This is a reasonable low-end, moderate route that features some adventure, some route finding challenges, and some loose rock. Its limited technical difficulties & less-than-vertical rock will help acquaint the novice to the cliff, but the loose rock and traversing might leave some grumbling. This, pioneered by Greenwood, Kahl and Lofthouse in 1962, was one of the earliest routes to go to the top. Also, this route is a bit infamous for the disproportionate number of injuries and fatality(ies). A full description may be found in the excellent, “Bow Valley Rock” guide.
P1. Follow a small corner, traverse L to a broken pillar. Ascend the pillar. Go past a ledge to the base of a chimney and belay. The rock seemed a bit slick. ~40m. 5.7.
P2. Go up the chimney to a fixed belay (2 bolts) on a nice ledge. It feels a bit slick in the chimney. ~30m. 5.7.
P3. To keep the difficulty at 5.7, you can go slightly down and right, pass an awkward bulge, and clip a pin. Apparently, you can also go up and right to the corner. Ascend a corner, clip 2 more pins. There are 2 belay options. One is in the chimney. The other involves an airy traverse to a tiny belay with 2 bolts & 2 pins. ~35m.
P4. This is an interesting pitch. Lead slightly down & L to an airy belay with 1 bolt, 2 pins. This pitch may excite your second.
P5. Go out left, clip a bolt, clip 3 pitons on a traverse to a slightly-sloping ledge. Too much up and/or down may make this pitch harder than 5.7. This pitch may excite your second, too.
P6. Go up an obvious chimney to a crack to a good ledge. This pitch can spook the novice leader.
P7. This is a really fun pitch. Lead up past some pins, make a short traverse right under a roof. Go up a bit to a 2 bolt belay. You can use a #1 Friend to back up the anchor.
P8. Pay attention on this pitch! Lead up past 2 pins, then 1 bolt, traverse right past some horribly loose blocks to 2 pins. Exit the cliff. Belay at a tree.
Descent: Walk off around the back side of the cliff. It's probably best to not leave anything at the base of the climb, so that you don't have to go back up to the base of the cliff.
This is a bit of a challenge to describe for me. Take the climber's trail up the steep scree up to the base of the cliff. Consider wearing a helmet before you get to the cliff. Go right along the cliff base for approximately 600’. The trail goes down a bit. Continue east. Look for 2 big trees. The start is behind these trees.
A rack of wires, a set of cams to #4 Friend will work. Long slings are helpful. Helmet recommended.
Don Fry on P7. Thanks Ron Keller for your help. c1...
P8. Photo by Don Fry. c. 1997.
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