Ok, so I have to admit that for the last two years I have selfishly been enjoying everyone else's trip reports without adding any of my own. I thought I would try to go back through my recent trips and contribute. So here goes... My first TR!
I have just recently returned to Edmonton so Matthias (brother) and Shaun(a friend) and I are working on building our climbing skills so that we can start tackling larger mountaineering peaks. In pursuit of this (and because we are afraid of Avalanche Terrain) we decided to go Ice Climbing together. Since I was the most experienced with 3 top roping trips in 8 years I was in charge of finding places to climb that we could protect with our existing knowledge.
We decided to rent some gear from MEC and check out the David Thompson Area on the Weekend of January 21 & 22. Because of the super warm temperatures the week before we didn't know what we were going to find so we had a very flexible plan. On Saturday, we started with Issac's Wet Dream near Crescent Falls.
After setting up our anchor we rappelled down the Falls only to find that it was Soaking wet and not at all in climbing condition. As Matthias put it: "Very wet, not much of a dream".
Since it was around +3 and super sunny we decided the next location would be Owen's Creek Canyon hoping the ice would be protected from the sun. No luck as the ice there hadn't been touched all year and we weren't comfortable with any of our protection options. But we did have a lot of fun hiking up the bottom of the canyon and around the top looking for Ice.
By this point the sun was on its way down and we headed back to the Shunda Creek Hostel (highly recommended!). Slightly demoralized and worried that we wouldn't get a chance to climb anything this trip but having learned alot about ice conditions, our gear, and the David Thompson corridor. We had a beer at the Nordegg Lodge (does anyone know a better place to eat near Nordegg?) and resolved to head into Jasper to look for better ice on the next day.
On Sunday we drove to Tangle Falls and hit the Jackpot! The Ice was in good conditions, anchor's were plentiful and we had the whole place to ourselves!
We scrambled up the left of the falls, set up our anchor (took 2 tries to get a good setup), rappelled down and then had a great afternoon ice climbing. It was the first waterfall climb for both Matthias and Shaun who both resolved to do more.
The view from the top while setting up!
First attempt at throwing the rope (can you spot the problem?)
Rappelling down the falls.
Shaun's first climb!
Me giving it a go.
Lots of Space
We were joined for a short bit by a couple of guys practicing lead but there was plenty of room on the falls for all of us.
After we were all pooped out we still had a few hours of daylight so we decided to head home through Jasper and check out the Maligne Canyon Icewalk (no guide needed of course) and scout the place for a future trip. We had fun checking out the canyon but after that all that was left was the drive home.
Overall it was a very successful trip. We learned some new skills without putting ourselves in danger and we will certainly be doing this again.