Saturday, December 31, 2005

In the lead 05/ 07

This is me being lowered off a climb I just lead at Grassy Lakes in Canmore,AB in the summer of ,05. I was there with Adam, Jason and Amanda. We all climbed, well Jason couldn't he didn't fit into my harness's. He's a big boy.

Athabasca and Andromeda climb Dec 26, 2005

This is Scott in the parking lot before we left, he was my climbing partner for this trip. He is a strong climber having summited Aconcaqua, 6962m and a good partner. I enjoyed our botched climb with him.
This is a shot of the snow coach road with the Athabasca glacier in the background. The icefall and the head wall are in the center.
An old snow coach in the snow coach parking lot. It's a old bus on four tracks like a tank. Cool.
Scott leads the way up to the head wall that leads to the AA col. It's guarded by ice fall and seracs.
The route stays left of the ice cliff and up some snow gullies to the AA glacier. As you can see the weather was less than optimal. Not to cold but windy. You can see the bottom of the shooting gallery to the right of the ice fall.
This is me in my klondike pose. The ice fall looks small but I wouldn't want to be underneath it as it's probably 80 ft tall.
This is where we put our crampons on. No ice here but the gully was steep and a little exposed.
On the AA glacier that's Andromeda in the back. The top of the famed Andromeda strain is dead center.
That is Scott scoping for a camp. The three Practice Gullies are to the left. We wanted to climb the middle one.
A look at the AA col
Me pointing at the famous Andromeda Strain in the middle of the face. Maybe one day that will be the route I go back for.

Me again. It is beautiful up here I just love to be in mountains like these.
A last look back before dark set in. The wind was moving a lot of snow around. Beautiful!
Scott and me in the tent before it got REALLY windy. Note the pee bottle yup that's climbing.
Scott holding back the tent walls so they don't rip and leave us with out a shelter. It was funny at this point but got serious and quick. The wind sounded like a jet taking off and felt like a train was plowing into the tent. At one point I was trying to get to sleep and a gust of wind hit the tent bending the tent pole all the way down to smack me in the face well I was laying in my sleeping bag.
Note the mood change. Our facial expressions went from all smiles to serious and quick. It was dark, REALLY windy and it was moving a lot of snow around in the air. We made the call to go down and not wait for the tent to rip before we started down. When we go out of the tent it was near whiteout with about 20 ft visibility with the blowing snow. The wind was so strong it pushed Scott to the ground twice and to his knees three times and at one point I fell into self arrest to save myself from being blown down the exposed gully I found in close to zero visibility. I love that little reflective wand hey Scott.
And this is the boys back in the parking lot safe and still in good spirits. Well better luck next time. We will be back. You can find more pictures and Scotts take on the trip at . He is a much better writer than I enjoy.