Saturday, April 06, 2013

Canada Alpine Ice adventure.

As climber it's always hard to find enough money within time.
(Or enough time within the money)
I was lucky enough to find a very very generous sponsor that could pay my ticket to Canada this Spring.
And when everyone is hunkering for sun and flowers, I extended my iceclimbing Winter to the Rockies.
With real Alpine boots and real Americans.
@Houston intl. Airport.
We're here with a whole team. The Alpine Mentors team.
Steve House created all this, but the idea is that we as climbers actually have the mountains to create our dreams.
Together with Buster, Colin, Steve and Steven we'd now spent 11. days around the Alpine ice in the Rockies.
We started 'easy' with a long hike to 'The Sourcerer' and with every day we start to get a better idea of our capabilities, needs and weaknesses.

Routefinding in The Ghost with 'The book of Sandbags' 
The Sourcerer
Buster on the last pitch of The Sourcerer
Me on the last pitch of The Sourcerer
One of the things, what hardly any climbers-group ever does (for as far as I know) is review and discuss after every climb.
It's a brilliant way to make a group work together and understand each other better. And we learn so much!

And thats the whole idea. Learn, learn to climb Alpine. Not just for now, but making it possible to grow and create new objectives.
How to cook dinner...
The big 'souvenir' I found in backpack when I got back home...
Morning glory in the burned forest. On our way to the Stanley Glacier Head Wall
Steve Swenson on the first pitch of Nemesis at the Stanley Glacier Headwall.
The view from Mt. Athabasca (Steve Swenson)
Last week we were at the Columbia Icefield to climb on Mt. Andromeda, Mt. Athabasca and more.
On our last day it didn't really go as planned though...

Our hostel. Actually Rempart Creek hostel was even 'better'. 
Uh oh...
On our way to 'Practise Gullies'  
Steve House and Buster on the third pitch. Practice Gullies.
View from the top of Mt. Andromeda
Interesting rappel...
How we spent our restday: pizza, beer, guidebooks and inspirational movies.
With the weather changing and spindrift getting worse, it took us too long to climb a fairly simple route called 'Astroid Alley'. I got so, so cold waiting on the belays, getting all the snow over me that I shivered for the rest of the day (and night).
It too us even that long that the rest of the team got worried and started a search for us.
When we arrived at the moraine at the start of the glacier, all three others were there, ready to climb up to us...
I learned a thick softshell or hardshell pants work better in spindrift conditions (when you have to wait for more then 2,5 hrs on an anchor) My climbing buddy learned he should climb more regular on this terrain to gain enough speed and our other climbing buddy learned that 5.9 in a guidebook actually might mean M7, and that aiding it takes a long time.
We woke up at 6 in the morning. Started climbing around 9-ish, I got cold around 4-ish and before we knew it we were at the moraine again at 4-ish in the night and 6 in the Morning was the time we finally went to bed...
But: the climbing was good!

Colin and Steve Swenson seconding. Astroid Alley.
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VividReality said...

Really nice post on climbing Andromeda, and a cool blog! I wanted to go up there this year to do Asteroid Gully, but didn't work out...there is always next year...

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