Jenn and I spent our first New Years together since meeting almost a year ago. We flew up to Calgary, after a busy work and holiday season. We were greeted by storm and ridiculously cold temperatures. I had no problem taking a rest day right off on day one of the trip. I was exhausted from mega overtime and arriving at the motel at 2 am.
Hard to believe that after dozens of trips to ice climb in the Canadian Rockies, this was the first trip that I flew up there. There are advantages and disadvantages to both modes of travel, overall I am still sold on driving up. It just allows more flexibility. Some obvious advantage to flying however are great: Not having to deal with the driving weather as much, it is an hour and a half flight from Seattle(!), and there is no dread at the end of the trip about the long drive back. Flying sets a more vacationey feel, without having the extra gear to fiddle with. I think for the quickey trips, flying is the way to go.
Day 2: Though the mercury bottomed out at -37c, we went to try Cascade but didn’t like being up there so close to the new snow and first sun on it. We scurried off to Grotto for super cold laps, where everyone was making good use of their ropes to warm up the hands. lol.
There was pressure to do something big on our last day: day 3. After agonising over the avvy danger, we decided to try Bourgeau left, figuring it would be still too cold to warm up the overhead slopes? On the lower runouts below this classic climb, we tried in earnest to release any of the lower slopes, but couldn’t. Well, up we went, enjoying sublime yet chandeliered conditions. Late on time, we raced to finish and retreat to the base just as we needed headlamps. Such a great climb, and what a great girlfriend I have!