Clash of the titans at Helmcken Falls
posted on February, 2014

The climbingtrip of me and my boyfriend Marco to Canada had the
precise destination Helmcken Falls. This is an enormous cave of 150
meters height with a waterfall in front, that continuosly sprays water
perls on the rock of the cave and so creates fascinating structures and
big icicles. Helmcken Falls is situated in the Rockymountains, a 6 hours
drive from Vancouver and since I saw years ago pictures of the first
routes there, this place was on my adventure list. In fact this trip turned
out to be my biggest adventure I did. Already the approach to the cave,
descending a very steep forest and with two rapell downs, one of these
along a 20 meter waterfall, are not the usal. When you then turn a
rockpillar you stand just in front of the cave and with tons of icicles
hanging above you. This area can become quite dangerous as the ice
can suddenly break, especially when the temperatures go up around
0°C. The existing routes are not easy to find as the bolts are mostly
covered with ice and before you can climb them you have to clean the
bolts and also break the biggest icicles on your line. This can be very
hard depending on the conditions in the cave and in the case of
“Wolverine”, the route I wanted to try initially, it turned out to be too
The route “Clash of the titans” was bolted and climbed last week by Tim
Emmett and Klemen Preml, two of the best climbers in this discipline.
The two of them togheter with Will Gadd had discovered this place and
opened all existing routes. They incouraged me to try theyr new route
and after two days I could climb the route they had graded WI10+. The
climbing on this overhanging ice is something special and for me it was
the hardest ice I had ever tried. In the beginning it felt to me as the
icicles must brake when putting weight on them but after a first
recognition I got more confidential to this crazy climbing. This
adventure for me is unforgettable and I would like to thank so much
Tim and Klemen for theyr motivation and Marco and Klaus for theyr
company and the great pictures.