Canadian Rockies climbing guide Kris Irwin was gearing up at the base of Club Tropicana in Paradise Valley near Lake Louise when he captured a big mountain goat on video.
He and photographer Bryce Brown then made a direct mixed start to Club Tropicana. But before they started up, a big mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus), also known as the Rocky Mountain goat, stopped by to say hello.
It’s a sure-footed climber commonly seen on cliffs and ice but hard to get close to.
“We were on our way to check out The Tease when we noticed this cool looking line on the southeast face of Mount Sheol,” said Irwin.
“It currently goes at a thin M4 WI4 and is worth the over-two-hour ski approach. Bring a single rack to 3”, a few pitons, 12 alpine draws, set of screws for a 55-metre ice pitch and two 60-metre ropes.”
They left a v-thread at the top of the third pitch, cord around a tree at the top of the second pitch and two nuts at the top of the first pitch. Approach on skis recommended and bring avalanche gear.
There has been a lot of ice action in the Rockies of late, including a new pitch to Buddha Nature in Storm Creek by Ian Welsted and Jonny Simms. The north face of Mount Cromwell was attempted and the rarely-formed Arterial Spurt is being lapped. A good fall in the Rockies.
Kris Irwin @Rockies salpineguide topping out on ‘Topicana’ in Paradise Valley yesterday. This was Planned C for the day. After during around looking for ice that wasn’t there, we started the 2.5 hour ski approach around 9am hoping to climb some other ice in the area. When we came across this ice that wasn’t in the book, we had to check it out. (Some research on our return home revealed it indeed had been climbed – ‘Beach Babes’ and ‘Tropicana’). Some fun scratching on slabby iced up quartzite for a pitch and a half then a full pitch of pure ice at the top. A bit late to be topping out, but it was worth the adventure. It would have been more fun except for my habit of always forgetting something on my first day of the season – this year it was my headlamp. The ski out was interesting!