Crystal blue ice, delicate and pristine.
Chandeliers and daggers,
Icicles bigger than your body!
To approach this frozen waterfall
and then interact with it
finding grooves to dig in a tool
tiny ledges to plant spikes
of crampon feet and so make
your way up higher, along the
steep frozen smoothness
to find the place where the slope
eases back and the ice turns flat
like the pond where you learned to skate
and first felt the fun of ice.
I found out about this climb through a search on the Ice & Mixed Climbing in Western Canada app.
Height: 75 meters
Approach hike: about 4 km and 600 meters of height gain on the approach
To prepare for The Little Gem, I need to feel confident leading WI4. Last winter I led WI3 and felt pretty nervous about it. I have never led WI4 so I'm going to have to work hard and practice a lot to get my skills up.
My preparation plan includes climbing about 30 days, hoping to get in at least 100 pitches this season, starting with:
I hope to get up The Little Gem by the end of March 2024.
I have chosen some great climbing areas and spectacular multi-pitch routes for these preparation climbs. I'll get started in November, once the ice has formed. Check back here to read about my progress and see what I've climbed.
Acephale Falls. A gentle WI2 single-pitch climb. It is possible to walk around to the top of the climb and set up a top rope making this a perfect early-season starter climb. Dan and I climbed this in February 2023.
This single pitch WI3 is called "Step Right Up". We've climbed this twice, most recently on December 9, 2022. It was my turn to lead and I set up this top rope. We enjoyed climbing many different lines here.
This WI3 is called Blue Cheese. It is a single pitch. We have climbed it twice. This most recent time was December 7, 2022. It was Dan's turn to lead and he set up this top rope for us. We climbed three different lines here.
This fun area is called Agent Orange and Toad's Folly. It has single-pitch lines ranging from easy WI2 to steep WI3. Very few people climb here because there is no trail. It takes about an hour of post-holing through deep snow to reach this area. We have climbed it twice, most recently on December 4, 2022.
This area is called Wedge Smear. It is very popular because there are lots of easier lines, you can walk around to the top and set up a top rope and the hike in is pretty straightforward. This was our season opener in 2022. on November 20, 2022. Dan led a WI3 line.