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

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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ACCOMMODATIONS

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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