Monday, March 17, 2014

Canadian Rockies: pt.1, The Ghost

The Sorcerer IV WI5
    Zach Keskinen, Brett Bakey, and I showed up after over 20 hours of driving.  First we went out to the Ghost river to find some big ice with low avelanche hazard.  The weather has been bad and snow conditions in the Rockies are unstable this spring, but the east slope is generally dry and can be safer.
   The front range rises dramatically from the plains, and there's almost no development.  Approaches are long and difficult, first with hours of driving on destroyed roads, ice, and riverbeds, and then with hours of hiking and post-holing.   We decided to do The Sorcerer.  Despite the cornice looming over the route, the approach slopes are safe.
A view of The Real Big Drip

The Sorcerer

Feeling less than great after driving past midnight
Zach leads pitch 1

Brett leads pitch 3

On the crux, p 4.

The crux was the blown out road.

The Weeping Wall, lower right hand side, WI5, 3 pitches.
Brett beginning the long crux pitch.
 We had a quick ski-tour near Lake Louise. The weather wasn't exactly photo weather, but we skiied up to the toe of a glacier and reveled in the low visibility. We got some mellow turns on the way down. 
   The storming continued, but we decided to head up the parkway do the Lower Weeping Wall, which also has very limited avy hazard even with heavy new snow.  It was a wet day out on good ice. 
  Our hopes for the alpine are limited.  We have another 6 days here, and it's only going to snow more on those funky layers.  If we're lucky then we'll at least get to see some of the big faces, and we'll keep climbing classic water ice.

Brett at the crux.

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