No use in Crying…

After a few days of ‘warming up’ (aka. getting pumped on water ice) at Lake Louise Falls and Johnston Canyon Nick and I got on to our first big mixed route of the trip.

‘No use in Crying’ is a stunning line on the Upper Weeping Wall. It was put up in 2008 by Rob Owens and John Walsh using exclusively trad gear and makes for a wild expedition (considering its close proximity to the road). After a 200m approach up Snivelling Gully (WI3) the route features four pitches of sustained mixed climbing at M6 / M6 / M7 / M6 – in Scotland these would rate in at around VII, 8 / VII, 8/9, IX, 9/10(?!) / VII, 8. Gulp…

The style of the route was impressively Scottish, the main difference being in the rock – the shaky/loose limestone. It seemed that everything could blow at any moment! Placements are thin,  feet are sketchy, and good gear is hard to find – it’s pretty terrifying stuff and it would suffice to say high reserves of mental stamina were required to stay calm as were high reserves of forearm stamina not to get too pumped!

That said, I found the mixed style of climbing far more familiar to the hard water ice, and despite the fact the route was significantly harder than the ice we have been climbing it felt FAR more familiar in terms of style (and thus I got less pumped). Like with all climbing it comes down to relaxation, as I climb more in a given style I find my ability to remain calm increases. I make silly mistakes whilst ice climbing: bashing away at placements that are already good, over-gripping on the handle, placing too many screws, and generally hanging around. No doubt many of these will be remedied by mileage, and that’s the fun part – let’s go climbing!

Back to the route…

As if the difficulty wasn’t enough, the non-stop snow throughout the day covered the route (and the road) in a vast carpet of powder which made a) getting to the top and b) getting back home somewhat more challenging than either of us might have expected. Getting back to the Canadian Alpine Club Hut at 10pm was a welcome sigh of relief after a long and memorable day out.

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