As the days are short and the the rain does not stop, climbing outside has become rare these last days. Hence, a small summary of the past year split into multiple posts.
In February I had a chance to try ice-climbing for the first time. With an excellent guide (Thomas Exner) who has explained the technique and showed me some great places around Banff. We climbed the Junkyards and Grotto Falls which were easy climbs, but great for someone who has never tried ice-climbing. As always, it became apparent quite fast that technique matters a lot and even though one can power through things, it is not efficient. You better pay attention to that triangular, or you’ll be exhausted in no time!
It was fun to be a complete newbie again, and while enjoying the ice, I also spotted a nice project for summer which Thomas highly recommended too. It is called Sisyphus Summit, 21 pitches with 6b+ (5.10d) max and 5c min (5.9) with a rather consistent level of 6a-6b overall. That would be a big challenge and some more training is required for that project. So first, Aiguille Dibona in French Alps has to conquered with its classic route Visite Obligatoire (12 pitches of overall consistent 6a). This September our group had to retreat due to some unexpected ice on the rock and unfortunate fall of my partner as the result (the second group successfully reached the summit). More about this trip in one of the successive posts.
Left — after finishing the first multi-pitch on ice; right — second climb of the second multi-pitch, practicing to climb vertical ice.Left — abseiling after the second climb; right — Ha Ling Peak and Sysiphos Summit that is a worthwhile project for the future.