Tuesday, December 12, 2006

J - Canmore ice festival

We recently spent the weekend at Canmore for the Canmore Ice Festival which was fun. It's a combined thing with ice courses, slide shows, competitions etc. We decided to camp because the weather was going to be good, but found out to our dismay that the floor of our tent is only about as waterproof as a t-shirt these days and we melted all the snow with our body heat and it formed a soggy pit where we slept. Strange because the last time we used it it was sweet.

The ice festival was fun, they put up a scaffold with chicken wire on it and dribbled water down until it turned into an ice wall. The early part of the morning was busy with the public trying ice climbing, myself included. I liked it and convinced the various industry stalls to lend me boots, ice axe etc to enter the intermediate competition, held on a mix of overhanging plywood and plastic holds, topping out onto chainsawed off icicles.

Lucky for me everyone who was looking good, fell off and I came second via the turtle approach.

Sport ice climbing has a downside though, lots of standing around doing nothing on very cold days kind of saps your motivation. Both Merewyn and I were very impressed with the Petzl Charlet new ice tool 'nomic' as well as the whole leashless climbing thing.

It is actually much easier to climb leashless with your ice tools because the leash cuts off the flow of blood to your arms as well as supporting your wrist. And on sport ice who cares if you drop it. Except maybe your belayer :)

M - oh yeah and I went out on the Friday to do an Ice Climbing Clinic, that is on real waterfalls...

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