The Valhalla Range is a dramatically diverse area in the Selkirks of SW British Columbia, about 100km south of the Bugaboos. Along the southwestern boundary of Valhalla Provincial Park is an outstanding group of spires including Mount Dag, Wolf's Ears, Gimli, Asgard, and Gladsheim, all over 2,660m. These peaks offer great climbing.
Mount Gimli is one of the most dramatic and accessible of the spires. The mountain is beautiful from all angles, but is particularly stunning when viewed from the south. From this viewpoint, the South Ridge forms a spectacular arête that begs to be climbed. And even more pleasing, the south ridge is composed of perfect gneiss and can be climbed at a moderate 5.8 grade over 7 pitches (although the grade of this route was listed as 5.10a in the most recent guide, due to a crux move on an upper pitch; the route is steep and sustained, so should not be underestimated). The approach is relatively short and there are no glaciers or snow to contend with.
Clint and I had planned to spend a few nights in the Valhallas climbing a few of the classic routes. However, due to some threats of thundershowers, we decided to climb Gimli car-to-car. This was a stellar climb, and I definitely have plans to return to climb some of the other routes. (3 weeks later I returned to climb 4 more climbs, click this link for TR!)
The following page first gives a pitch-by-pitch photo trip report of our climb of the South Ridge of Gimli.
PITCH-BY-PITCH PHOTO TRIP REPORT of the SOUTH RIDGE of GIMLI
(Click on images to enlarge)
5.8++ (or 5.10a), III, 7 pitches
Pitch 1: 5.8+ corner to ledge. (Often people find this the hardest pitch.)
Photo: The party ahead of us belaying up first pitch. (Photo by Steph)
Pitch 2: Fun and airy 5.7 to chockstone.
Photo: Steph leading off the 2nd pitch. (Photo by Clint)
Pitch 3: Fun and airy 5.7 to small tree.
Photo: Steph leading the 3rd pitch. (Photo by Clint)
Pitch 4: Fun and airy 5.6 to top of lunch ledges. 60m pitch.
Photo: Midway up the 4th pitch. This lieback crack seemed a bit harder than 5.6, but it was fun! (Photo by Clint)
Pitch 5: Fun and airy 5.8 to base of open book. 60m pitch.
Photo: Looking up the upper pitches of the route from the nice grassy Lunch Ledges. (Photo by Clint)
Pitch 6: Open book and 5.10a crux (rating in new guide) move to get around left side of roof, to small ledge.
Photo: Clint on the crux move around the roof. The S Ridge used to be rated at 5.8, but the recent guide books have bumped the grade to 5.10a (or 5.9+) because of this move. Most climbers will agree that this is no 5.8 move! (Photo by Steph)
Pitch 7: 5.7 to below rock fin.
Photo: Looking down the pitch. (Photo by Clint)
To Summit: From top of Pitch 7, simulclimb mostly 3rd class to summit.
Photo 1: Steph near the first summit (the second summit behind is actually higher). (Photo by Clint) Photo 2: Clint on the true summit. (Photo by Steph)
Descent: Descend path and follow cairns on East Ledges, Class 2 and 3.
Photo 1:Route line of the East Ledges descent. (Photo by Steph) Photo 2:Route line of the upper East Ledges descent. (Photo by Steph)
More on my website
This trip report is copied from my website, which has several other climbing trip reports and photographs from the North Cascades and elsewhere: http://www.stephabegg.com.