New Route on NW Face of Mt. Bell

Had another great day out recently. This alpine crag climbing is really fun and these routes are a dime a dozen here in the Canadian Rockies. After a couple good routes early season I may now be ready for a winter of skiing. I am off to do my ACMG Assistant ski guide traning and exam this winter.

"Zeitgeist (german for "The spirit of a Generation)"

IV+ 530m M7- WI5R
FA: Rob Owens, Steve Holeczi. Nov. 8 /2007
Rack:10 screwsNuts/ Cams to 3" with double .75/1/26 pins mostly KBs, Bird beaks, ice hooks, 12 draws.

High quality quartzite mixed climbing. It took us 2 attempts and there is a lot of snow clearing on the pitches so bring lots of gloves.

Approach via Taylor Lake which is 9 kms west of Castle Junction. 2.5hrs to base.
P1-WI4 60m (2 nut fixed belay).
P2-4 -150m snow up the gully with short mixed steps.
P5-WI4+ 55m Beautiful narrow Scottish snice corner to belay behind pillar.
P6-M6+ 30m Short but steep drytooling around fragile pillar. Belay in alcove.
P7-M7-WI5 30m Excellent and sustained pitch on right wall. Crux is traversing back left to fixed 2 nut belay.
P8-M6+WI5R 55m Awesome pitch through mixed roofs to steep veneer protected by cams.
P9-10 80m of snow and M4 scratchy terrain.
P11-M5 30m Super positive, steep, well protected dry tooling to ridge
P12-M4 40m Climb up into obvious alley-way around corner to ridge.
We rapped the route. Most of the anchors would now be covered in snow.

New Alpine route on unclimbed(?) Peak up Chickadee Valley

“Owens/Walsh” on the North Face of "Mt. MOG" 2680 Meters,
IV+, M6+, A1, 600 Meters(of elevation gain),
October 26th/2007.

Chickadee Valley is just on the BC side of the continental divide more or less opposite the Stanley Headwall valley. I first noticed this peak/face while ski touring last spring. The line looked great in the spring but there would have been a lot more snow to deal with and the climb would likely have taken a lot longer.

An awesome day, ice splatterings on every pitch but only 2 ice screws used on the entire route. A couple hard pitches with lots of easier mixed(m4)inbetween which allowed us to get to the top and down in 16 hours. Snow conditions were perfect...neve in places!

I think this style of alpine climbing ie: lesser known, lower elevation peaks with still decent sized faces, is really catching on up here. For many of the still active but seasoned veterans of the M-generation this is a great alternative to bolting yet another mixed route. It hones the skills for bigger alpine walls as it involves climbing in committing situations (in winter like conditions, remote areas, run outs etc, short days)

We aided on short section to keep the pace. It would have gone free at a short but very physical M8ish(overhanging, arcing roof corner crack with decent gear but no feet to start)

After doing considerable research to see if the peak had been climbed we figure it hadn't and called the peak Mt. MOG. 'MOG' stands for Man of Girth of which Eamonn and I both are. Can also stand for 'Part man, part dog".

Decent involved down climbing and one rappel to the south side of the peak and then we decended the drainage to the east (involving exposed down climbing and one short rappel). I think we should have gone down a couloir on the west side of the peak.
Rack= 6 pins (blades to baby angle), the upper two sizes of BD peckers(amazing in thin, ice filled, or expanding cracks and flakes, my new favorite gear for Rockies alpine climbing), 8 nuts(full size range), cams from .5" to 3" ( a #4 Camalot would be useful a couple times but we did without). Worth Doing. The Second crux M6+ pitch. Awesome!