It was 3.45 am and I shot out of bed. Being first on the ice climb is something I take very seriously. Jerry and I scrambled around the condo making our breakfast, coffee, lunch, and hot drinks. We were on the road by 5am to the Weeping Wall – Canadian Rockies Ice Climb located 2 hours north up in a remote area of the Icefields Parkway.
The road was snow covered of the entire way. I wondered when or if they plow this thing on a regular basis. Not many visitors or travelers at this time of year only us ice climbers seeking crazy adventures.
As the skies brightened up the mountains took shape. Steep jagged peaks on both sides of the road. This is the Canadian Rockies, a truly spectacular place, that is if you like snow covered icy mountains in remote areas.
The Polar Circus ice climb came into view as we sped by. These are the three upper pitches on the 2000 foot route. The Polar Circus is a quality alpine climb sought out by many. This route is threatened by huge avalanche slopes above the notch and with a considerable rating today we did not consider this as a route for us.
A bit about the cold – today along the way the temperature bottomed out at -28c which is a bone chilling cold of -18f. We were scared of finding hard brittle ice and feeling cold numb hands and feet, not really sure what it would be like out there.
Here we are in the lot at the base of the Weeping Wall our cars facing the magnificent ice climb. The yanks appear to have this one locked up. Mooney Mountain Guides, Gravity Guide, and GOMountainGuides are all lined up but waiting patiently for the sun to come around. Will this temperature rise a few degrees?
The sun came around and we rallied to the base of the climb. Puffy jackets, mittens, all the cold weather gear was put to use. The first pitch went well Jerry and I actually stayed warm as the sun started to do its magic!!!
My climb which was left of center put me in a great position to shoot the Iceman on the steeper center line. Dale commented on how his route is steeper than it looked. Well it looked very steep from my position.
Another image of Dale on the center line of this classic route, one of the most sought after, the Weeping Wall – Canadian Rockies Ice Climb!!!
Back to the cold, well the sun certainly warmed us up. Once the rays hit the wall this sheltered ice route became a surprisingly friendly place. The ice did remain hard and brittle and I found myself hacking away to find good stick with my tools. Other than that the climbing conditions were quite pleasant for us.
Five hours later Jerry and I were at the base of the climb, we survived the day. It was a fun time climbing along side our friends Dale Remsberg and Patrick Ormand on the Weeping Wall.
Weeping Wall – Canadian Rockies Ice Climb
The Weeping Wall has two sections with the lower wall being wide and tall. The upper tier holds another section of hard ice routes. This place the Canadian Rockies is outstanding, one of the finest waterfall ice venues on the planet.