26 July, 2011

to the bugs

Hello all,

Sittig in a café in Banff watching a light drizzle outside.  We've had a great time thus far.  Yesterday we climbed the Cardiac Arete (5.10d, 4p sport) on the Grand Sentinal Spire in Banff National Park.  Probably the best sport route I've ever done.  Hard to compare; it is an alpine climb on a spire not so different in aspect from Castleton Tower and the size of a walk-in closet at the summit.  And not a soul around.  We saw lynx (if not cougar) tracks on the approach.  A fine, fine day.

Ironically, perhaps the best pitch of the day was on a neighboring trad route.  We were rapping down in it and I couldn't find the 60meter rap anchors, so Anne was going to belay me back up to the 25m anchors.  But the climbing was so superb that I climbed all the way back to the summit.  It was stellar.  The only reason we didn't go down and climb the entire route was lack of BIG gear to protect an easy off-width section and the possibility of weather on the horizon.

Otherwise the climbing at Lake louise was fantastic, if crowded.  The quartzite is truly wonderful.  Good mix of sport and trad.    The van has been a joy.  Weather has been better than expected.  Some good runs and swims.

To look back, no climbing in Glacier, a rainy hike and a run.  Helena was fun seeing Stu and family.

Missoula was fantastic:  Gillian Welsh with B, Stu, Mariah, free ticket, and, of course, Shoshone Spire in Blodgett.


Good times thus far indeed.

Tomorrow we head into the Bugaboos with the hope of fair weather for at least a few days—best "looking" window of the summer, we've heard.  Good news.

When we come out, we'll head up to Mt Sir Donald and look at conditions and wx..  Then south to Skaha and homeward bound. 


Wish us luck.

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