cascade on Cascade Mountain

Cascade Mountain FallI started my stay in Banff with an interesting ice-climb on Cascade Mountain, just next to the Icefields Parkway exit to the town. (So we climbed the redundant Cascade Fall!) While the difficulty of the climb was much lower [grade III] than for my earlier ice-climb in Banff, it was incredibly cold (when we started, the temperature was -27⁰C… and rose to -19⁰C by the mid-afternoon, freezing the water in my thermos bottle) and I was a little worried at getting numb fingers, which would definitely not help with the climbing. And at the ice getting too brittle. As it happened, the cold temperature did not bother us at all during the climb which ended up being highly enjoyable. (The missing thumb did not bother me either. Except when clipping gear in and out, where I was rather clumsy.) The mountain guide who took us there was Joe McKay, who was hilarious and highly laid-back. He is also involved in filming climbing tricks and advices, so I may see him again at the Banff Centre this week… (In a video, Joe states that one should not be climbed if it’s 25 below!)

Joe in the first pitch of Cascade Mountain Fall, taking it easy!, March 02, 2014

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