One of the areas that I’ve wanted to explore is the immediate perimeter of Curtain Call along the Banff Jasper Highway, just north of the Athabasca Glacier. The vertical terrain on each side of Curtain Call is home to some mixed climbs, one pitch of which I had been eager to try: pitch two of Cyper Pasty Memorial. We started off by climbing the vertical ice left of the mixed start. When formed, It’s a steep pillar of ice not unlike the first pitch of Mike Weiss’ and Jeff Lowe’s classic grade VI ice route. On the ledge, about 50 meters up the face, there is a comfortable new belay stance that Ramon Marin and his partners drilled earlier this winter. (see Ramon’s Blog http://ramonmarin-uk.blogspot.ca/2015/02/no-spray.html) The next 30 meters contains the dry tooling of the route and some entertaining, exposed and steep ice and mixed climbing up the unusual bobbles of ice that are miraculously frozen onto the vertical rock. We found 10 bolts and I placed a total of 5 ice screws in this section, including one after bolt #5 in one of the ice blobs. I figured I was more likely to fall and be held than to be dragged to my doom by the blob becoming unglued from the wall! I decided to belay underneath the horizontal roof at the top of this section utilizing screws in some good quality ice. A bolt in the ceiling above my belay protects the moves of the exciting step across onto the ice curtain hanging off the edge of the roof. Then around the edge of the icicle and up! The last 30 meters are really fun ice climbing up the front of the curtain
. The ice quickly begins to kick back as the top becomes visible. A two bolt anchor in good rock at the top makes for two, efficient, 60 meter rappels back to the base.