Banff Ice Climbing • Emery Dameron • March 20 to 24, 2006

Emery Dameron, from the San Francisco Bay Area, joined Mark for five days of climbing on the waterfalls of the Canadian Rockies. While the winter weather and conditions had been "up and down" for much of the season, when we arrived they were decidedly on the "up" side. The ice was fat, fat, fat, the temperatures generally cool and the avalanche hazard low to moderate. The weather warmed up a bit too much on our last day, but otherwise conditions couldn't have been better.

We started our 5 days with an ascent of Professor Falls, a Rockies classic. Here, the ice was so big that several of the bolted rappel anchors were either buried or hidden behind giant curtains. The climb was in great shape though the last crux pitch was soaking wet.

Other Recent Trips

On our second day we climbed Guinness Stout. Here Emery climbs the last few feet of the "Stout". Again, the ice was remarkably fat, especially on the first, normally thin pitch.


On our third day, we climbed Kitty Hawk. In contrast with all the other routes we saw, kitty Hawk was a tad on the thin side, especially on the first pitch. However, the ice was very forgiving, and the route was fun and very climbable. And as always, the Kitty Hawk ambiance was quite impressive.


Emery, about half way up Kitty Hawk.


Rappeling down Kitty Hawk after our climb.


On day 4, we climbed Coire Dubh Intégrale, a fun mixed route on Goat Mountain, not far from Canmore. Here, we are just leaving the car park in the morning. The route lies up a hidden gully, in this photo, just above and a tad left of Emery. The route begins with a few moderate ice pitches, then climbs rock, connecting ledge systems to reach the ridge crest above.


After the lower ice pitches, Emery climbs up to the base of the first rock pitch. This follows the left-leaning ramp just above the tree in the upper right part of this photo.


Emery on the last steep rock, about 50 meters below the top of the route.


The descent of Coire Dubh is long and scenic, following the ridge over Loder Peak and then down to the 1A highway, far in the valley below.


On our last day we chose Murchison Falls, another Rockies classic. The weather had warmed up considerably and we hoped that the high elevation of this route would keep temperatures low.


Unfortunately, even up high it was still quite warm, and the loose ice screws, a bit of rockfall and lots of ice hanging above us suggested that perhaps it was better to retreat and do battle another day. Here, Emery rappels down the second pitch of the route.

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