Melt Out is a moderate two or three pitch ice climb (depending on whether or not you climb the last grade 2 pitch) with a short approach, situated in a beautiful alpine setting, with a sunny aspect.
It forms every year, and continues to get bigger and bigger as the season progresses. Later in the year (if it's fat), it is possible to have two parties climbing at the same time on each side of the flow.
This is the first pitch of Melt Out taken from the walk off descent.
To get to Melt Out from the north (Jasper) drive approximately 4.5 kilometres on Highway 93 north of the Beauty Creek Hostel. The climb is visible on the left (east) side of the road. It's only visible for a short time, so you need to be looking for it. We usually park on the left (east) side of the road, just at the bottom of a small ridge that runs from left to right. There is normally a well packed trail here heading up to the climb.
If approaching from the south (Banff), head north on Highway 93 past the Columbia Icefields up the Tangle Creek Hill (this is the steep hill just north of the Icefields). As you come down the other side of the Tangle Creek Hill you will see Tangle Falls on your right - this is also a fun practice area with rolling grade 2 ice. At the bottom of Tangle Hill the Highway starts to level off - starting looking for Melt Out on your right. If you get to Beauty Creek and the Beauty Creek Hostel, turn around you've missed it. Head back using the directions from the north.
The actual hike in is pretty mellow - it takes about 20 minutes. From the Highway, follow the short ridge up (about 150 metres) and to the left until you hit the drainage that contains "Melt Out" - you will be able to see the climb. Follow the drainage up to the climb. Folks usually put their crampons on about 200 metres from the actual climb, in order to negotiate the rolling ice.
The first pitch of Melt Out can be climbed on the left or the right - it's about 30 metres long and ends on a large flat ledge. Belay on new rap anchors on climber's left.
The second pitch is about 40 metres long and normally consists of short sections of steeper ice followed by easier steps. This pitch is generally a little easier than the first. Belay on new rap anchors also on climber's left.
You can do a third pitch - it's grade two ice and gets you to the top for great views of the large hanging valley above. It's worth doing at least once.
You need two 60 metres ropes to rappel the route.
You can either rappel all of the pitches (from ice anchors), or if you're careful you can walk off the top of the first pitch (on either side, but it's slightly easier to walk off on climbers left).