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Fancy Feast is New Four-Pitch M4 WI6 in Rockies

It's one of many new ice/mixed climbs in the Rockies this season

Photo by: Niall Hamill

Niall Hamill and Patrick Maguire climbed a new 130-metre M4 WI6 on Storm Creek Headwall on Oct. 28. The Headwall is one of the most popular early season ice climbing areas in the Rockies. Visit here for a topo by Jon Walsh.

Raphael Slawinski and Hamill made the first ascent of The Sphynx, which Fancy Feast climbs through, last winter.  “My tools hit rock many times while navigating thin and crummy sections of ice plastered over water worn slabs,” wrote Hamill in his blog here.

“Good to see some friends on the trail as well, the Bow Valley winter climbing community is something really special.”

There have been a number of new routes climbed in the Rockies this past week, including Ichinen WI5+R M4 on Storm Creek Headwall by Takeshi Tani and Toshiyuki Yamada, and the 410-metre Goat Face Ice Line M5+ WI4.

Approach as for Buddhist Nature and traverse the cliff left to the next ice flow. The first ascent team had two 60-metre ropes, 14 screws mostly golds and stubbies, single set of Camalots from 0.2 to #3 and 14 draws.

The pitches go at: M4 WI3 25m, WI3+ 20m, WI5+ 55m, and WI6 30m.

About the steep fourth pitch, Hamill said, “Climb up behind the left ice feature, finger sized cams are found under the roof. Step carefully onto the curtain and follow technical, delicate and steep ice up double pillar/curtain features.”

Despite some warming temps in the Rockies, there’s still plenty of ice to climb over this weekend. Be sure to check Avalanche Canada for avi conditions.

Lead photo: Niall Hamill