David Thompson Highway – 2 o’clock falls

Today we left Lake Louise. We decided to take advantage of recent thaw and try getting a bit more north.

We got up exceptionally early, packed everything up, had a quick breakfast at local eatery and hit Icefields Pkwy (Route 91) north and then turn east onto David Thompson Highway (Highway 11), to get to “2 o’clock falls”, a rather easy multipitch WI3 fall. The whole journey took no more than 90 minutes, mainly due to the fact that the road was much better condition than yesterday.

The road is named after David Thompson, a famous fur trader and explorer. I recommend reading about him more here.

The whole David Thompson Area is amazing. A really stunning views, just the road and the mountains. No houses, no people, no nothing. Pure nature.

20170313_124146.jpg

The ice climb itself was perfect for what we need, nice and quick,  as once we were done with it, it was a long drive back to Canmore.

The approach to the climb is pretty straight forward:

Park at the “Siffleur Falls Trail Staging Area” (some 25km from Icefields Pkw turnoff) parking lot on the east side of the highway.  From there cross the road. The waterfall is visible from there already. Go along the road for few hundred meters until you see the gate. Follow the path until you get into the woods. The path leads uphill to the base of the climb. The walk shouldn’t take more than 40minutes.

There is a gated road that you will walk up. The land on the West side of the highway is a traditional Native People Area, so be sure to be respectful. These are seen as color cloth market wooden mini structures. Kind of difficult to describe, but you know them once you see them.

20170313_102228.jpg
Native structure on the right. You can see plenty of these. Better left alone.

The climb itself is pretty straight forward. There are at least 4 lines, in 3 distinctive curtains of ice, around 30m each. The easiest seems to be to climber’s left. There was a clear sound of a lot of running water coming from the steeper, right hand side, so we used it as an excuse to stay away from it.

P3130229.JPG
Lar getting ready to lead P1

Lar, as it seems to be a norm recently run out the P1 for 60m (essentially combining P1&2). He seems to be so excited when leading, that he just forgets to stop 😉 Can’t blame him though. We all go much better at it after 10 days!

P3130242.JPG
Lar running it out.

 

When we caught up, I lead a very mediocre last part…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Me going at it yet again.

Some 15m of easy terrain, followed by some 20m more of rambling steps to a tree belay at the top.

20170313_125030.jpg
Lar and PG waiting at the top for me to finish the 1st abseil.

We quickly setup an abseil of said tree, and I went down first to build another one (the tree at the level where Lar belay from had only single piece of webbing with no ring). The guys followed down.

20170313_125903.jpg
Backing up the abseil station.

That was good enough to take us to the ground.

20170313_140633.jpg
The scenery as seen from the climb’s entrance point.

We quickly packed up, walked back to the car and drove off towards Canmore. Due to +7c temperature, roads were black and we were able to complete the journey in only 2 hours.

Tomorrow day off. Got to do some shopping and rest properly as on Wed we’ll attempt to visit Ghost Wilderness Area.

 

 

 

Leave a Reply