Guinness Gully, Field BC 2006
ice climbing, WI 4, 245 meters
December 29, 2006

Field is famous with the "Beer Climbs". The most famous moderate climb there is Guinness Gully, and I had wanted to do it for a while. After we heard that the backroad is being closed to pedestrian and vehicle traffic during the week starting in January (making the climbs inaccessible), we decided to give it a go.

Thus we drove into Field where -20 C temperatures awaited us. After a bit of hesitation (and putting our boots on inside the visitor centre, where it was warm), we eventually embarked on the climb. It was cold, but no wind and ended up being OK. The plus was that we had it to ourselves! There are a total of three pitches separated by snow slopes. The first is considered the crux and can be thin in places, however all three are pretty similar. The 2nd pitch is the steepest, but it's short. Due to the cold temperatures the ice was a bit brittle but nothing terrible. There are tree belays from which we rappelled the route. (On top of the last pitch there was a single bolt for a station, it would be nice if someone puts in another to back it up.)

Truffle Pigs, a cute little restaurant in Field, has beer and excellent (but pricey) buffalo burgers to finish the day. We drove back to Canmore (and then Calgary) where it was a balmy 0 C!

  Making progress on the first crux pitch firing in a screw  

  I'm making progress  

  The view across the valley. Me belaying. Thanks to an autolocking device I could sip on my iced tea and eat snacks to keep warm and entertained.  

  Dow coming up after Nayden did. me cranking on the steep 2nd pitch me leading  

  above the steep bit. Me on top of the 2nd pitch  

  Dow following me on the 2nd pitch Dow following me on the 2nd pitch Dow cranking on the 3rd pitch  


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