Econoline shares the same section of EEOR’s enormous face with True Grit and Geriatric. In fact it utilizes the same final pitch as Geriatric and rappels down True Grit. The lines run in order, left to right, True Grit, Geriatric and then Econoline.
Spear, Hall and Chambers established Econoline as a route in 1999, almost ten years after the popular (by local standards) True Grit was put in. The rock on Econoline and on this section of the wall in general is not near as forgiving as further north on routes like Eeyore’s Tail or Generosity. It has a certain human sized “cheese grater” effect, therefore, not a route to necessarily push your lead skills. The climbing is not difficult, as much as the consequences of taking a lead fall are quite severe on the human skin.
I led the two crux pitches, the 3rd and 6th. The climbing was not remarkable except that both required straight horizontal traverses at their respective grade. As with True Grit and Geriatric, Econoline does not reach the summit of EEOR and rather climbs the shorter south end of the east face. You have two options for descent but the most efficient utilizes three 50m rap stations via double ropes with one additional short rappel at the end.
From the reservoir parking area directly across from EEOR, gain a trail slightly to the south (left of a huge boulder) and ascend steep ground northwest via switchbacks. As you get closer to the south end wall, you will hook into a trail that runs along the base of EEOR. Continue north along the trail until directly under a triangular roof at an isolated tree about 20m right of the ramp that takes you to True Grit and Geriatric.
850’+/-, 7 Pitches, 5.10a
1st Pitch- 45m- 5.8/ You can see at least one bolt leading directly up from underneath the triangular roof. A 2nd bolt moves out slightly left to avoid a rotten pinnacle on your right. Climb through two more bolts to a bolted station.
2nd Pitch- 40m- 5.8/ Avoid going right (Geriatric), instead move out left of the corner above, climbing at the grade on slab through two bolts, crossing the corner and swinging back right through a hidden piton to a bolted belay and ledge.
3rd Pitch- 50m- 5.10a/ This is the crux route of the pitch, involving a typical (except even longer) EEOR slab traverse at the grade. Continue up and left to a corner with a white flake. Ascend the flake, then finger traverse right on slab and clip a bolt. These are 5.10a moves that if you miss, will swing you back into the corner with consequences. Continue at a right upward angle to a fixed piton, then traverse horizontally right on tricky, but textured, vertical slab through three bolts, the last of which you cannot see, forcing you to make an exposed blind move into a left facing corner. Climb this dirty corner as it angles up right to a bolted belay on a ledge. Ideal double rope management will cut down on rope drag for this pitch. If two 2nds following, the first 2nd can clip the next one into the pro as he/she makes the traverse.
4th Pitch- 30m- 5.7/ Climb the corner to the left for about 7m and then step out further left up through a bolt. Continue via face climbing on some of the infamous cheese grater limestone past another bolt to a left facing corner. Climb it to the top with a ledge and single bolt belay with plenty of gear options.
5th Pitch- 30m- 5.8/ Climb the corner above the belay to a horizontal break, then move right into a groove and continue climbing through a bolt to yet another bolted belay ledge.
6th Pitch- 40m- 5.9R/ Another wicked traverse, this time left. You can’t really see the fixed pro, as it is hidden and the climbing is run out until after you make the more difficult moves. The consequences of a fall on this traverse on this kind of limestone would be quite painful. Traverse true horizontal left, if anything stepping down a notch. You might see the bolt in a groove. Clipping this bolt will cause some significant rope drag, use a double length runner at a minimum. You are now climbing up the finish to the crux traverse on Geriatric, a very memorable traverse in its own right. The climbing eases as you ascend a broken and dirty corner of sorts, but solid pro is hard to find if at all. A loose rusted piton offers no comfort. Eventually you gain a loose ledge. Move out right up stepped climbing to a bolted belay with considerable rope drag.
7th Pitch- 40m- 5.6/ This is also the last pitch of Geriatric. Climb straight up and right and then start angling back left past a piton towards a large ledge. Gain the ledge and move out left climbing up and over the large yellow block and make a station in the cracks on the other side to bring up the second. Your rappel station is down to your right on a huge flat ledge.
DescentWith double ropes, take three “straight down” 50m rappels on double bolted rappel “chain” stations (2008). The last rap is a 25m rap to the ground or shorter if just going back to the ramp 20m south of where you started.
- Kananaskis Provincial Park
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