Sunday, March 13, 2011

Big Ice Climbing Season In The Interior!

Its been a while since my last post and there is a lot to report...

It was a big season for ice climbing in the Okanagan/Sicamous/Revy area this season.
We saw a lot of extreme freeze/thaw temperatures which allowed a lot of random ice to form. Here is a kinda record of what was done

In Kelowna the Christie Falls area saw lots of action. Located off of Westside Rd. up Bear Creek a few hours, Adam Tutte and some others discovered a new little playground along with some other climbs in the area that showed up in good form. Here is a description of the Chrisitie Falls/Bear Creek canyon:

The Phenom - WI6 35m
Climb the pillar on technical and funky ice to a very steep finish. Bolted anchors on both
sides on the top.

Let's Get Ready To Rumble - WI4 20m
The frozen seep to the right of the falls. Climb steep but good ice to a bolted anchor.

Rumble In The Bronx - WI5 M10 40m
Climb the LGRTR seep then start puling down through the overhang past bolts to a big hanging dagger/curtain (depending on conditions). 2 raps to get down. Still awaiting FA!

Adam is filling me in on other routes done recently in the Kelowna Area, will post them up when I get the info.

Now as far as Enderby goes, most of the newish/unknown routes are all located on the Enderby Cliffs and one is located down Mabel Lake Rd towards Kingfisher. I will explain them from Grinrod left to right (north to south):

Spring Creek Falls - WI3/3+ - 70m/100m
There are a left and a right falls here, easy to do both in a day. They are located in a big grotto like drainage visible from Grinrod just left of the actual Enderby Cliffs (steep part). The left hand falls goes at WI3 70m and the right hand a little harder at WI3+ 100m owing to its more sustained nature. Both routes have a beautiful atmosphere that is usually associated with Rockies style routes. Good ice and a pretty sheltered location make for a dependable season.

Mythologic - WI6 - 140m
The big brown pencil that forms in the middle of the Enderby Cliffs finally saw it's first ascent this winter! Climb funky ice through 4 pitches. Forms sometimes but not all the time, has a 3 hour approach and sports technical and sometimes hard to protect ice. Stellar route in a beautiful location.

Falls Creek Falls - WI4+ 120m
Located down the Mabel Lake Rd. towards Kingfisher east of Enderby. These falls lie high on a cliff band north of the Shuswap River in a beautiful spot. A 3 hour approach that requires a sled and/or permission from a landowner is worth scoping out before attempting the route (more difficult than it looks). Fat blue ice that is climbed through 3 sustained pitches with good belays and screws.

Now in Sicamous there is just one new route(s)/area to mention and they formed up in the crazy thaw/freeze at the end of February to the left (east) of the popular route Rest Stop just before Malakwa off the Trans Canada. The routes are best done as a link up that makes for a really fun full day of climbing!

Run To The Hills - WI3 50m
The left hand route with some cool gully climbing to a final steep pillar

Aces High - WI3 50m
The center line with a steep short pillar to start, some WI2, then a fun little steep finish

Fear Of The Dark - WI3+ 35m
The prize of the area located in a cool dark corner hidden from view. Climb either Aces High and traverse into it or approach it right from the road up a steep gully (hard to find first try). The first ascent climbed up good WI3 ice that steepened to almost vertical for about 10m at the finish. Fun!

There were some rarely climbed routes that formed up well in Eagle Pass as well this year near Revy that got climbed but I will mention them with more detail in the new topo I am setting up. I will try to get it out and ready next fall that will encompass all the climbing from Rogers Pass to Kelowna and everywhere in between so there is a nice record of information. I think it would be nice to get all this stuff recorded so climbers could get on the routes while our short season allowed. I give thanks and congrats to all the motivated guys and gals this year and all the good climbing and good exchange of info/beta, it seems almost time to go rock climbing now.......


  1. Those are some amazing photos. I had no idea that there was such excellent ice climbing in the area.

    I passed on the post to my uncle who is also into ice climbing. I may even be able to get him out to visit lots next winter with all the excellent ice climbing to be found.

  2. checked out christie falls on the weekend. we're not climbers, but its a sweet spot for adventures of all types. sweet blog too! you've got a new follower.

    check out our trip here..