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The beautiful, fairly low angle slab is a hidden gem in the rockies. The rock quality is extremely high, and the route, being southwest faces sees sun for most of the day during the summer. Due to the long and complex approch, the area is usually empty. The elevation is fairly high, and the season doesn't really begin until the snow melts off of Mt. Norquay, usually in late June.
Park your car at a pullout located along westbound Trans-Canada about halfway between the turn off to Mt. Norquay and the turnoff to the Bow Valley Parkway. Jump the animal fence at the run off channel and hike along the channel for about 100 meters, then start trending up the ridge on the right hand side under some power lines and through some burned out timber. There should be a small trail here trending up to the ridge until eventually reaching the crest of the ridge. Follow the ridge past several flat sections and rock steps, following a faint trail. At 530m vertically above the road, the ridge trends downwards to a col. At the col the ridge steepens, take the trail to the right around and up onto the ridge to another flat spot. Here there will be a 20m slab blocking further travel up the ridge. Follow the trail down and to the left (cairn) of the flat section through a wooded section and a broad scree gully. Trend left around the gully ignoring the trail that goes to a rock step and further up (good view of the upper slab from that trail though). Follow the downward trail to the edge of a cliff then trend right along the cliff; this is the top of the lower slab. Follow along the cliffs to an opening, and you'll see the upper slabs straight ahead. Leave 2-4 hrs for the approch.
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Featured Route For Upper Norquay Slab
This route is super classic, and is likely the best route of its grade in Banff National Park. The climb has an excellent setting, a cool alpine atmosphere, no crowds and brilliant rock quality. The route is very similar in nature and difficulty to Diedre in Squamish, except without the people! Pitch 1-2 (5.5, 95m): Scramble up the cool, solution pocked rock past two bolted belays.Pitch 3 (5.6 35m): Climb up over a small overhang into the corner system. Lieback the corner to a bolted, sem...[more] Browse More Classics in International
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