OverviewThe Climb That Was...Wasn't...and Is Once More...
This easily accessible wall of ice has been a popular climb for beginners and experienced climbers. When fully formed it stands about 35 metres in height and offers multiple lines of grade 3-4 ice. It has been used a lot as a top rope area, but but certainly pushes the hardened leader.
Of interest the falls, when formed, are on the canyon wall of the McLeod River not Whitehorse Creek. This has messed up many a newcomer to the area as there is a signed hike to another Whitehorse Falls actually on Whitehorse Creek that leaves from the campground close by.
Development of a mining haul road around 2005 resulted in a massive diversion of the spring feeding the climb and subsequently it was unable to form. Local climbers worked with the mining company and gradually were able to restore water source feeding the climb. Originally the ice climb was setting up 100 m downstream of the original line, but late in the 2010 ice season the flow found its way to the original line. It was unfortunate to lose this climb Teck Coal and the local climbing community are to be commended on their concerted efforts to re-establish this popular ice climb.
Late 2010 Ice Season
At one point climbing in the area was restricted citing safety concerns, but again with good commuication with the mine that ban has been lifted.
The village of Cadomin can be reached from Hinton or Edson.
If travelling from Hinton. Drive west of Hinton to Highway 40 South and follow this road for about 46 km to a T-intersection. Turn right here and follow it to the town of Cadomin 2 km down the road.
Google Map From Hinton
The Base of the Falls
Coming from Edson. Drive west through Edson on Hwy 16 for about 9 km and turn south onto Secondary Road 47. This will take you South past the village of Robb and to another intersection after another 60 km. Stay left and continue south to Cadomin.
Google Map From Edson
Continue through Cadomin on the only main road past Inland cement which you will pass on your left. Follow the signs directing you to Mountain Park and the Cardinal Divide. Continue up over the large overpass above Whitehorse Creek. If you watch carefully ice can be seen on the canyon wall to your left. Follow the road up for about 500 m and park. The road from the Inland Cement turn off is not maintained and can prove impassable with drifting snow and ice grooves. Also be wary of ice on the steep hill past the overpass. It can be dangerous when iced over and there are no guard rails. In these conditions it is likely safer to walk.
Cadomin to Parking Area
The climb is a stone throw from the road and can be hard to find from above. Try to landmark the climb from where it is visible from the overpass. Look for a lone stand of trees with slings or chains at the base.
Early 2011 Ice Season
The route is typically rappeled into.
There was at one time multiple lines of ice available. But this has varied significantly of late.
Typical Ice Rack if leading.
Extra rope and cordelette is not a bad idea if you plan to rappel/toprope from different areas.
Walk back up to your vehicle. You gotta love that.
There are two great websites for ice conditions in the Canadian Rockies:
Live The Vision - Ice Conditions