Monday, March 05, 2007

M - Mixing it Up

Merewyn and Jess approaching the Bear Spirit Ice and Mixed Crag near Banff

This weekend we went to Bear Spirit, a mixed climbing crag near Banff. Mixed climbing is climbing rock using ice axes and crampons, and then usually finishing onto a hanging icecle or some such.

Harder than it looks, you never know how well your tools are hooked and they sometimes pop off launching you off the climb. Thankfully these routes are usually well bolted a la sport climbing so it is pretty safe. Even so, we were hanging on topropes, popping off all over and getting really pumped forearms. The trick to getting your tools to stay put it to keep a totally steady pressure, and this usually means you are hanging on as tight as you can!

It's fun because it is different, you have enourmous reach with your tools, and it can be very gymnastic using all the overhanging rock climbing type body positions. It is also frustrating because "I should be able to climb that - I have jugs to pull on all the way!"

My idea of what constitutes a huge hold has been totally revised. In other highlights I led my first WI3 route, though it was a shortie (like me)

There are some more pics but they are still on Lachlan's camera, soon I promise.

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