Murchison Falls, III, WI 4+

Bringing up the 2nd on the 4th Pitch.
Fourth Pitch, 65m- Joe Josephson’s guide book notes calls this a full pitch. I was on lead, so can’t exactly say what was going on for sure, but my partner claimed he had to simul climb 5 meters for me to reach the station. All I know is that I was pulling on him for about 5 meters in a precarious spot of rotten ice and rocks ledges. This pitch was quite wet in March and is somewhat notorious for published accident reports. Taking the center line, the fall was raining for the first 15m. You get a break at about 35m on a tiny step. Above this step the ice can be quite chandeliery. I saw evidence of at least one bail here (v-thread). To find drier ice, I traversed right over a bulge and was rewarded with somewhat improved ice conditions. This entire pitch is sustained and can be run out if your screws are digging air. Continue straight up and it finally eases just slightly towards the top. Place a short directional in before you traverse right to a rock ledge and bolted station. The left side of Murchison Falls was heavily corniced in March, 2007 and can create quite a bit of spindrift.
Murchison Falls, III, WI 4+, Icefields Parkway, Banff National Park, March 11, 2007


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Dow Williams

Dow Williams - Mar 13, 2007 8:13 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: 70's....

I disagreed with you on this regarding someone asking the question as to what to buy, starting out on easier routes. I will get 70's next year. Caught one too many times on lead, limited communication (wind) and on precarious ground (rotten ice) with no opportunity to build a station. I rarly do repeats and need to be prepared for the unexpected. I agree with you that the advanced climber doing longer routes should carry them. I never give too much credence to the guide book. I knew we needed to be prepared to simul climb this pitch. My partner got seperated from his tools, not a good oversight. Cheers.

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