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Canada 2016 holidays my travels sport

Canada – Day5 – Rest day aka location scouting

A bit different schedule than usually today – instead packing up early for climbing we decided to take a day off and do some research on the Ghost River area.

It’s  a very remote place- around 2h drive from Canmore. Details here: http://www.summitpost.org/south-ghost-climbs/291125

The Ghost was established in 1967 on the front range of the Canadian Rockies and consists of 15,317ha (60 square miles) of raw wilderness bordering Banff National Park to the east and north. Its mountains include Mounts Aylmer, Apparition, Oliver and Costigan. The Ghost Valley actually refers to a larger area that is more specifically located approximately 30kms north of Canmore along the eastern border of Banff National Park and east of the Palliser Mountain Range. The Ghost’s glacier carved valleys provide for steep water runoff creating some of the best waterfall ice climbing in Canada. Much of this terrain is considered less avalanche prone than most ice routes in Kananaskis and routes deeper into the national parks. Although not all the Ghost climbs are technically in The Ghost (many of the climbs are in Banff National Park), this whole area of provincial wilderness takes on that identity.
 
The Ghost Valley is discussed as the South Ghost and North Ghost relative to climbing. The South Ghost is divided into several different areas when discussing waterfall ice: Orient Point, Devil’s Gap,Planter’s Valley, Constellation Valley, Black Rock Mountain and Johnson Creek. The North Ghost includes all the climbs along both sides of the Ghost River. The “North Ghost” routes entail more of a 4×4 drive approach than the “South Ghost” routes.

We’ve decided to focus on Devil’s Gap area of the South Ghost as it is the most accessible area – it still is around 2h driving – that requires 17km of gravel off-roading, very steep unpaved hill-climbing, as well as crossing dry river bed.

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Our driver and Toyota did a good job getting us there safely. Some manual road cleaning was required though:

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End of road – Banff National Park border. This is where you leave the car and hike couple of km (depending on the climb you choose). This is a seriously remote area with no services and possible bear and cougars encounters.

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Here we see Wicked Wanda – Wi4+ – 2 pitch 50m route we’ll come back to do tomorrow. Zoomed in photo on the link under the picture.

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Generally it was a good day out – and we are coming back tomorrow there to climb so stay tuned for climb reports shortly!

From Canada2016-Day05-RestDay-GhostScouting
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Canada 2016 holidays my travels

Canada – Day4 – Lake Louise Falls – WI4

Yet another epic day – completely different than yesterday, when we were pretty much done by lunch time.

Today we got up as usual at 7am, I made my famous eggs and bacon, and by 9.30 we were gearing up at the car park. Lake Louise is based around 1h drive from Canmore.

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The approach is super easy – essentially walk the trail by the lake – you can almost  see the fall from the moment you leave the car park.

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Strava approach and elevation gain link: https://www.strava.com/activities/512209134

Detailed route description can be found here: http://www.summitpost.org/louise-falls-iii-wi-4/181139

In short – it’s an amazing WI4/5 (depending on conditions) multipitch – up to 120m – that can be done in anything between 2 and 4 pitches. Biggest risk involve falling debris – which one party ahead of us seen first hand.

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Big chunk of falling ice cut Kasia’s (that we met climbing with her boyfriend) eyebrow pretty deep. Luckily I had a first aid kit and could fix  her up before she continued her adventure on the last pitch.

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But to get there one has to climb 3 pitches of fantastic ice up to amazing ice cave.

Big shout-out to Del for leading the cave pitch (pitch 3) – absolute amazingballs!

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Leaving the cave:

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I must say though that for me, personally the most physically challenging was overhanging ice of pitch 2 leading to the cave – especially the top part of it  – lead by Paddy: good job on that.

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I should have really lead the 4th pitch – easy WI3 – but by the time I finished fixing up Kasia, it was already claimed. My bad really. I still enjoyed the day – probably the best so far.

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Us at the bottom leaving the climb. We took the right hand side line – with the cave seen 3 quarters up the route.

Ret of the photos from that day are here:

Canada2016-Day04-LakeLouise

 

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Canada 2016 holidays my travels Uncategorized

Canada – Day3 – Grotto Canyon Falls – WI3

Easy ground. Short drive, short walking. Good WI3 2 pitch climbing – I led both, boys followed, and then free solo’ed.

 

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Place is set in amazing canyon – you walk up frozen river for around 2km.

While it’s relatively safe, and a popular destination for tourists and climbers alike even easy walks can have bad consequences if one slips and falls:

As we were finishing up the climb we met a woman with 2 kids. They decided to check out the base of the fall we just climbed, and on a way up there (very easy ground) the woman slipped (she was wearing spikes) and slid down on her ass, breaking her thumb in the process. It was badly dislocated, and they quickly walked back to their car to drive to the hospital. I hope she’s ok.

 

His and Hers (other 2 falls in the area) weren’t climbable – very think and dangerous.

Description:

http://www.canadianrockiesice.com/ice-climbs/bow-valley/grotto-canyon/

Photos:

Canada2016-Day03-GrottoCanyon

Approach hike and elevation gain as recorded by Strava here: https://www.strava.com/activities/511150763

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Canada 2016 holidays my travels Uncategorized

Canada – Arrival and first climbing- Moonlight Falls WI4

We arrived to Calgary on the 4th of March. It  took over 20 hours, as our flight was delayed and we missed a connection in Toronto.

Luckily I planned ahead and had a hotel booked at Calgary airport. Good night’s sleep, visit at local climbing store (mec.ca) and a short drive (1.5h) to Canmore next day made a very good start to this adventure.

First day was no climbing. We settled in in Canmore Bear Hostel, figured out what’s what and got ready for some good ice the following day.

The walking wasn’t too bad – although we’ve taken a wrong turn and added probably 2km through the woods. Oh well.

The climb was very good. Solid WI4,  Del and Padraig swapped leads, with me carrying “supplies” bag as a second. The 2nd pitch cave belay is worth mentioning – good bolted belay at unusual location.

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Description Below:
http://www.cirrusalpineguides.com/activity/route/moonlight-falls-110m-wi-4

Our photos.

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holidays

So it is ON!

Leave Thu 10 Oct 19hr 20min Total time
Depart Dublin airline logo Emirates 162
Economy | Boeing 777
5,925.6 km | 7hr 35min
13:50 Dublin Airport (DUB) | Terminal 2
Stop 1 Dubai
00:25 Dubai Int’l Airport (DXB) | Terminal 3
Change planes. Time between flights: 2hr 35min
Depart Dubai airline logo Emirates 316
Economy | Boeing 777
7,597.7 km | 9hr 10min
03:00 Dubai Int’l Airport (DXB) | Terminal 3
Arrive Osaka
17:10 Kansai Int’l airport (KIX) | Terminal 1
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holidays

@Reda

Reda

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holidays

Black sand @Stromboli

black sand.

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holidays

Mount Etna Exursion

Unfortunately we didn’t make it on time (got late by 20 mins – drove there for 4 hours!) to go with an expedition to the very top of that magnificent volcano. 2800m is the highest they’ll let you go without a guide.

Anyway – here it is (click on the photo to open the gallery):

Mount Etna

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holidays sport video

Xmas time

This year (as in 2011) we’ve decided to spend the Xmas time with Monika’s family. That was the best idea EVER.

We’ve spent fantastic time skiing, meeting friends and having a good time in general. Also we became godparents to little Tomasz – Monika’s sister son. 🙂

 

Skiing was the super awesome idea – we got few friends together and went to Karpacz (20km away from where the family lives). Since I never done it before (skiing) it was something special. Somehow only 1h of lessons with certified instructor got us on our feet (unfortunately there wasn’t more time to go more often) and we had some excellent time.  As usual I had my go-pro action camera with me – hence here it is:

Day1:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHSSktrsefA&w=560&h=315]

Day2:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBTXWgnOmPQ&w=560&h=315]

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holidays my travels photo USA 2011

Wrap up time. Days 13 and 14.

A bit of a delay in uploading these – I’ve been very busy and just didn’t have time.

Anyway – below is the link to the last 2 days of our USA trip. Some Vegas photos (above view from our 55th floor at the Trump Tower), skydiving photos. and footage from a helicopter trip to the west rim of Grand Canyon.

This way or another – I still have loads of video material to edit and upload – so stay tuned!

Day 13&14 – Vegas  <–CLICK!