As I have previously mentioned, after six years of non-stop climbing in the Canadian Rockies, one starts to seek out non-published routes. Brian Spear’s “Beautiful Century” is one of those worthy new (2007) routes. A 230m 5.10a sport route on Nanny Goat, this route shows off some of the better rock in or around the Bow Valley.
Beautiful Century follows the right side of the Nanny Goat Buttress just left of Coire Dubh which serves as a rock and ice route and splits Nanny Goat from the Goat Slabs. As with most of Brian’s routes, Beautiful Century was formed from the ground up and follows a natural line. You can walk off the route as with most any of the routes on Kid Goat, down the drainage between Kid Goat and Nanny Goat (southwest). You can rappel the route as well with one 60m rope (8 rappels).
As with the approach for Kid Goat, park across from the landfill site entrance off of 1A and cross the road to pick up a trail on the right side of the land fill company’s fence. Follow the fence as it contours left and intercept a trail that takes off north and stays low as you pass Kidd Goat on your left. Once you reach the drainage between Nanny Goat and the Goat Slabs, turn left and hike up the large scree field until you can gain a faint trail up on the left bank. Continue to the wall and then follow it left as it descends looking for the obvious slab start below a definitive corner with a large tree at the top.
Route Description230 Meters, 7 Pitches, 5.10a
All of the belays are double bolted (2007). The route can also be walked off or rapped with one 60m rope.
1st Pitch- 55m- 5.8/ A tough 5.8 slab pitch up to a true 5.8 corner. Several partners of mine swear this is tougher than 5.8 slab lower down. I personally thought it was close to grade but then it was one of two pitches I did not lead. Climb the slab to the base of the corner (rappel station or mid belay station if you want it) past six bolts. Then stem up the corner past another five bolts and move left to the belay by the tree.
2nd Pitch- 40m- 5.10a/ Traverse out right past a bolt to the crux move of the climb, a mantle with no hands up a groove. Getting your foot kicked up versus your knee is the trick. Hands are very sparse. The 2nd bolt is made asap. Continue up a couple more bolts on more 5.10 moves and then start angling left on easier ground and eventually back right slightly past a piton on the end before the semi-hanging station. Nine bolts and one piton total. A steep pitch.
3rd- ; 4th Pitches- 45m- 5.7/ We combined these pitches. Pass a small roof to the right on slab again through six bolts to a large ledge. Walk to the next wall in front of you for a belay station to the left. Supposedly you can exit the climb to the right by scrambling down Coire Duhb if bad weather sets in. Brian made this two pitches due to rock fall no doubt, but the ropes were not causing any problems for us.
5th Pitch- 40m- 5.9/ A fun pitch. Climb up and traverse left through a small roof problem (crux) through six bolts. Continue straight up through another four bolts to a small ledge and belay.
6th Pitch- 25m- 5.9/ Brian calls this 5.8, but I will exert my influence here and call this 5.9. It is as tough as (horizontal) any slab moves required all day. Angle right pulling yourself up and over a bulge, then left. Avoid the urge to follow a dirty corner straight up (unless you have your own protection). Instead look for the bolts out right on featureless slab. Make a move low with a tiny foot ledge to make this happen in fine style through a total of seven bolts (not 6 as Brian originally posted with this route) to a hanging belay. If I had enough draws with me, I would have combined the 6th and 7th pitch. By the time rope drag becomes a nuisance, the climbing gets easier.
7th Pitch- 25m- 5.9/ Continue on “no hands” slab, but easier ground then what you just covered to the base of a crack above. Move right into the crack and pull a small overhang onto a ledge. Climb the next crack in front of you with easy layback moves past a piton below a small roof. Pass the roof easily to a bolted belay on a small ledge. Walk off at a right angle before un-roping. Five bolts and the piton.
DescentEasy. Just head south. Ascend a little and then descend. You can sort of make out a trail as you descend safely to the right of the edge of the cliff until you hit the drainage between Kid Goat and Nanny Goat. Descend the right side first (trail) and then cross over to the left towards the end where there is a rap chain if you need it. We always just down climb this section, no worries. Pick up a trail below the drainage that intersects a trail heading back south to the landfill fence. Return from there.
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