When it looked bad I checked around the corner either to the left of right and usually found easier going. The upper crux would maybe be 5.8 now that I've done it, but finding the jugs on the overhang was intersting. I don't know if being 6'3" was to my advantage on the overhang.

Friday, we hiked into Mulvey Basin to do Gladsheim and Aasgard. Saturday, after getting rained on all night, we hiked to base of Gladsheim only to have the skies open up again, so beat a retreat, packed up and headed back to the car. I'll post some photos later, but Mulvey Basin is amazing.

Terry

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Terry are you stalking me? how come you are on all the routes I'm on? The s ridge of gimli was originally rated 5.7 in 1974!!! it is burly. i figured about every other move on 1st pitch was 5.8 and placed something like 15 pieces and ended up making a station out of wire racking biners. 3rd pitch was cool, I went right and found and overhanging flake hand traverse near the top of the pitch!! loved that blind flapping reach round the roof at the top of pitch 6 or 7.

you didn't by any chance find a BD nut tool below the roof did you? fern dropped hers there...

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Dru,

Yeah I used a lot of pro in the first pitch. I used more hexes and stopper on the route than cams. I also started laughing when I "went right underneath the roof to a stance" and found a blank table top. It's funny when you read too much into a route description. There wasn't much to set up a belay there. Even though I'm not much of a face climber I enjoyed the blank sections between cracks.

Sorry, no BD nut tool. I did find a couple of fixed pins in handy places though.

Where you going next?

Terry

 

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yeah you go right under that roof and then have the hardest moves of the pitch up the next crack to reach the first belay. so much for thinking 'just this move asnd then its over'.

i'm not telling you where i'm going next but it involves erik and borbon.

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TRIP REPORT FOR GIMLI

(the one for Louis iscoming)

Last week of August – the long awaited Road Trip was on. Fern and I stuffed my newly acquired Subaru wagon full of gear and headed East for some ‘Subaru Alpinism’ namely whatever we could climb from the comfort of the car or possibly by an overnight trip as a last resort. Destination one was Nelson and Valhalla Provincial Park, specifically the south ridge of Mt. Gimli, a four star IV, 5.8 reportedly one of the best alpine climbs of its grade in Canada.

On Sunday the 26th, we pulled into Mulvey Meadows trailhead at the end of the Bannock Burn logging road and headed up the trail to Gimli in advance of a large party of Army climbers and their guides. It was the Communications Regiment – I guess they were going to practice yelling “On Belay – Belay On” and similar mountain communications (yodelling?). Anyway, we arrived at the foot of Gimli after a two hour approach hike to find the south ridge festooned with other parties – at least three of them. The upper two parties were trucking along but the lowest party (of three) was well set up on the first pitch. It took the leader an hour to get the belay set up. Then the second climber began climbing – he made it a few meters up, fell off, sucked the slack out of the system and decked. The third climber gave it a try – same result. Fern and I realised we would not get much done if we decided to try and do the route today so we elected to mosey over to Nisleheim Peak, nearby. As we passed the toe of the ridge I suggested to the two climbers still on the ground that they try the easy face on the left as a start to the route rather than the overhanging corner they were experiencing so much difficulty with.

Fern and I wandered across to Nisleheim and under its south face. Fern scrambled the west ridge and I wandered up the southwest ridge (class 4-5) under the impression it was going to be easier than it was. On top, we soaked up the sun and eyed preposterous (for us) possibilities on the highly impressive west face of Gimli and on the many granite walls and buttresses ringing Mulvey Basin. Without a guidebook we were free to try and spot obvious lines instead of trying to make our expectations of what we should see agree with what we were seeing.

After a few hours we decided to head back out to the car. On our way back across under the south face of Nisleheim we met a party of two climbers coming the other way – a mother and child, decked out in matching white wool outfits, clip-clopping over scree and sliding down snow patches – two goats, actually. When we reached the base of the south ridge of Gimli we found the slow party pulling their ropes, having elected to descend after completing two pitches in 5 hours. “It just wasn’t our day,” said one of the members as we passed.

We spent Monday hanging out in Nelson, buying guidebooks, drinking coffee, buying topo maps, buying trashy paperbacks at the used bookstore, and drinking more coffee. We visited CIC Slabs but got lost and ended up sport rappelling down someone’s 12a project. A visit to Slocan Bluffs was what was needed and we did a route or two in the afternoon. It was damn hot. I went for a swim in the lake and a huge trout swam right up to me but flicked its tail and left before I could catch it and brain it on a rock for dinner – I didn’t have a fishing license anyway.

Tuesday morning saw us arise not so bright and early after a late night rain storm had passed through. By the time we slowly ate breakfast, racked up, and hiked in, the stone had dried and it was 11 AM. Fortunately the Army was heading out and no one else was in the area. I was designated leader and prepared for the first pitch which I had previously climbed two years before on an attempt with Fred B.

“Hmmm this is harder than I thought…” I remembered all the stemming and wide crack work but not the unrelenting nature of this pitch. Originally rated 5.7 it still feels like a sandbag at 5.8. I grunted up and under the roof to where I had previously belayed but this time decided to go a few feet higher to a better stance with a huge webbing station. Another unexpected crux! “Oh you are gonna like this one – it just keeps coming at you!” I said to Fern while building an anchor out of nut racking biners – all I had left after placing 15 pieces of gear on the pitch, including doubles of all the hand sized cams and large (1.5-3) TriCams. A set of hexes would have worked also.

After seconding the first pitch Fern decided to delegate the leading of the next pitch to me as well. This actually turned out to be pleasant 5.6-5.7on large blocky holds to the top of a prominent pinnacle. From the pinnacle Fern set out on the third pitch only to be confronted by a very confusing move a few feet off from the belay. Eventually I was coerced into leading this pitch as well and found it to be no give-away. There are slings out left and I had seen parties climb out that way but I was forced to move right right onto the arete. After a long sequence of “is this the right way” moves I ended up in a steep dihedral from which a short overhanging flake with bomber fingerlock jugs got me to the next obvious belay stance and I realised I had actually been on route the whole time. This pitch was also “good value” for 5.8.

I led the next pitch as well (a long 5.6) and Fern led the pitch after that (even more 5.6) after which I led yet another pitch of 5.6 to a great ledge underneath a short dihedral at the top of which lay the “Crux Roof” mentioned in the guidebook. From the ledge it didn’t look all that bad – “Oh yeah, no problem”. I led off. Getting to the roof was no problem but the traverse left underneath it was quite problematic. I tried two or three different ways, climbing back don to a good rest each time, before finally working out a few odd undercling moves. A big stretch left and a blind reach around the lip of the roof let me grab the big “Thank God Hold” jug that I had been hoping for and I swung around to easier ground, continuing to another stance. Fern had a fun time cleaning this pitch (I am 6’ and she is 5’3”ish, and I was milking my reach to full advantage)and actually had to back-aid to take out some of my most inventive placements, dropping her nut tool in the process.

From above the roof, a pitch of 5.4ish slabs, and two more pitches of scrambling (10pitches now if you are counting) took us to the south peak of Gimli, with its east face overhanging slightly and resembling a cresting wave about to break. It had taken us 7 hours up and it was now past 6PM. We didn’t tarry, but hurried over to the main summit and began downclimbing the east ridge. There was a bit of easy class 4 at the top (no need to rappel) phasing into class 3 scrambling and then class 2 steep hiking as we descended. The ridge drops down into the talus basin below the east face of the peak and the lower sections of the descent involve loose dirt and scree intermixed with boulder fields. We cut around to the trail below Gimli in time to se the sunset and then hiked out to the car in the dark. It actually only took us about two and a half hours from the summit back to the car, and the moon was so bright we did not need headlamps to walk out.

The smell of scorched rubber drifting up from my brakes was enough to keep me awake as I piloted the Subrau back down through the steep switchbacks on the logging road to Slocan. Finally after two years of waiting and wanting I had climbed the south ridge of Gimli. This is definitely one of the best alpine climbs I have ever done. I would quibble a bit with the guidebook description – III, 5.8+ seems more accurate than IV, 5.8. Others have suggested YDS grades as high as 5.10a for the route but considering it was originally graded 5.7 I think keeping a bit of a sandbag in place on the numbers seems appropriate. Definitely recommended.

[This message has been edited by Dru (edited 09-11-2001).]

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Nice work. Now let's hear the next report.

Let's hear about the Ninja Tiger Arete! That looks fun.

[This message has been edited by Cpt.Caveman (edited 09-11-2001).]

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The NTA trip report is at http://bivouac.com/mtn/TripPg.asp?rq=TripPg&TripId=48

Its a pretty good route on an unfrequented mountain. Only disadvantages are the views (if you like clearcuts...) and the fact that the first pitch, the crux, is pretty much unprotected 5.8 slab. but you might be able to find a harder and better start on the left or climb higher up the snow on the right and avoid that pitch, so...

Here is a picture too. The route goes up by the waterfall to the snowpatch, left to the arete and up the arete to the top, basically. About 12 pitches of which 6-7 were 5th class.

374_NinjaTiger.jpg

[This message has been edited by Dru (edited 09-11-2001).]

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I think Whillans is jamming on me because i dont get off work til three (If i slope out early) and he has to meet his ex-girl at 5 to drink beer.

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Here is the Mt.Louis/Kain Route TR (chest beating):

Fern and I had arrived in the Rockies the previous evening. After a sleepless night in Wapiti campground listening to Quebec skids playing metal covers of Celine Dion on their van stereo, cranked all the way up, at 3AM, we finally decided to hit the road about the time the sun rose. Soon we were pulling in to Fireside picnic ground and heading up the Edith Pass trail following the directions given in Sean Dougherty’s Rockies climbing bible. It was hard to tell what time it was as my body was on Rockies time but my watch was still on BC time. I couldn’t tell if I was fast or slow!

Hiking past the impressive east faces of the Mt. Edith peaks I came to the turnoff to Mt. Louis and Gargoyle Valley and took it. Soon after Fern arrived at the junction and took the other path. After about an hour an empty feeling behind me saw me sit down and wait. Meanwhile Fern retraced her steps and saw the telltale 5.10 tread pattern heading up the other fork. She caught up and we wandered over to Gargoyle Valley – wow! The huge pinnacle of Louis poked up into the clear Alberta sky. It was hard to believe the route we were going to follow was mostly 4th and easy 5th class, looking at it from the ground.

With all the time wasting it was about 11 AM when we started up the route. We scrambled up steps of steep, somewhat loose rock for a while following a trail of rappel webbing wrapped around every bush and blade of grass imaginable. Obviously lots of people back off this route. Finally we hit the wall referenced in the text and roped up. I led out up a “5.4” pitch up a watergroove/chimney thingy. There are several adjacent ones to try – I went up the right one. Difficult for 5.4, I probably should have gone left. After putting in a cam behind a loose flake I ran it out 25m to the anchors – another slung bush. Nice. It turned out we were too far right so the next pitch traversed across the middle of an loose slab to a rubble gully and up to the next tree. Fortunately the trees were just perfectly spaced about 55m apart on this portion of the climb. When Fern arrived at the belay ( I was leading all the pitches because I had forgotten my helmet and didn’t want to be below a climber on rock this loose) we had a big discussion about whether to bail or not. Certainly we could have (the rock was not great and it was already almost noon), but I had been wanting to climb Louis for 10 years, and we would have had to come back to the same point sooner or later… we accepted the possibility of a bivi and pressed on.

A few more loose pitches traversing ledges got us to the south east arete which the route climbs. The next few pitches featured exposed climbing up this arete, on mostly low angle and somewhat loose terrain. Ah, the joys of Rockies climbing. I was glad I had climbed at Marble Canyon because there is not much else loose limestone around the Coast to play on and prepare oneself for the Rockies.

The SE arete butts up against a headwall about 2/3 of the way up the mountain. Here one makes an odd traverse onto the south face by downclimbing or rappelling a gully for 25m, followed by an odd sideways traverse across several rock ribs and gullies. The traverse does not ascend as much as you think it does… I had to downclimb to a lower ledge in the middle after following a trail of sucker holds that moved around a corner and dead-ended in the middle of a blank limestone slab. Fortunately this pitch reassures you that you are on route by giving you a bolted belay at the end… bolts! Fantastic! While I was belaying Fern the wind snatched my brand new hat and carried it far away down the south face. I consoled myself by thinking of a brood of ravens raising their young in it. It was just the right size to make a good nest.

From the bolted belay the route climbs up a series of gullies and ribs for three pitches. Dougherty suggests “move left to a solid rib” and in fact you move left out of a gully onto a rib, left into another gully, and left again onto another rib. The ‘wrong’ rib has a huge nest of back-off slings not visible from below, a bit further up it, which you can see once you make it onto the leftmost rib, the correct line of passage. The top of this rib is a plateau with the final summit tower looming ahead. You have the choice of a horrible, loose, rubbly, squeeze chimney of death (Kain’s original line), or a steep ‘crack’ to its right, which is not really a crack but more of an eroded trough – the so called ‘Perren Crack’. Its not a hard choice to make.

The Perren crack is the crux of the whole route. It is quite steep but generally runs up a solid wall featured with good holds. You face climb along near the crack, occasionally fist- or foot-jamming in it, and finding lots of obscure gear placements and rusty old pins to clip. After about 30m of this, that I found difficult and interesting to climb in my Mountain Masters, I simultaneously ran out of slings, and found a good stance with a bunch of sketchy old fixed pins. I decided to belay… As the stance was so small switching the belay would have been like playing Twister so Fern suddenly discovered she was going to have to lead through onto the last pitch. It turned out not to be that bad, and more importantly, she didn’t throw any rocks down on my unprotected head. We summitted about 6PM- BC time I believe, and admired the huge iron cross on the summit silhouetted against the rapidly setting sun. Below us lay 15 pitches of mostly 4th class rock with about 5 of the pitches involving real 5th class climbing. Obviously simulclimbing a lot of it with a short rope to minimize drag would produce a faster time than our seven hours up.

Following the directions of the guidebook we began rapping the gully down the west side of the mountain. After the first 50m rappel on slings the remaining ones are set up with bolts and chains. In between these are manky old sling and pin stations so it could be rapped with a single rope. In fact to minimise rockfall at the top while pulling the rope we did make the first few raps as 25m ones. The last long rappel is great with some overhanging sections and we touched down right at sunset. From there it was a three hour hike back to the car, in the dark. My headlamp had died the night before – done in by the Quebec guys’ music? –anyways Fern had a spare mini-mag which saved the day. The last part of the hike out went through a nice meadow and larch forest in the full moonlight and was very aesthetic. However I was running to prevent us getting locked in for the night and ticketed, and didn’t have that much time to enjoy it. Turned out to be a false alarm, looks like they never lock that gate or enforce the no parking after 11PM rule.

At around midnight we pulled into Canmore and hit a late night pizza joint for some quality grease intake. We drank about 5 pitchers of iced tea each and then headed off to a clandestine bivy by the rail tracks. The trains going by in the night were annoying but after the Quebecois music of the night before we slept like babies by comparison, and the price (free) was right…

 

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