|By Jordan Ramey|
From: Calgary, Alberta
Jul 30, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ MVS 4b
Length: 220m, 7 pitches
Sun Exposure: receives a lot of sun
Time: most parties take 2 - 4 hours to climb the route
car-to-car: 4 - 7 hours
Rack: Cams: 0.4" (0.4 camalot) to 3" (#3 camalot), nuts. Emphasis on 0.75 - 3" cams (doubles will suffice)
Also known as the Great Pumpkin route, but still officially recognized as "Unnamed". On Halloween (1968) Ron Robinson, Pam Fahrner, Graham Law, and Val Hess climbed the route and were met at the top by Jane Peterson who hiked to the top of the route to meet the climbers with a bucket of orange and green paint. The group painted the Great Pumpkin on the steep overhanging short headwall at the very top of the climb for reasons unknown. The Great Pumpkin has become a sort of icon on Yamnuska and the painting has received a few touch-ups over the years. From Andy Genereux in the Yamnuska Rock Guide, "However, graffiti art is not accepted nor condoned. Please do not deface this or any other mountain with any more 'artwork'".
Straightforward climbing, a moderate grade, and easy routefinding make this a popular objective for many climbers. The route is often climbed on Halloween to pay homage to The Great Pumpkin.
Located in the West End area of Mt. Yamnuska, this climb follows the very obvious corner / chimney system left of The Toe and immediately right of Pony Express. Easily identified by the large orange pumpkin painted at the top of the last pitch. Start on an easy ramp near a couple of pine trees.
P1 5.5 27m: Climb the ramp up to a two bolt anchor.
P2 5.7 30m: Climb the polished chimney with good pro, or climb outside the chimney on the face where the rock is less polished, but offers less pro opportunities. At the top of the chimney is a two bolt anchor on the left, shared by the first pitch of Pony Express.
P3 5.4 27m: Pitch shared by pony express. Climb up a few feet and walk left along a ledge system squeezing behind a giant block and continue past a 2 ringbolt anchor to a pin anchor at an obvious weakness that allows entry into the big chimney system. Alternatively, you can pass the pin belay and climb a bit down and left to the Pony Express bolted anchor and belay here for a more sheltered belay from anything that falls down the chimney.
P4 5.5 30m: Climb a short crack into the chimney and head up and left following the path of least resistance to a pin belay. There are other belay opportunities, which include a pin / bolt belay off to the left on a semi-hanging stance (more sheltered), or below these belays is a ringbolt belay out right on the wall (Broken Wing P3 belay). With about 10m of simul climbing on easy ground you can string this pitch together with P5.
P5 5.5 40m: Climb the right side of the chimney to a soccer ball sized chockstone (crux) and climb over it. Meander up the chimney system clipping some random pins and finish on a good ledge on the rib w/ a 2 bolt anchor on the left side next to a scree ledge and below the incredibly steep final pitches. This anchor is just a few feet right of the crux of Pony Express. If you're feeling sporty, you could easily climb onto Pony Express and finish on that climb.
P6 35m 5.6: Lots of fixed pins on this pitch. Climb up and right through the incredibly steep chimney. Climb the face on good steep holds passing some more pins and either belay off natural gear in the crack and pins or if you have managed your rope well you can climb right up to the pumpkin and belay there off gear and pins. This pitch could easily link to the top, but rope drag makes it a bit tougher.
P7 5.5 20m: Final short pitch, climb the ledges past the Great Pumpkin on the right and topout. There is a good small tree and bolt to the left of the topout for a belay. Alternatively, the off-fist crack next to the pumpkin can be climbed straight out with excellent gear (#3 camalots) and goes at about 5.10a. It's more of a bouldering sequence since it's so short, but very fun.
Walkoff the normal West side descent.