|Walking through Canmore|
Yesterday was actually a good warm up for today, we were heading to the premier mixed climbing venue of the Banff area,Haffner Creek. essentially another canyon but with around 30 - 40 different lines to climb and decent bolts its a must for all mixed climbers!
|Remains of the Trees after a devastating fire in the region in 2003|
In the lower section there are 4 ice pillars / falls that touch down to the ground, the rest dont even get close and require gymnastic approaches on rock to reach the delicate hanging daggers of ice.
|Half n' Half M7|
My first climb of the day was Half n' Half, a 20m mixed climb that really does warrant its name. I led of pulling up on worn axe holes in the rock, the first section being a smooth slab. Once the slab has been negotiated a series of torques see you pulling up and having to reach the final rock hold before launching out onto the ice. The final piece in the puzzle was a stein pull in the roof just below the ice, fully committing on this and a big lock off enables you to swing the axe into bomber ice. A fair bit above the last bolt there is a mantle onto a shelf (the end of the first half :) and clip the last bolt before moving out on the icy headwall.
Four more moves pulling on ice see's you standing on the top of the crag, ab off of 2 bolts and your back down ready for the next one....
|Central Ice WI5|
.... The next one being Central Ice, picture tells a thousand words. I'll just add that there were two pretty big cracks right through the ice through guided parties bashing there way up! So a delicate approach was required.
The next climb was hard and scary.
After some lunch Dan decided to try one more route, Shagadelic is a mixed line up a corner which steps out onto a hanging dagger. Unfortunately for Dan he never made the hard mixed rock start and was lowered off. I then decided that i would give it a go but would probably just do the same as Dan.
|Jockey TR Shagadelic M6 ish?|
So i tentatively stepped out onto the ice and to my surprise it held my weight, 3 more moves and my first screw was in and i could relax. I stayed there for what seemed ages, not wanting to leave the sanctuary of having a screw right next to me, and was getting more pumped the longer i waited. Eventually, and not knowing how, i climbed the rest of the ice completely drained, arms dead.
Time for home.