Ice climbing in the Sanitarium, Totem Ck., Banff National Park


The Sanitarium

General:  The following routes are all located within a few minutes of each other on the south east flank of Murchison in an area referred to as The Sanitarium. These routes were discovered in November during a season when nothing seemed to be forming which leads me to believe that they come in very early and consistently.  There is a small slope during the final approach that may have some moderate avalanche hazard, but the routes themselves are not threatened except during times of extreme hazard.  Totem and Taboo is the longest, most obvious route and was named after a book written by Sigmund Freud.  Most of the route names loosely carry a psychoanalytical theme.  The routes are described from left to right as you would encounter them.  

Route Name:             Totem and Taboo ***

Date climbed:            December 4/02

1st ascent team:         Jeremy Kroeker, Tom Wolfe (Simu-solo)

Location:                   Map 82 N/15 251483 (approximate)

Guidebook Page:      Page 287, before Transparent Fool

Grade/length:                        130 m III, WI ¾

Totem and Taboo: Some Points of Agreement Between the Mental Lives of Savages and Neurotics, Sigmund Freud, 1913.

Approach:      Park on the west side of ...
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Dynafit TriStep Binding

 Dynafit TriStep Binding
Dynafit TriStep Binding

Dynafit Tri-Step Binding Review

I purchased the new Dynafit “Tri-Step” binding about two weeks ago. I have already had so many troubles with it, I thought I should warn others about it.

TLT Tourlite – the Original Dyanfit Binding

The original “Tourlite” by Dynafit is generally regarded as the best Alpine Touring binding on the market. There are, however, a few quirks with the Tourlite. First, it is tricky to get in and out of at first (but after a few days one develops a “knack” and this is no longer a problem), Second, the front binding will ice up in certain conditions making it necessary to occasionally clear the ice with your pole or a knife. And thirdly, you must remove your foot from the binding completely in order to switch modes from Locked (downhill) to Tour.

Tri-Step – New and Improved?

Most people I’ve spoken to find these issues a small sacrifice compared with the lightness and durability of the Tourlite. Dynafit’s new Tri-Step binding, although touted as an improvement over the Tourlite, does nothing to improve on these quirks.

  • The new model has an “improved” heel cup which makes it possible to line ...
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