Climbing
Snow/glacier/ice route, Top rope
Alpine climbing NCCS rating
Grade III
Elevation Gain
100.00 m (328.08 ft)
Distance
1.19 km (0.74 mi)
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Haffner Creek is one of the Bow Valley's more popular ice climbing crags. Even on warm days with sun on the ice, an ice box effect keeps it in good shape. It is a great place for beginners to practice climbing on steeper ice. The approach normally has a well trodden trail, but in case it doesn't, the route is fairly straightforward. You head uphill from the parking lot, walking along the wide clearing where the road is. Head southeast along the road as it runs parallel to a creek surrounded by old trees and short new growth. Where the road begins to rise, head down a short hill, picking your way along the steep hillock as a handrail to your left. Follow this untill you reach the creek. There is also an outhouse here. 

Beyond the trail heads straight across the creek. In early season this crossing can be a little treacherous. In late season this is often icy, and you may want to throw crampons on here. It's about 100 meters up the ice to the main staging area. 

The climbing area is pretty wide and is divided into the first ice fall, the mixed wall, the second icefall, and the second mixed wall with it's steep overhang. There are some very short ice lines that develop further up the canyon, but they are seldom climbed. There is normally at least one guided party here, and there are several on weekends.

The most common lines are the main flow of ice that is about  20 meters tall. You can set a top rope on here, but it requires walking out of the gorge to the outhouse, hiking up the hill, then rappelling off a tree to the anchors. It can be a bit of a pain. Considering how busy it is, it's worth asking to climb on someone else's line to set up your top rope if you aren't comfortable leading. 

Shagadellic (M6+) is one of the most popular mixed routes. It's very straightforward with a really fun Stein pull move. The route is pumpy in the begining, but it has drilled placements, so it will feel very secure. 

Further up is the second short ice flow. It tends to fill in vertically, but it also gets picked out, making it a great place to practice leading vertical ice. Many folks try their first nearly vertical ice lead on this route.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Fall
Spring

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

National or state forest pass

Open Year-round

No

Open from

November 01 to May 06

Pros

Short approach. Good mix of easy and short ice lines.

Cons

Very busy. Hard to set up top ropes. Short routes.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions

Trailhead Elevation

4,790.03 ft (1,460.00 m)

Highest point

5,118.11 ft (1,560.00 m)

Features

Vault toilet
Waterfalls

Access

Hike-in

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Primary aspect

South facing

Drinking water

Snowmelt

Location

Field Guide

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