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Rockies Initiation: Mt Louis
Timestamp Free: 2020.01.24 - 22:40:38
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Front Ranges / Sawback Range / Mystic Range
  (1 days)
Participants: Ivar Nell and Colin Nell
Difficulty: 5: Rock climbing up to 5.7
An Australian on vacation climbs Mt Louis in Banff National Park.
Was in Canada for my brother Colin's wedding. I had not seen him in a year and only climbed with him once before - an indoor gym in Brisbane, Australia. The plan was to do some climbing in the rockies and i envisaged some nice 40m walls (having cut my teeth on 10m top-roping at Mt Kiera, Wollongong, Australia).

After a celebratory night on the piss we drove from Edmonton to Banff. During the drive I was amazed to realize the purple smudge on the horizon (reminiscent of thunder clouds) grew and grew to become an impressive fortress of rock.

At the camp ground, we learned you cannot simply camp where you please (like down-under) but must do so in an allocated spot - how bizarre. I felt sorry for the guys ensconced in their huge motor homes, so insulated from and oblivious to the beauty around them.

I examined the topo map that night, however my minds eye could not convert the topo lines into the awesome reality that awaited. That night i was convinced there would be hungry bears awaiting me when i emerged from the tent for a piss. Fortunately the bears proved to be as elusive as funnel-web spiders and stonefish (these creatures are as deadly as a grizzly, however their pelts won't make you a nice rug).

We got up super early the next morning and headed off from the carpark armed with 2 ropes, a full rack, helmets a topo map, and a few photos of Mt Louis meticulously cut from the guide book. We wandered for several hours along animal tracks and across avalanche slopes, enjoying the peaceful morning solitude, seeking a peak that matched our black and white photographs.

My first thought on recognising Mt Louis was that there was no f***ing way i was going to climb it. Coming from a continent where the most impressive peaks are found at secret surf spots, my...

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