Sunday, January 31, 2016

Ghoster Coaster

I have been wanting to climb with Brett for a long time, so when he suggested Ghoster Coaster, I was double stoked! I have wanted to try that route for a while. We invited a few extra people to join us, knowing quite well that it would make the day a bit more of a faff. In a surprising turn of events, we slept through our alarm and were awakened by a phone call from Charlie wondering where we were. As we scrambled to get out the door, the friends we had invited went ahead without us, and Alan had to meet everyone without us there. Despite oversleeping and my headache from a bit too much wine the night before, we arrived at the climb to find Charlie and Alan working on the first pitch of ice. 
One of the lower pitches on the route
Another party was waiting to climb ahead of us so we got ourselves ready while they started up. We caught glimpses of Alan and Charlie at each pitch, but hadn't seen Brett or Eric yet. Nobody was waiting for the sleepyheads. The climbing was fun and easy up to the crux of the route, a 30 m pitch of steeper climbing (WI III) where it got a bit more vertical and made my calves ache. The pitch was wide enough that we were able to climb 2 parties across and Kyle passed the other group to catch up to Charlie and Alan. We walked up the ice together to the final, short pitch that involved some tree climbing for extra excitement! Brett and Eric had boot-packed up the gully above the climb to investigate some ice, but after struggling with post-holing, the rest of us took a break to eat lunch and enjoy the view while we waited for them to return.
Tea time at the top of Ghoster Coaster
It was a really fun descent once we had finally caught up with everyone, although Kyle and I got a lot of slack for sleeping in. We rappelled down the 4 pitches quickly and our walk out was much more enjoyable with a slight downhill the entire way.
Having way to much fun!
Pitch #3 - The Crux
Happy days in the mountains with my friends
The whole route only took us a few hours and we were able to climb the whole thing with one 60 m half rope (the longest pitch was 30 m). The approach from the Cougar Creek parking area involved walking up to a Y junction (45-60 mins walking), taking a left at the junction and continuing up the creek until the hoodoos on the left side (high on the bank), which took an additional 15 minutes. From there, we walked up a small, steep drainage on the left side of the creek bed until we hit ice (another 10 mins). I think we spent as much time walking into and out of the climb as we did climbing! It was worth the walk for a fun 135 metre WI III, but I don't think I will be making the trek in there again for a while, there are too many other awesome things to climb! 

Thanks for the great photos Charlie!

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