Chantilly is an ice fall in Kananaskis Country accessed via Evan-Thomas Creek.
Ice climbers are a colorful bunch who creatively name waterfall ice then rate them for length and difficulty.
Some examples of unique names given to frozen waterfalls are: Acid Howl, Bette Davis' Sneeze, Crystal Tear, Dancing with Chaos, Echo Madness, Fang and Fist, French Connection, Golden Showers, Hypertension and many more, some of which are best not revealed in a family oriented article.
Today's climb is Chantilly Falls, a 100 meter, WI-2 east from Kananaskis Trail (Hwy 40) off the south side of Evan-Thomas Creek in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, Canada.
There are many ice climbing opportunities in Kananaskis Country with civilized, easy and short access.
Parking nearby at Wedge Pond provides the opportunity for the picturesque, somewhat off-trail access north through several inches of fresh powder beneath a wonderland of snow-adorned deciduous trees, for the hike east along Evan-Thomas Creek.
Ice climbing boots have ledges and notches for a tight crampon fit and very stiff, unbending soles which provide a sturdy standing platform on vertical ice. Having a crampon break free from the boot while climbing is not a particularly comfortable occurrence.
For hiking, the ice climbing boots are useless and can be downright dangerous, however, to avoid changing boots in very cold weather, hiking in them is supplemented with hiking crampons which are small, easy to stow and complement the slippery soles with good stick to the ground.
The hike up Evan-Thomas Creek is through beautiful winter scenery and the partially frozen creek contains several examples of snow mushrooms, fresh snow on boulder surfaces above water level in the crystal-clear, very cold water. The frozen waterfall off to the south side is imposing from a distance.
The moderate slant initial WI-2 could be attempted without rope but a couple of short sections approaching WI-3 justify default to safety with rope. The climb is straightforward without incident and views from the top of a winter wonderland are breathtaking. When an error or unforeseen mishap occurs, the safety of rope is always the best decision.
Two groups have arrived behind us and are waiting for our completion before they begin their climb. Whoever gets ropes up first owns the ice. The principle is generally accepted, understood and a matter of courtesy.
For easy-access ice falls like Grotto Canyon, Johnston Canyon and Troll Falls, it is wise and generally necessary to arrive very early in the day or be prepared to potentially wait in line for an extended time.