Mt. Cascade Via Cascade Falls - Banff

Thursday, December 02, 2010

View Photos

Cascade falls is a 300M water fall and is undoubtably the most looked at climb in the Rockies and is obvious to everyone as they drive by the turnoff to Banff on the Trans-Canada Highway. I’m stoked to having finally climbed it.

Although its not a difficult climb it is in a large avalanche path and poor snow stability above has kept me from climbing it before.

I enjoyed the lead most of the day for this one as this is more my speed for leading (primarily WI III and some WI IV climbing) - Larry leads when its a harder climb.

Unfortunately just before the final pitch Larry’s picks on both of his axes snapped off about 1” from the tip. The ice was hard and it was very cold causing this. Anyways, I exchanged both my good ice axes for his bad ones as I figured it would be good training for me to try climbing with his broken ones. I found out that it was like ice climbing with hammers. The harder I swung the axe the harder it bounced out - no tip translated into no penetration. With these useless tools I took about an hour to climb 30 meters while top ropped on the final pitch but I summitted eventually. I really wanted this climb and turning around was not an option for me here. We topped out and replaced the picks in Banff while we continued North towards the Weeping Wall.

All in all a very cold but great day of climbing.

Partial list of completed climbs -

*First ascent