"Left hand" is another great 4 pitch line on the left side (duh!) of the Lower Weeping Wall.
We hiked the brutal approach (5 min) to the Weeping Wall very early since I wanted to lead all the pitches and did not want to worry about having others on my heels.
I started on the first pitch a little after 7 AM, only to see two parties arriving at the base. So much for solitude... The first pitch is easy (WI3+) and deposits you on a good ledge. The ice was nice and plastic. I just had time to set up my anchor before the leader of the other two parties started up...One pair started up Right Hand, the other asked me where I was going but started on the same line I was on...bad sign.
I belayed Eric up and started the steeper second pitch (WI4). I was trying not to loose too much time since the leader was apparently skipping the first belay and trying to catch up with us. He was apparently climbing with 70 m ropes and ended setting a belay a few feet left of me. His second was much slower than Eric though so they didn't manage to pass us.
Because he had set up his belay left of me, he was more or less in my fall line when I set on to lead the third pitch. I know he had put himself there of his own will in the first place, but this really makes me tense and uncomfortable.
The 4th pitch went quickly. The other pair chose a different finish to our left.
As I was belaying Eric up, I was greeted by a Hi with a German accent. Turns out that the leader on "Right Hand" was Ines Papert. At the time, I had never heard of her before at that point but I usually don't run into women who climb WI5 so efficiently...no wonder.
It also turns out that the jerk who tried to pass us was Simon Anthamatten who had just won the 2004 men's comp in Ouray two months before. Good climbers are not always nice...
We had lunch on the big ledge atop of the Lower Weeping Wall. The seconds of each pair were rapping down, but Ines and Simon were heading toward the Upper Weeping wall to climb Teardrop, which we had climbed a week earlier. After watching them for a while, we went down the convenient bolted rap line located at the right margin of the Weeping Wall (3 long raps with double 60m's). Half an hour later, we were back at the bus, conveniently parked at a picnic area 4km down the road from the Weeping Wall.
Left Hand (Lower Weeping Wall), AB
|The Weeping Wall is pretty hard to miss... but thanks for the sign anyway!|
|The Weeping Wall, one of the most famous (and popular) ice climbs in the Canadian Rockies.|
|"Left hand" goes up the left side (!) of Lower Weeping Wall. The route is shown in red.|
|Lucie warming up on the easy first pitch.|
|Starting up the much steeper second pitch.|
|Higher on the second pitch.|
|Looking toward Athabasca from the belay ledge.|
|Just above the belay on pitch 3.|
|Nearing the top of the pitch.|
|Views from the belay (looking South).|
|Lucie starting up the last pitch (pitch 4).|
|Higher on the last pitch.|
|Views from the huge ledge/snow slope that separates the Upper from the Lower Weeping Wall.|
|Having lunch on the big ledge.|
|The recently rebolted rap descent at the right edge of the Weeping Wall (3 long raps with double 60's). Climbers are at the last rap station, level with the belay niche of "Right Hand".|
|Coming down the convenient raps.|
|Back at the base.|
|Enjoying the sun at the parking lot.|
|Camping at the picnic area just north of the Rampart Creek Hostel and about 4km south of the Weeping Wall.|