Neil Gresham
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Ice World Tour
Slaughter house M8
It was the third time in the Canadian Rockies for Mark Garthwaite and I. Few experiences can rival cruising down the Icefields Parkway in a 4x4, shades on, heated seats, latte in one hand, tunes pumping and endless white, desolate mountains stretched out ahead. This year we had some big ticks on our list but conditions proved disruptive. A high avalanche risk forecast meant that we were confined to the usual dry tooling playgrounds of Haffner Creek and Bear’s Poor cave. We were kept cruelly away from our biggest objective, the world-renowned WI 6 icefall called ‘Nemesis’ on the Stanley Headwall. One day, out of frustration we decided to chance an ascent of a nearby mixed route, ‘Slaughterhouse’ M8, and a huge spin-drift avalanche funnelled over our heads as we sheltered in the cave below! In the end we made it to our Nemesis, whose menacing reputation proved entirely justified. We waded for hours through waste-deep powder, only to discover that the ice was in bullet-hard condition. Whilst leading the crux third pitch, my arms went into total meltdown and I was forced to take a rest on an ice screw just short of the belay in order to prevent a big fall. Garth couldn’t resist mocking me as I dry-vomited on the top of the route as he rigged the abseil. The things we do for fun hey!
Slaughter house M8
Slaughter house M8
Photo: Gresham Col.





Paul “Stork” Thorburn on Nemesis WI 6
Paul Thorburn on Nemesis WI 6
Photo: Gresham Col.