Canada – Day7 – Guinness Gully WI4

With:
Derek Aherne - Pitch 1 & 3
Padraic Gibbons - Pitch 2
Michal Samsel - Pitch 4

 

For today we had planned to do of amazing 300m of Cascade Falls WI3, however upon arriving to the base of the climb it turned out it was nearly gone (due to its south facing position).

Our backup plan was Guinness Gully – WI4 – a climb we were hoping to save for Paddy’s Day, but due to the above we’ve decided to just do it today. A not so short drive to not so nearby Field (around 1.5h from Canmore), and a quick navigation around the village (as per Ice Lines book directions description) got us to the road where  where you pull over on to access the climb.

Guinness Gully it’s one of the few climbs in the area. roadside accessible with very short walk-in.

The whole area is avalanche prone, so extreme caution and proper assessment are necessary.

From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully

As usually we marked our car with the destination we were going to climb and moved out.

From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully

On the way up we’ve seen signs of previous avalanches, as well other evidence of the warnings seen before:

From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully

At the base of the climb after somewhat heated discussion regarding avalanche conditions, we’ve decided to do some further assessment. Here’s one of them:

From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully

After discussing the situation a bit more, we’ve decided that it was safe enough to begin the climb.

The whole climb is around 240m in height but is split in 3 (or 4, depending on how to look at it) pitches with total of around 135m of epic water ice climbing.

Derek went to lead the first pitch. A nice 30m of WI4.

From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully

Gibbons and I followed. It was indeed pretty steep – but it was nothing comparing to what was awaiting us (you couldn’t see next parts from the bottom – had to climb a pitch, walk some meters up to the base of another pitch).

From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully

Here’s Del at the Belay point number 1

From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully

Pitch 2 didn’t look ‘that’ bad from the bottom, but it was quite technical and sustained.

Here’s Gibbons getting ready.

From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully

According to the leader the middle part was especially challenging, yet rewarding.

From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully

Another short solo to the base of another pitch (3).

From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully

And what a pitch that was! A solid and lengthy 60m of Wi4. A real gem of a pitch!

From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully

That’s not even half way up yet!

From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully

While Derek has been busting his balls on that pitch, Gibbons found some time for one of his classic selfie moments:

From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully

View down the valley from the base of pitch3

From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully

He made it! (but for some reason instead of using a bolted belay he decided to build his own) 😉

From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully

The last 15m is optional, a relatively straight forward terrain (although a bit tricky to get to the belay if you lead it on its right hand side line):

From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully
From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully

Another Gibbons selfie moment. Will someone tell him that’s not how to do selfies?

From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully

Top out victory photo!

From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully

Lengthy abseil and walk off down. It’s actually 3 abseils and some walk offs. Bar avalanche danger it’s relatively straight forward:

From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully
From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully
From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully

Back in the car:

From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully

As a bonus on the way back we met with IMC’s president Peter Wood, who is here on a skiing trip with his friends (flying back to Dublin tomorrow).

From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully

Safe travels home Peter!

 

Bonus photos (Just because of awesomeness of P3): – Hernzer and Gibbons at its base still figuring out who’ll lead it:

From Canada2016-Day07-GuinnessGully

Leave a Reply