"A word on the spot is worth a cartload of recollections"
James Maggs, Southwold diarist 1797-1890

Monday, 23 February 2009

Cascade Mountain

Here's the view from our window, of the Rundles on the West side of the valley.

Woke up at 5 having dreamed of working with Boris Johnson. Quite disturbing!
My subconscious must be clearing out the cobwebs from work and London life. A couple of cups of Five Boy's Sencha tea helped clear the fog.

At 7 we set off for the day's destination: Cascade Waterfall, which lies on an avalanche-prone mountain at the head of the valley from Canmore before it turns West to Banff. We turned off the the Trans-Canadian Highway following signs to Minniewanka Lake (honest). Cascade was unmissable from the road: a 300m waterfall "considered by some to be the best Grade III ice climb anywhere" according to the Joe Josephson guide. Our reason for choosing it was to get more mileage in on reasonably easy ice, and to try to get a bit slicker and quicker on a longer multipitch. The first 200m was easy and so we didn't rope up until we reached a steeper section. I led that, nervous at first but soon relaxing and climbing more fluidly than yesterday. The ice had looked a bit flakey from the sun over the last few days, but proved sound. After two more good pitches we began the abseil off, only to find the rope get stuck when we tried to pull through. Nick averted the need for an epic solo back up to retrieve it by attaching the rope end to himself and running down the coomb to yank it out of the jam:

Nick looking pleased with himself not long afterwards:

Nick's peeling veg for a beef stew, so I need to go help.
Top day.

UPDATE: Forgot to post the other action photo of Nick taken while he was trying to unjam the rope:

1 comment:

  1. You forgot to mention how you forgot your boots this morning and we had to waste an hour going to get them. Just so your fans know.

    But lets not mention handbrakes...