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Routes in Mt. Bourgeau

Bourgeau Left-Hand WI5
Bourgeau Right-Hand T WI4
Early Worm, The S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Type: Ice, Alpine, 600 ft, 4 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Tim Auger, George Homer, Rob Wood, Jan '74. FFA John Roskelly, Jim States
Page Views: 872 total, 18/month
Shared By: Dave Rone on Dec 14, 2013
Admins: Dave Rone, Tom Gnyra

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Description

An excellent route, one of the best for its grade, with three great pitches leading to the crux pitch at the top. The major downfall (pun intended) of the route is the extreme avalanche hazard that exists from above. The area is regularly bombed and it is imperative to be aware of conditions. The route also gets lots of sun, so it can change in short order.

P1: Climb steep, sometimes hollow ice to a fixed belay on the left.
P2: Continue up steep ice to the broad ledge and a fixed anchor. Again, this may sound hollow if the ice is separating from the rock wall, and it can be thin at the top.
P3. Move the belay up and right, and climb a short pitch to a fixed anchor in a sheltered alcove.
P4: Climb a long, steep pitch of good ice to the top, and a fixed anchor on the right.

Rappel the route from fixed stations.

Location

The route lies about 500m left of Bourgeau Right, but cannot be seen until you are below it. Park in the Sunshine Village parking lot, and walk past the gondolas, through the far end of the parking lot to a trail along the creek. Continue up and right, climbing ice steps up the gully or working up rock slabs to the base of the route.

Protection

Take a selection of screws, extra 10's and 13's if the route is in thin conditions. Fixed anchors are in place for each pitch.

Photos

George Bell
Boulder, CO
 
George Bell   Boulder, CO
 
There is also some avalanche danger below the climb, as we found out in 1996. On the approach we had to climb over a wall of snow 20 feet high soon after leaving the parking lot. It turns out this was not due to plowing the parking lot but by a significant avalanche which had started below the climb and run down into the trees bordering the parking lot.

The recent avalanche made the approach easier, and we completed the climb without incident. However, someone at the ski area noticed the fresh avalanche debris and informed the Canmore Hostel of the avalanche. Since the hostel manager knew we were headed for this ice climb, he assumed we had been involved in the avalanche, and called in a rescue. Only after we came back to the hostel did we learn about this. Lucky for us, the avalanche had apparently occurred in the middle of the (previous) night. Jul 20, 2014
RKM
Alpine, Utah and Almo, Idaho
 
RKM   Alpine, Utah and Almo, Idaho
 
Can you imagine a four pitch, mostly vertical ice climb sitting across the parking lot at Snowbird or Alta or Vail?

That's about what this monster climb in Canada is. Despite an hour hike up, it's still one of the best.

Canadian Ice - the States don't even compare. Mar 5, 2014