Rumours and Drools

Grant P

Copied from FB but worth documenting for early conditions: OK admit it, there's some of you that have swung tools already and even more who have begun drooling over the pics. I'm waiting for things to fatten up a tad before making my tools spark but on a quick turn around yesterday evening, work had me drive to Banff. No time to stop and take pics and fading light on the return. Here are some observations, feel free to add more in the comments. *Generally, while snow was lingering on north aspects high up, south aspects were all melted off. *Trophy Wall. Somewhat more ice than in a couple years already. Not really in yet but forming. Lower half of Terminator had ice, and either Replicant or Sea of Vapours had some ice at the top but not below. Also looked like some wet rock so a reasonable chance the T-wall may form some routes this year. *Welcome to Canada looked formed high up but not low down, although didn't have time to properly confirm that. *La Goute had the dagger forming. Slow forming temps may see it touch down and form but a cold snap or warming temps may screw that up. *Sacre Bleu looked to be forming up well. Low accumulation above the climb. Not able to say how the lower ice is although the trail is likely good for a bike approach. *Twisted Sister area. Definitely ice up here however I think its the climb left of TS that has more ice. In any case these climbs are known to require drytooling or mixed on the initial climbing even when upper ice is well formed. Pack accordingly. *Mount Lougheed area. There are a couple lines look to be formed or well on their way on the side that faces Windtower. Avi slopes and a long approach ensures low visitation for these climbs however they are forming nicely and snow amounts are light so far. *Ranger Creek. This fits firmly in the rumour column because I have not put eyes on the drainage. However based on ice formation elsewhere I'd say the climbs here are forming up. I mention this because I know people will be heading there either already or very soon. Avi gear is a must for any climb in the drainage even if you think avi risk is almost non existent. I speak as a member of a club that is bigger than you might think when I say avi risk in Ranger is higher than you think. Some final reminders. Add a grade to the given grades for early season. Hope that whatever you inevitably forget is something you can manage without. Don't sharpen your picks and screws just yet, you'll have to do it again after you hit rock several times. Take your biggest puffy because those first ice days always seem colder than the -20c days. If you're reading this, karma asks you share your own rumours and drools in return.

Weather conditions were: Sunny, Warm.