Lurking above the townsite of Banff are 3 tough ice routes. From left to right, they are:
Terminator, the Replicant ,and Sea of Vapors.
On our second try, Jess R and I tagged a dream of a route. I have been obsessing over it for over a decade. It was so amazing and I will be stoked on it for a long time to come. Conditions, weather, and stoke all came together this time for a great day in Banff. The approach went on forever. The avy danger was non-factor, thank god. It is steep and wanders up and over many features. It is nice to have a boot track, but it will blow over with the wind and you will wallow in some places up high. The 1st pitch was hollow, hooky, bouldery, and sketch. The 2nd is steep and sustained. the 3rd was so long and I got so tired, I stopped to belay after 30 meters. It was tough to follow Jesses pitch and launch into another 5+ lead. Jess then led the last short stretch to the top. I cant remember being so tired from an ice climb. The exposure was tremendous. We felt like we had just done something amazing, and we are so excited many hours later. We pulled in the night before and went right after it, revenging a trip for it a month prior. Yehaa! Cant thank Jim (of Pro Mt. Sports) enough for taking the time to get me the right gear!
We would have had better climbing shots, but the belays are tucked into tiny caves behind the icicles. Now for some pics!