This past weekend was the annual Knuckle Basher Ice Climbing Festival here in Canmore, and we had lots of people in town to try out their skills on the area’s famous Ice routes!
With Yamnuska clinics on both Saturday and Sunday, we were able to get some of the festival folks out to give the sport a try and solidify more advanced techniques. We also had both our weekend Basic Ice Course and our 5-day Ice Evolution programs out swinging the tools.
Yam guide Jason Billing had this to report from the Basic Ice Course:
“It’s high season for ice climbing! Over the past weekend another round of Basic and Advanced ice courses took place, and the weather and conditions could not have been better! It’s that time of year when the days are getting longer, those shady locales are starting to see some sunshine during the day and the temperatures are milder making for pleasant climbing conditions.
The basic ice crew spent a snowy (but warm!) day one at Wedge smear, far from the busy weekend crowds. We had the whole place to ourselves and enjoyed learning the basic skills while watching the snow fall.
A sunny day two in Johnston Canyon had us learning more advanced skills, working on our technique and enjoying some winter sunshine. Everyone had a great time, and a few stayed on for the Plus Day… putting all the skills together on a multipitch climb! It did not disappoint with another sunny, mild day – perfect for challenging oneself on a longer ice climb.
Thanks to all who came out, another great weekend in the Rockies.”
Saturday night was the keynote presentation from Alpine Legend Barry Blanchard, and with over 120 people in attendance, he brought down the house with his humour-filled stories of past adventures.
Sunday was the ‘Mixed Master’ competition at the Vsion climbing gym. Climbers and guides alike took part to showcase the leading edge of this ever-evolving sport of “dry-tooling” and mixed techniques.
Yamnuska is proud to be a fesitval sponsor and we look forward to continuing our tradition of helping to get people hooked on this excellent sport!