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Jesus Murphy
Route

Jesus Murphy

 
Jesus Murphy

Page Type: Route

Location: Alberta, Canada, North America

Lat/Lon: 53.23563°N / 117.90356°W

Object Title: Jesus Murphy

Route Type: Ice Climbing

Season: Winter

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: Grade 3

Number of Pitches: 3

Grade: II

Route Quality: 
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Page By: GCutforth

Created/Edited: Dec 15, 2007 / Dec 23, 2007

Object ID: 365349

Hits: 5788 

Page Score: 75.81%  - 6 Votes 

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Overview

This has to be one of the coolest locations for an ice climb in the Hinton and Jasper area. The moderate grade 3 ice flow snakes its way through the narrow and twisted confines of the canyon making for a surreal atmosphere.

 
Jesus Murphy - Brule
The Approach
The big downside to the climb is the approach which involves a lengthy drive past the village of Brule coupled with a 1-2 hour hike along the tracks in Jasper's best shot at a wind tunnel.

Along with the cool location this climb boasts the best name of any climb I know. It was named for Murphy the dog owned by the first ascentionists (L.Struss and H.Struss. Outside of being great dog, Murphy has become infamous for his insatiable need to catch falling ice in his mouth. Murphy accompanied me on many an ice climb. After watching repeated trauma, the blood poor from his mouth and him still going balls to the wall to catch more ice all you can really say is...Jesus Murphy.

Getting There

From Hwy 16 turn onto Hwy 40 North. Follow this highway and turn left at immediately at the top of hill after crossing the Athabasca River about 6 km.

Follow the main road to the village of Brule (about 13 km).
 
Jesus Murphy - Brule
The Base of the Climb

Google Map to Brule

From this point a 4x4 might be recommended if the road conditions are poor. High clearance is definitely an asset. Continue through Brule on the main road following a maintenance road that becomes dirt soon after the first gate. Continue following the road. There are unlocked gates on this road - please ensure that you close all gates behind you.

After travelling approximately 30 minutes from Brule, the road will end at a parking lot - this is the parking lot for Ogre Canyon . There are interpretive signs here.

From the parking area drop down and cross the creek continuing south on old paths and trails. You will be funneled into a narrowing bringing you to the train tracks if you have not hit them already. Continue along these tracks until you come to a tunnel. It is illegal, not to mention stupid to try to go through the train tunnel. One option is to climb the fence to the right and hike up the cutline which will deposit you on the other side of the tunnel. The second longer option is to walk around this knoll to the left.

From the other side, follow the train tracks past 2 small ponds on your right. Immediately after the second pond a narrow gully and drainage becomes obvious to your right. Follow this drainage up through the bush to the base of the climb. From the parking area expect a 1-2 hour hike depending on condtions.

Approach

From the parking area drop down and cross the creek continuing south on old paths and trails. You will be funneled into a narrowing bringing you to the train tracks if you have not hit them already. Continue along these tracks until you come to a tunnel. It is illegal, not to mention stupid to try to go through the train tunnel. One option is to climb the fence to the right and hike up the cutline which will deposit you on the other side of the tunnel. The second longer option is to walk around this knoll to the left.

From the other side, follow the train tracks past 2 small ponds on your right. Immediately after the second pond a narrow gully and drainage becomes obvious to your right. Follow this drainage up through the bush to the base of the climb. From the parking area expect a 1-2 hour hike depending on condtions.

Route Description

The first pitch is the crux of the climb. It is a nice 10 metre grade pitch that poors out of the narrow slot canyon.

Above this are a series of easy ice steps in a twisting and narrowing canyon.

Follow these up belaying within your comfort level to the last 10-15 metres of grade 2-3 ice. This pitch can be quite thin and will deposit you above the canyon.

 
Jesus Murphy - Brule
Climbing Ice Steps Within the Canyon
 
Jesus Murphy - Brule
A Cool Perspective Looking Up
Although it is never desperate climbing it should be noted that the temperatures and winds in this area can eat away at the ice and leaving it soft and thin.

Descent

 
Jesus Murphy - Brule
Rappeling in the Canyon
Rappel the route off of the ice. There may be trees to rappel off of on the top pitch.

Essential Gear

A standard ice rack.

V-thread hook and enough cordelette for 3-4 rappels.

External Links

There are two great websites for ice conditions in the Canadian Rockies:

Gravsports-Ice

and

Live The Vision - Ice Conditions.

Images

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