Ben and I (Martin) lead a group of 4 participants in the first ACC CMS Introduction to Ice on March 10-11, 2023. Bags packed and loaded, we left Revelstoke at 0600 and made one stop in Golden before arriving at our first destination, Cedar Creek Steeps.
After a nice hike, we arrived at the large steep ice flow, towering over 30m. The group discussed the hazards and risks upon arrival to an ice climbing area and positioning ourselves to mitigate the hazards.
Participants were eager to learn, donning crampons and ice tools, we went through the basic movements of ice from swinging and positioning tools, kicking with crampons, and using the A-frame. At the end of the day everyone had some exposure to what ice climbing is, setting themselves up for another day of ice climbing. We departed the climbing area and set our compass to the Canmore Hostel that evening.
As Chef Ben was preparing our dinner, we were busy organizing ourselves for the next day. A tasty dinner was consumed and a reflection of the day was shared among the group.
On our second day, we went to Johnston Canyon. With overnight lows of -21, everyone was eager to get out and play. We arrived early in the parking lot and started the hike in. As we approached the climbing area, we crossed a creek (on an icy snow bridge) past some ice steps. On this day however, the area quickly got busy. Luckily we were able to set up lines on a steeper section and members were able to experience the joys of hooking on picked-out ice climbs.
At the end of the day, we arrived at the parking lot in good time, and before heading home we had a small debrief about how the day went, what participants learned that day, and what we can improve.
Overall, it was a very successful trip, and ice conditions were better than I imagined given that we are in March already. Much thanks to Ben, Katee, and Sara for helping in organizing this trip.