Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Glacier practice at St Mary's

Staying with Danny was great for many reasons (thank you Danny, we love you!).  One side benefit was being able to drive up the road to St Mary's Glacier for a bit of snow climbing practice.

The lake is also very pretty:

I think the Hiker Man has a few add-ons:

We were testing our aluminum crampons on running shoes, and that worked great, at least on a warm day and not too much time with our feet in the snow (no cold toes today).

John setting off up the snowfield with ice axe in hand:

What a great place to practice, easily accessible with a good slope and not too high up.  Love the angle John used on this photo:

John taking a picture of the slope to try to determine what angle we were at:

The resulting picture - looks pretty impressive, yet I was completely comfortable.  Love the ice axe and crampons for making this feel easy.  At least with nice soft snow.

Getting roped up to belay the steep part at the top (anchoring the rope and protecting each other in case of a slip).  John was also testing his new gaiters, apparently trying to decide whether or not to wear them, and this was the compromise:

John leading the way to the top:

Hi John!  As if I didn't already know, following his footsteps comes really naturally to me.  He would kick a step that was good enough for him, I would kick it out further and make a nice wide platform for each foot.

Beautiful view from up top:

Coming down the wide (easy) part of the glacier:

Even easier - descending via trash compactor bag/sled - fun!

View of where we were climbing:

And a close-up of the top where we were on belay (our tracks are barely visible, it was neat looking back at what we had done):

That was fun, and good practice.

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