Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Back in the Canadian Rockies

On March 11th I drove back to Canmore as it was still winter and lots of ice climbing still.  Rob Smith came up for Colorado and we spent a couple of weeks climbing together - sometimes with other friends from Canmore.  Rob was very keen to try Cryophobia - a difficult mixed route just right of Hyrophobia in the Ghost River area.  Although temperatures seemed like they might be too warm, we headed in there in Kris Irwin's truck.  A bit of 4x4 with chains on all wheels got us withing a forty five minute walk of the climb.

Kris on the second pitch of Cryophobia
Unfortunately, the temps were too warm.  As we climbed the lower two pitches we were getting bombed by falling ice that was melting off the wall above.  We decided to come back when it was colder and rappelled off.  Nearby, Will Mayo, Pat Delaney, John Freeman, and Will Gadd had put up a new route in a cave called Nophobia.  Because we still had plenty of time, we wandered over and spent some time climbing on the first pitch.  The route has an overall rating of M11, and even though the first pitch was not the crux, we couldn't climb it without falling or hanging from the rope.

Rob Smith on Nophobia (down and right of center)

The temperature stayed warm along with plenty of new precipitation which pushed the avalanche danger up to HIGH in the back country.  So we spent a day in Marble Canyon safe from the bad snow.

Rob Smith on Fantasy Shower in Marble Canyon

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