Today after meeting at 8am at the Rocky Mountain Bagel Co., we once again headed out in search of ice. Today we drove about an to where Highway 40 ends in Kananaskis County. Here we hoisted our packs and set off into the canyon carved out by King Creek. The approach was flat and well worn though gorgeous walls of rock…there were several  crossings over King Creek via think snowy logs and ice bridges to add to the excitement. A gully also funneled a large pile of Avalanche debris on the trail… at testament to the power of nature and warning to always be away of your surroundings.

We arrived after about 2-3km to a large frozen flow of ice. This waterfall was much larger than the walls we scaled yesterday and a bit steeper. I belayed Eric up the ice so he could set two top ropes. He, of course, ran up the ice… What else could I expect though. He was, as we explained this morning, part of the team that scaled the hardest (trad) Ice Route ever… Rights of Passage: WI8. W3’s are a walk (or run) in the park to him!

Jeanelle, who by now as become not just my roommate and belayer, but a good friend (all non-typical woman are apparently in Canada) and took our turns on the new ice route all morning. In-between I practiced my swing on some low ice trying to get the wrist flick right. According to Eric it was pretty much the only thing holding me back. Everything else was natural. I thank last summer’s numerous Alpine ascents for that. The ice was of good quality and mostly hard since the canyon was in the shade 95% of the day. We could see the sun shinning on the rocky faces of the mountains, but the rays never hit us.

In the afternoon we went over matching our tool and traversing by placing a tool over on shoulder: a handy trick indeed. We also went over placing ice screws and did some mock leading. Always place the screw at 90 degree, very take your hand off the screw as your place it and, even though you have protection, DO NOT FALL. It much more dangerous to fall ice ice than on rock.

We headed out at about 3:30pm… we begin a new chapter of the course: Mixed Climbing.

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