Tag Archives: mountaineering

Ice Climbing

Ice Climbing

Many places to go Ice climb­ing like, Maligne canyon, Edge of the world, Two Val­ley, Iron Cur­tain, Melt Out… So many more, get the scoop from the local out­door stores to find the­se spots out.

Frozen Beauty & Adrenaline Rush

Some peo­ple come out to Jasper to look at the frozen beau­ty of the park’s water­ways in the win­ter. Oth­ers see an adrenaline-pumping climb up an icy canyon as a great way to spend a win­ter after­noon in Jasper.

Ice Climbing is for All Ages, Young & Old

Ice climb­ing has grown in pop­u­lar­i­ty in recent years along with sum­mer climb­ing, where most ice climbers start out. There are some guides that can take you out, so if you don’t have any expe­ri­ence, hire a guide!

Jasper’s Climbing Hot Spots

Jasper hot-spots for ice climbs include Maligne Canyon and the famous “Weep­ing Wall” on the Ice­fields Park­way south of Saskatchewan River Cross­ing. Guid­ing is also avail­able and rec­om­mend­ed: Asso­ci­a­tion of Cana­di­an Moun­tain Guides (ACMG).

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Located in Jasper

Located in Jasper

Hin­ton & Area

Snowshoeing

Re-Discover Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing conjures up images of fur traders trudging through deep snow on platforms of wood and sinew. But like many other outdoor winter sports, snowshoeing has undergone somewhat of an equipment revolution in recent years. Snowshoes now are constructed of aluminum and synthetic materials and range in price from just under $100 to well over $500.

Edith Cavell, 2006
The Japanese connection on snowshoes.

Access Pristine Wilderness

If conditions are right, snowshoeing offers a chance to see terrain that even cross-country skiers have trouble accessing. Marshy or glade areas, like those found on the Pyramid Bench, are the best place to snowshoe. The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge golf course provides a level area for beginners.

Jaqui and Edwin snow shoe
On the ridge of Pyramid Mountain

The Maligne Lake area offers more snow and good snowshoeing conditions too. Snowshoeing on the lake itself though is not a good idea as ice thickness can vary widely from place to place.

snowshoe-043487
Put on your snow shoes and explore!

Be Prepared to Workout

And be warned - snowshoeing can be hard work and hills are especially difficult. Tromping through the snow provides a great aerobic work-out but can also be tough on the legs. Great for the family outings. Snowshoes are sold and rented at most ski shops.

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Mount Fryatt Adventure

Close to the summit of Mt. Fryatt

This peak is only 9 feet low­er than Mt Edith Cavell. The three of us (Mike, Lar­ry, and myself) had big plans to sum­mit and cap­ture some breath­tak­ing scenery.

Our morn­ing start­ed around 6 am, care­ful­ly not wak­ing the oth­ers in the hut , we chow down our usu­al gorp and start­ed our trek towards the giant mas­sive. The first few hours was just a grunt to the pass Geraldine Val­ley, then things got a lit­tle inter­est­ing. We came upon some expo­sure that was cov­ered in snow and ice. It was so sketchy that Lar­ry and I had sec­ond thoughts. It was not even lunch time yet, so we pushed on.

After lunch we put our cram­pons on and head­ed toward the face of Mt. Fry­att. The ter­rain was rough and the mixed rock and ice was not our forte. We reached the couloir with Mike in the lead and then Lar­ry and myself in the sweep. As usu­al Mike was ahead tak­ing some amaz­ing shots of us ascend­ing the couloir Mike gave Lar­ry a help­ing hand on the ledge and all of a sud­den, “CAMERA, CAMERA…” I see this black object scream­ing from above and I tried to reach the cam­era with my ice axe, but I failed in block­ing the cam­era from its impend­ing doom. It launched of the low­er ledge like it was a mis­sile hur­dling towards the sky.

We reached the ridge at 4 pm (3100 metres) and we got our first look into Geraldine and the Athabas­ca Val­ley, and the sum­mit was only 200 metres away, but it looked like anoth­er kilo­me­tre straight up. After hum­ming and haw­ing for about half an hour, we let log­ic pre­vail. Our descent, back at the couloir, I found a piece of axe han­dle that looked liked Larry’s. Then I saw what looked like a bum slide that end­ed up where Mike’s cam­era had gone. “LARRY, LARRY…” I yelled, no answer, “MIKE, MIKE…” I screamed, again no reply. Fran­ti­cal­ly, with pow­er­ful strokes I impaled the axe into the snow and sped my descent.

From the right side of my ear I heard ” Where’s Lar­ry?” Mike asked. “Is he not with you?” I replied. We start­ed scream­ing “LARRY, LARRY…” still no answer. From the gap between the couloir we saw move­ment. Mike head­ed closer to the edge and saw that Lar­ry was indeed okay.

Relieved that we did not lose him, we re-grouped and he lat­er told us that he went for a slide when the axe han­dle broke and the ledges mut­ed any sound from above. The sun was set­ting and we still had the ugly exposed sketchy sec­tion to tack­le. Final­ly pass­ing that sec­tion in the light, we cel­e­brat­ed with Mike sur­pris­ing us with some liq­uid courage. Snapped some alpine glow shots and head­ed back to the hut. Arriv­ing back at around 11:30pm, we ate and had some beer we stashed in the cold stream and re-counted our day. Not reach­ing the sum­mit was hard to take, but what an adven­ture!

Sep­tem­ber 2002
By Eddie Wong

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Located in Jasper

Located in Jasper

Hin­ton & Area

Edith Cavell Adventure

Here are some shots from the classic route of Edith Cavell. This amazing mountaineering adventure is by far my favorite achievement. The trip took 17 hours round trip with lots of breaks and one mishap.

Caution is advised for this adventure. Climbing knowledge and no fear of exposure is a must! Of course the common sense to hire a mountain guide if your ability is not up to par.

This trip started at 1:40 am at the parking lot of Edith Cavell. A short hike to the first snow patch that leads to the east ridge in the full moon is breathtaking. We put on our crampons and started our accent. This where my epic began, nearly reaching the ridge, my footing failed and I slid down the corn snow in the dark and thinking to myself "this is it!" After 80 or 90 feet of high speed (it felt like 100 miles per hour) decent losing the ice ax right off the bat was not in the plans. Somehow, some lucky turn of event I stopped short of slamming into the rocks where we just crossed. Big sigh of relief and adrenaline rushing through my veins was definitely happening. A distance call from the ridge, "...EDDIE!"

Lucky for me that I packed a spare ice ax, with the adrenaline that was coursing through my system I started my accent again, collected the ax where I had started to fall and shortly was on the ridge where Mike was waiting patiently and perplexed at what happened. I showed him my Huge road rash on my left forearm and out came the first aid. As you can see from these photos, we continued our accent. Whenever there were snow I was very slow going. Can you blame me?

Sun rise at 6:30 am, this sight was to be remembered forever. The First Step to the peak was so intimidating that talk of turning back was spoken, but not really in our plans. The interesting parts were just beginning, hanging out there and looking under your arm pits and seeing the Cavell pond beneath you is some thing that I cannot be captured in words.

The summit was reached at NOON! After a paparazzi session and lunch on top of the world, the ugly decent of the west ridge was to begin. But that is another story...back at the vehicle by 7:30 pm.

by Eddie Wong
August 17, 2000

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