We ran Ice Review this year out of the Nordegg Hostel. This was sad news for those who love winter camping, but good news for those who like hot showers and guitar playing in the living room after dinner. The hostel absorbed 46 people who shared a great burrito meal Saturday night cooked by a fabulous volunteer crew. Trip leaders ran a variety of TR crags and a few select multipitches.
We had 2 teams climb 2 O’Clock falls and 2 on Elliot’s Left Hand on Saturday. Some TR teaching-intensive groups at Cline River Gallery, Nightmare on Elmstreet, SARS on Ice and Balfour Wall. Thin conditions on End of the Line/Lovely Parting Gifts daunted even the most intrepid leaders. Hands and brows were also sweating at all locations in a balmy 8-12 degrees. Shirts were coming off! Though sweaty palms didn’t keep many beginners from trying out WI5.
For those who braved the Sunday storm, there was more toperoping, more multipitching, and some more setting up of anchors above to climb sunbaked mushrooms to be had. Despite the howling wind and the driving snowflakes, road conditions on the return weren’t too daunting.
A special thanks to our trip leaders: Susan, Luc, Julie, Adrian, Nando, Chelsea, John, Paula, David, Paul, Raymond, Kyle, Dom, Jeff & Anne drew. And our cook crew: Ron, Nubia, Scott, Ryan, Ashley, Eva, Rick, Kristine, Sara, and Rebecca.
Some highlights from the weekend:
Chelsea, Adrian and myself had a great day out climbing Elliot Left Hand on Saturday. Although the high for the day was 8 deg it felt cooler in the slot canyon. Adrian was chasing the sun in the photo which we did not catch up with the whole day. The Ice was in great shape, it was not picked out. I would like to thank Chelsea and Adrian for their awesome rope gunning! – Jeff Dickson
My highlight was climbing my first WI5 “in good style” according to Luc Fortin, which is a huge compliment, as I had only climbed eight times previous to this weekend.
I was both very fortunate and thrilled to have such intensive instruction on steep ice technique without having to register for a course. I learned a tremendous amount in just two days of climbing. – Alison Silver
Highlight from John Adams, Laura Corbeil, Paula Corbeil
Finding Elliot’s Left Hand or was it the Right Hand? By the way, which way is North?
A short 45 minute direct approach , turned into a long trudge, doing zig zags through the forest. Thanks to a boost of energy from Laura’s banana bread bites and a sip of tea, we took one last hard left and ended up in the left hand gully of Elliot’s peak ! We geared up just in time for the start of the blizzard and set out in heavy snowfall, swirling winds, with avalanche slopes above us. Perfect ice climbing conditions! With limited visibility and a blanket of snow covering the ice we successfully made it to the top of P1 and safely returned to the car. Definitely a climb to come back for, on a sunny day.
I had many highlights on the trip. It was well organized, fun event. I was very fortunate to get on a trip with Susan, Julie and Luc. We had the best teachers ever. They helped us with technique and thanks to their instructions we were able to climb harder grades! They were absolutely amazing, encouraging and funny. At the beginning of the day they asked everybody if they liked Ice climbing. I said I am not sure yet. It didn’t take very long and I was loving it . -Eva Bonipartiva
My highlight moment was watching absolute beginners like Eva and Laura cruise up grade five ice by simply practicing the exact technique, resting frequently, and having fun. -Rick Cowburn
Great weekend! Shirtless 12 deg weather Saturday at Balfour, then blizzard alpine feeling multipitch Sunday on Meltout. Well executed weekend, comfy accommodation, just a bit far from many of the climbs. -Andrew Venning
The pictures are from Jeff Dickson, Alison Silver, and Paula Corbeil