A great group of folks chose to finish off 2009 with myself on the Ice Evolution Course. We had a fantastic week of weather, with warm temperatures, good ice and some sunny skies. Thanks a lot to Constantine, Tom, Isabelle, James and Jared for their enthusiasm and hard work!
We spent day 1 at the Junkyards reviewing and learning the art of walking in crampons and swinging ice tools, as well as hazard management, belaying and climbing knots. Most people had a history of rock climbing so this went smoothly and Isabelle, a first time climber, did a great job quickly learning these new skills! Day 2 saw us at King Creek, refining our skills and introducing more steep ice techniques, anchor building and ice screw placement and removal to get ready for the multi-pitch day. We could not have asked for a better day than Day 3, where Yamnuska guides Nick Sharpe and Jon Freeman joined us to climb the classics: Louise Falls, Guinness Gully and Rogan’s Gully. Everyone was thrilled with the experience of climbing a long ice climb, getting high off the ground and rappelling back down at the end of the day.
The group was doing so well, and were really keen to keep learning, so we spent the last two days at Haffner Creek and Grotto Canyon covering mixed climbing, more ice climbing and practicing basic rescue skills. By the end of day five, I don’t think anyone had any strength left to climb another meter of ice, so we went to the Grizzly Paw brewing company for a burger and a beer to celebrate.
It was a great way to end a great year, and always refreshing to spend time with great people who are keen to learn and try something different… They will all be back for more ice climbing I’m sure!
Happy New Year and may it bring great adventures with friends, on ice, skis, and in the mountains!
Yamnuska Ice Guide