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Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Regional discussion and conditions reports for Canada and Alaska. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the Canada and Alaska Climbing Partners forum.
 

Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Dow Williams » Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:04 pm

Canadian Rockies Update: Despite the typical pessimist accounts of not finishing off routes and complaining about conditions, I am finding the snow and glaciers in the best condition I have traveled on in years. Mount King George was hard crust up and down, fast movement with snow running from almost the upper bivy for the SW Face. The only rock is maneuvering the chossy gullies to bypass the lower hanging glacier in this photo.
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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Dow Williams » Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:06 am

Canadian Rockies Update: Completed four peaks these past two days in Waterton, the Hawkins Traverse covering the highest peak in the park, Mt. Blakiston (dry), as well as Hawkins and Lineham. Then Mt. Galwey yesterday morning. In just 2 days our group spotted 2 grizzlies, 1 black bear, 1 close encounter with a mountain lion and 1 wolf...and of course tons of big horn and deer. Wildlife abundant down low, conditions much drier in Waterton for the season compared to further north. Still encountered the typical rolling thunder shower.
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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Dow Williams » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:12 pm

All 3 bears were very busy eating berries. When berries are as plentiful and ripe as they were in Waterton this past week, you would be hard pressed to even get a bears attention. The mountain lion on the other hand, hissed at my friends girlfriend and 4 yr old daughter in our camp whilst we were doing the Hawkins Traverse...in broad daylight....that is a sign of a weak adult lion and her photos of that particular cat reflected same. A weak/hungry lion is the most dangerous. The wolf was in fantastic shape, the black bear not so much, the grizzlies were both in great shape.

Climbing near Canmore yesterday and saw a very healthy and large black bear up at the Nordic Center. Jasper has a grizzly sow with two cubs in town that was relocated from here (Canmore). She used our town for cover and is now using Jasper for cover. The same instinct the elk have learned...hang with humans, get protection from predators. A female grizzly has a very difficult time protecting her cubs from male grizzlies. For once, I am seeing wildlife officials use a bit more judgment versus quick reactive bs. They are hazing her to the outskirts, but avoiding trapping and relocating due to her specific personality and behavior. She has yet to pose any threat or bad habits. She is not getting into garbage. In hope she can carve out her own territory in due course. If you bagged and threw her and her cubs in a heli and dumped them in someone else's territory....the cubs would be dead within days. They are our fellow creatures, not monsters. Of course, we could sterilize our parks and make them 100% safe, even for idiots...I realize many would be fine with that.
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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Vitaliy M. » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:16 am

That would be awesome. Let's kill all the bears and build half dome type ramps up every difficult peak. I want there to be an escalator going up Beckey-Choinard.
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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Dow Williams » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:51 pm

20 something year olds; well bodied Russians were heli'ing in for Beckey Chouinard last year...whilst my 50yr old body gladly hiked across the park....you jest, but I say we are not that far off from this becoming reality.
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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Dow Williams » Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:00 pm

Revolver? Canada dude...folks are not as scared of animals as they are in the US. No guns allowed in Canadian national parks nor have I ever seen any in the parks. No the cat took off, but not like it should have, it did so reluctantly....it was scavenging the campground during daylight hours which is bad news for it.....no healthy adult cat would do that nor allow itself to be seen. Juveniles yes, but this was an elder kitty. Will post a pic here today if I get a chance.
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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Dow Williams » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:54 am

Canadian Rockies Update: Climbed the East Ridge of Mount Edith Cavell near Jasper last night. Actually headed north to climb Mount Brazeau. Check your warden notices on line before heading out. Approach was closed due to an aggressive bear, up to $25K penalty if violated. Thus we climbed Edith Cavell. Left the parking lot at 1:pm and made the summit at 6pm under mostly calm skies. Several patches of snow left on the ridge and it was soft that time of day. Crux no doubt was crossing a cornice near the summit as it was in soft conditions. All the 5th class climbing was dry. We downclimbed the route in good order and slept at the lower bivy for fun vs coming out. Mountain weather incredibly stable last night.
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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Dow Williams » Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:35 pm

Canadian Rockies Update: Stacy and I spent the last few days in Jasper National Park peak bagging. The rain and animals were plenty. Lakes and streams overflowing and mountains not as dry as Banff. Three bears, 3 bull elk, 2 mountain goats and of course sheep. The north face of Mount Athabasca is getting bare. Skyladder on Mount Andromeda is out of condition as would be expected. Columbia Icefield pkwy on down is dry. Jasper/Robson, less so. Classic north face routes on Edith Cavell and Mount Temple are both coming into or in condition.
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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Dow Williams » Sat Aug 11, 2012 2:23 pm

"Ghost Glacier" hanging on the N face of Edith Cavell just to the left of Angel glacier, fell off the mountain sometime last night before 0530hrs. A tsunami ensued when it impacted the lake below. The torrent left ice chunks in the parking lot and road, took out some small structures and the picnic area, and left 3' of gravel in places.

Cavell road is closed until further notice.
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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Dow Williams » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:59 pm

Canadian Rockies Update: Summitted Mount Hungabee yesterday, August 12, on the Continental Divide. In great travel conditions. We free soloed the entire route, including down climbing, taking no rappels. Almost completely free of snow and ice after the glacier access. We never used crampons, ice axe or rope from the col to the summit. No serious rock fall, but we were on the summit at 7:AM, 4:01 from the col
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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Dow Williams » Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:53 pm

Going to start answering general questions like this on the forum vs pm so I don't have to repeat and anyone interested might get use out of the answers:

"theirishandy2000 sent the following message:

I will be spending 7 days in the Banff and Canmore area in September. I was hoping you could suggest some multi pitch climbs. I climb in the easier grades 5.6 to 5.7 on trad and 5.8 on sport. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Kind Regards
Andy"

On summitpost, I have Banff andCanmore multi pitch rock separated. Canmore is known for its walls: Ha Ling, EEOR and Yamnuska (not far away). Banff is known more for its rock objectives, i.e. Edith, Louis and Cory.

Mount Louis is the most aesthetic long rock objective in the Canadian Rockies due to its fin shape. I have climbed all the routes on Mount Louis (including Kor's 5.10dXR) and Homage to the Spider (5.9-but serious route for the grade) is my favorite. The Grand Sentinel is perhaps the most majestic, but short, rock experience in the area. It only has 2 routes. The trad route is within your grade range- 5.8 -and is classic. The sport route is 5.10+ and actually a much better route. Both of these objectives are featured in the "Banff" link above.

I have climbed most all the routes on EEOR in Canmore and have asterisked my favorites on the EEOR page, found in the Canmore link above. Most of Ha Ling's routes have some issues except for the very classic Sisyphus Summits (20+ pitches (by FA's count) of 5.10+) and its NE ridge which is a glorified scramble in my opinion but popular. I have done most of the others on HA Lings North Face, but with loose blocks and drainage, most are spicy even for a veteran like myself, thus hard to recommend. I have done most of the Yamnuska routes...we are talking like 300+, most multi pitch. Again, I have asterisked the ones I prefer on the Yamnuska page here on Summitpost. I would stay away from less traveled routes on Yam, we have a lot of loose block issues on this wall. Locals like I do them, but can't necessarily recommend them. I just did a 2nd ascent of a route on another wall over Canmore, named Canmore Wall. It is like Sisyphus Summits, long and bolted 5.10+ but I cannot recommend it until it gets cleaned up some more.

Edith and Cory have quite a few long routes on them and I have them included on those respective mountain pages here on SP, nothing spectacular. Tunnel and Cascade Mountains in the town of Banff have some stuff, but not worth spending your vacation on...short and uneventful...more for locals on short days in my opinion. I have included them here on SP if you want to take a look.

That is a quick summary of multi pitch rock in the immediate area. There is good stuff up and down from Banff through Yoho to Jasper. Hope that helps Andy. Good luck with your trip!
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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Dow Williams » Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:27 pm

Canadian Rockies Update: Summited Mount Willingdon yesterday (16th). No other humans en-route. Majestic place for sure. The band was iced up in mid August. Cold for this time of year I thought, the summit ridge is so west facing and winds blow off of a glacier on the other side of the col. Even scree was frozen up high. The hand line is in great shape as of 2012. Mosquitoes are not bad from mid August on (this would be the worst place for them in all of the Canadian Rockies, getting lower freezes). (photo shows camp)
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Re: Bugaboo-Canadian Rockies Conditions

Postby Vitaliy M. » Sat Aug 18, 2012 1:35 am

Had a great time in bugs. Must come back one day. Conditions phenominal.
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