Ice Climbing at Haffner Creek


Hiking to Haffner Creek

In November 2013 I took an introductory two day ice climbing course. It was an incredible experience. The first day was spent learning the basics at the Junkyards climbing area near the Grassi Lakes trail near Canmore, Alberta.

The second day we headed to Kootenay National Park, and headed to Haffner Creek. The parking lot for Haffner Creek is on the opposite side of the road to the Marble Canyon parking area, and you hike through Marble Canyon Campground to get onto the trail for the creek. It took about thirty minutes to get to the canyon part of Haffner Creek, with the section of the hike on crampons or ice cleats.


Walking around/over a log jam to get into the canyon

The canyon at Haffner Creek doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight, so it was very cold when not climbing. Which was lucky, as we got to climb a lot!


Interesting snow formations on the boulders by the creek

We were also taught how to place ice screws and make a v-thread ice anchor.


The largest section of ice in the canyon when we were there

The canyon was really beautiful. It would be really interesting to see it later in the winter, to see how the ice changes shape as winter progresses.


Interesting to see the ice up close



Great to see a place where you wouldn’t normally go to in winter if it wasn’t for ice climbing!

After the ice climbing was finished for the day we headed back to the parking lot. Walking through the snow-covered burnt areas of forest was a strange experience – the burnt trees contrasted the fresh white snow.


On the trail back to the parking lot


Hiking back through the burnt forest



New trees starting in succession

Ice climbing was an excellent experience. I’d rock climbed before, and I really liked the way that you didn’t have to search for holds as you would do when climbing on rock. I really can’t recommend it more. It’s a great way to get outside in winter.


Back at Marble Canyon Campground

What new outdoor activities are you trying this winter?

© RockiesOutdoors 2015.



12 responses to “Ice Climbing at Haffner Creek

  1. Looks like fun – but my fear of height will unfortunately prevent me from every trying it myself… But I really enjoyed your pictures of the adventure!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Gloves – Review | rockiesoutdoors·

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