Seagull is the third piece of ice that can be directly reached from the canyon floor in Valley of the Birds. It is located just beyond Yellow Bird on the left hand side. Proceed up canyon via a small step here and there until you come to a short curtain of WI 3 on your left. Solo this curtain and continue on sloping ice terrain to the base of Seagull. The left corner is dryer and offers a better spot from which to set up belay.
Main Pitch/30m- The climb is best done straight up the gut to avoid wet and chandeliery ice. As Joe Josephson suggests in his guide book, “Waterfall Ice, Climbs in the Canadian Rockies”, this is a steal of a WI 4 if not a WI 3+. It is sustained at the same vertical pitch which makes for a good one and is on the money at 30 meters, thus can be top roped for the second. I advise a top rope on this route, as the top of the fall is somewhat dirty and loose with rock, etc. There is a solid tree in which to belay/rappel dead center to the route. There is a rap tree to skiers right that you can use for that short WI 3 piece that drops you back to the canyon floor of Valley of the Birds. Onward and upward to the Albatross and Eagle.
Essential GearTwo Ice Tools, Double 60 meter Ropes, 4-8 Ice Screws with draws and/or screamers, Crampons, Helmet, Warm Clothes (Valley of the Birds can keep out some wind, but does not get much sun), Full Shank Boots, 4W Drive (pretty much a must to travel far in the North Ghost), Shovel and Sleeping Bag, the Ghost can be full of surprises, particularly in February where the drifts have started to accumulate. Many climbers end up parking short of the Valley of the Birds and there is currently (2007) a ban on the river crossings (by vehicle) necessary to reach Valley of the Birds by truck. Poles and a possible 2nd pair of boots are handy for at least one river crossing you will have to make on foot.
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