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

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Weeping Wall

Yesterday at Haffner Creek we had a chat with the climbing guide who'd been introducing the beginner's group to ice climbing. We asked if he'd any recommendations for good climbs in condition. He said we should try some climbs near Field, West of Louise: Carlsberg Column is a great WI5, he said, and Guinness Gully a classic WI4. There are also Pilsner Pillar and Cascade Kronenbourg nearby. All in good condition and not far from the road.

"What were they thinking of, naming those climbs?" piped up one of the group.
"Beer", the guide replied.

So today we got up early and went to have a look at the beer climbs. Once we got to Field, though, we thought better of it because warming temperatures could create an avalanche risk there. So, after a freshly baked pineapple muffin and a coffee from Field General Stores (great place) we drove up onto onto the remote Icefields Parkway and to the world famous (in climbing circles anyway!) Weeping Wall.

The dots on the ice are people.

The lower (wider) section of the Wall is 180 metres high. We picked a line we thought we could do, away from falling ice from climbers above. In the end we did it in three LONG and pretty steep pitches of 60 metres each. I led the first and last, Nick the middle. Here Nick is on the 2nd pitch.

And here's me as a fly on the third.

Stunning place.

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