Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Rejected at Takakkaw Falls

I had a weekday off so we took the trailer out to Field, BC to camp and climb Takakkaw Falls, a 5.7 11 pitch mixed route up the side of the Takakkaw Falls. The forecast looked great and we went to bed early so we could have a good start in the morning. It poured rain overnight and we awoke to grey skies. So much for the awesome forecast, it had morphed into "chance of showers" all day. What the heck?! We decided to just stick to the plan and go for it, maybe the rain would miss us.

No trailers are allowed up the road to the falls because of 3 steep switchbacks, so we parked the trailer at the campground and drove up the road to the viewpoint and start of the hiking trails. There are lots of popular hikes in the area, including the Ice Line trail which I would really like to return and do at some point. This was my first time ever seeing Takakkaw Falls and they are pretty impressive, and one of the tallest waterfalls in Canada at 384 metres high with a 254 metre freefall!
Instructions on how to get up the road in big vehicles (reverse up the 2nd switchback!)
There was a lot of water cascading over the falls. The spray was dousing everyone that was walking up to the viewpoint and we were a bit worried that the route was going to be wet from the shear volume of water pouring down.
Our view of the falls
Google Image result of typical day at the falls
Unfortunately we didn't even get to find out. As we were walking up the scree slope to the base of the climb, it began to pour. We were drenched in seconds. We decided to go to the base of the route just to scope out the start. By the time we arrived, the rain had stopped but the damage had been done and the rock was totally soaked. We waited around for about 30 minutes to see if it would dry out and Kyle even started up the first pitch to investigate but it was really slimy and he ended up down-climbing from just above the first bolt.
Wet, not climbing Jenny is a grumpy Jenny
Waiting for the rock to dry
 With our plan ruined, we opted to go for a hike instead. Again, the rain decided to mess with our plans and the heavens opened again as we started down the trail. Neither of us were super interested in a soggy hike so we cut our losses and slowly made our way to Canmore, stopping at all the tourist stops along the way. 
Clouds moving in for a second round
Very wet
 As we drove East, the weather improved. We tried to salvage the day by heading to back of the lake at Lake Louise, but there was no parking so we moved on. We ended up at Grassi Lakes and found beautiful sunny weather! We spent a few hours cragging and Kyle sent his project he had been working on earlier this summer! The day was saved, but Takakkaw remains on the ever-growing list of climbs to tick off.
Sight-seeing in Field

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