Yamnuska’s first Ice Evo of the 2009/2010 Winter season kicked off with a forecast week of rather cool temps!!! Shawn, Greg and Eric turned up at the Yam office keen to expand there rock climbing skills and adapt them to ice climbing. After checking out all the kit and making sure that they had a thorough understanding of how it was all correctly fitted and maintained, we departed for the local practise ground at the Canmore Junk Yards. A good first day saw the group cover basic crampon technique, placement of ice tools and a review of their rope work and belay skills. A good session that proved that they had a solid base of skills to expand upon.
Day 2 was spent in King creek perfecting and promoting efficient movement and energy conservation on steeper ice. A workshop on anchor building and some one-on-one coaching rounded off a very cold day.
As the temps plummeted to – 39 Celsius we decided to hit the pause button and put the course back a day, so Tuesday dawned not quite as cold and we all headed round to Even Thomas creek and climbed Chantilly Falls and Moonlight. Again things proved to be a bit chilly, but we all managed to get three pitches in up to grade 4 ice. The steep ice technique was coming along nicely with everyone showing a big improvement in their climbing style and subsequently their personal confidence.
The penultimate day was spent at Balfour wall with some sun and spectacular views of the big faces of Mt Patterson and Mt Chephren. The Guys did a great job on some steep ice, movement and technique being perfected into an efficient and effective climbing style.
The last day we headed to Haffner Creek with everybody doing a bit of mixed climbing and dry tooling. It was great to see them all take to it quickly. Precise footwork and precision tool placements proved the order of the day and saw them enjoying a very technical side of Canadian Winter climbing.
A great week was had by all in some very demanding temperatures and hats off to Shawn, Greg and Eric for being so enthusiastic and keen…… I enjoyed your company immensely.
Senior Yamnuska Mountain Guide
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