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

Monday, 2 March 2009


Today we had another lie-in. 10pm to bed last night (I don't think we've made it past 10:30pm so far) and a 7am start. Luxury!

We turned left off the Trans-Canada Highway halfway between Banff and Lake Louise, then drove for a couple of hours south-west through Radium Springs and Canal Flats, before following a small "logging road" north beside the Kootenay River.

This was well away from anywhere, with enough ice on the road to make us wish we had a 4x4 (again), and plenty of white-tail deer about. After another half an hour driving up the remote Kootenay Valley, we spotted our destination on the hillside: Gibraltar Wall, a wide sheet of WI4 ice, 145m high.

The hike up to the start of the climb was short (10 minutes) but a steep slog. Once at the ice I led off, then Nick led the next 2 steeper pitches. Here he is on the second:

I completed the climb, right. The climbing was excellent throughout: steep but varied and the ice better than it at first appeared: good enough to take solid ice screws.

Absorbing climbing in a beautiful and isolated spot. What more can you ask for?

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