Thursday, February 7, 2008

Day 2 - Grotto Canyon

After climbing The Sorcerer I drove to Banff to meet up with my Danish climbing friends Line Antoft, Martin Ploug and David Braüner. They were at the final stage of their road trip which began in Colorado a month ago when we climbed together at the Ouray Ice Festival. We wanted an easy start where we could all climb in the same area and I thus suggested Grotto Canyon which I had previously visited on a trip in 2005.

Grotto Canyon sports three ice routes of various difficulty (Grotto Falls WI3, Hers WI3-4 and His WI4-5) and several mix routes including Mental Jewelery (M6+) and Sketch and Sniff (M6+). We climbed all these routes albeit we only led the two easiest ice routes. I am still learning to mix climb and thus need more experience before I begin leading M6+! However, I was pleasantly surprised that I toproped both mix routes without falling and hanging which is much better than my previous visit to Grotto Canyon. See pictures of the routes below and click here to see video of me negotiating the crux of Mental Jewelery (which is to move from the rock to the free-hanging ice curtain).
David leading Hers (WI3-4) seen from the top of His.

Line top-roping Sketch and Sniff (M6+).

Martin top-roping His (WI4-5).

Hans top-roping Mental Jewelery (M6+).
Click here to see video of the ascent.

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