Just when I was about to give up hope, It happened. Mother nature delivered what I desired. The perfect balance of temperatures, precipitation, and availability of my climbing partners. Ice Climbing is game on in the Okanagan Valley (BC, Canada)!
I've been honing my skills as an ice climber this year. Adding to my list of skills that will allow me to access unique locations with my cameras. But its has been slow going because weather in the Okanagan is not conducive to ice climbing.
The first Ice photo shoot we did was at nightime in Naramata, which is a little town near Penticton , where I live. I experimented with color gels, LED lights, and head lamps. It was an interesting shoot, and I ended up doing my first Ice Climb lead that night!
The second shoot we did was this first accent ice column Stan Sabourin had been keeping an eye on for the last few years... it formed! We had approached it a couple months earlier and it was only a 10 ft dagger, it eventually touched down to be a 20 metre pillar... so we climbed it. Kai Saunders did a nice lead up it and we did some laps on top rope. It turns out there were some undocumented ascents once we got it out there on social media. This made me think about how we, as humans, easily forget or are unaware of the echos of the past. We live in the moment. It may be new to us, but the earth has witnessed it all. Humbling.
Not all the missions were a success... we did some scouting with the drone and found some unclimbed ice (for real this time LOL) The problem was there was a steep 1000 metre drop down and a steep 500m uphill to get to it from the forrest service road we spotted it on. The next weekend we tried to approach it but got cliff'ed out... we made the decision to turn around and try again another day. Probably will have to come back in the summer to establish a trail and make it a multi-day event.
Signing out for now.
- Dave Mai