Ice - Guinness Gully
Banff Yoho & Kootenay National Park
Grant P , Wednesday 10th March, 2021 5:30AM
From the highway most of the climbs on Dennis and Stephen looked in good shape. Close up that may be different. If you cross the river to get to the Stephen climbs at least some sections of the river were open however driving at 90kmh I couldn't say what ice bridges remained. One observation we made as we left the area is that the sun was just starting to hit Carlsberg around 5pm. Pilsner was still in shade but may have gotten sun a little later. Guinness was travelled but not as much of a hookfest as it sometimes is. Pitch 1 pro was reasonable but some air pockets means trying a second placement. Pitch 2 was steep but a nice groove and features made it fun. The groove trends left as the angle eases so choose a belay location that isnt exposed to ice fall below it. Pitch 3 was the crux. Some questionable screws and steeper than some years. Also a lot of fracturing. Noticably more than on the lower pitches. Right side on the rappel line had some wet ice but generally most pitches were dry. A non climbing observation: the Tiger Shark beer at Truffle Pigs is a tasty refreshing way to rehydrate before you leave Field.
We didn't have a thermometer but forecast was a low around -15 rising to almost freezing. That seems likely however we felt it remained cold most of the day. Winds were mostly calm or light however the little breeze that did blow had a cold edge to it. Sun shone most of the day. We felt the overnight freeze kept the snowpack locked up but being in the shade we couldn't tell what effect the sun had. We observed no avi activity or sloughing around us nor across the valley.