The Suicide Wall includes routes sandwiched between CMC Wall (Direttissima corner) and the popular Bottleneck Area (Balrog corner) on Yamnuska. The name “Suicide” reflects Brian Greenwoods assertion in 1970 that any routes to be developed on this section of Yam would be major aid projects. He did not envision the leap in technical ability that would set much of this wall free many years later. The route Astro Yam (Marshall, Gross and DeMaio) opened the wall up in the mid 80’s followed as recently by Mixed Emotions in 2005.
Suicide Wall is just about the smallest section on Yamnuska featuring only six finished published routes as of 2009, most being 1000’+/- in height. One of the more popular routes would be a later established objective, Lord of the Rings, 5.11b, a heavily bolted mixed route put in by Andy Genereux.
Due to its location, you could actually justify either of the approach options to Yams face to access Suicide Wall. The traditional climbers trail would best be used for Above and Beyond and Lord of the Rings. The west end trail would best be used for the remainder of the routes. The preferred descent for any route on Suicide Wall would be the east end walk off.
From the parking area, the primary climbers Yam trail takes a right fork (not the hikers right hand turn) that develops into switchbacks which lead to Kahl Wall (1500’+/- gain). Turn left and follow the base of Yam past the first ramp (Bottleneck) to the second ramp (Chockstone Corner) which is a pure slab ramp with scree on top that angles right up to a point. Lord of the Rings angles up left away from the Balrog corner which is just left of the Chockstone start. For the other routes, take the left Y versus the normal right option. Continue until at the base of the first patch of loose scree. Look for the flagged faint trail down and to the left. Continue following the flagged trail as it ascends the western treed rib below Yamnuska. This trail will put you right at the base of the obvious corner system that makes up Missionary’s Crack.
Suicide Wall, Left to Right as you Face the Wall
- Mixed Emotions- 6 Pitches- 5.10c/
- Brian’s Song- Single Pitch- 5.11b/
- Astro Yam- 7 Pitches- 5.11c R/
- Quantum Leap- 7 Pitches- 5.11d/
- Above and Beyond- 8 Pitches- 5.11d R/
- Lord of the Rings- 8 Pitches- 5.11b/ I placed no gear on pitch one. If you run the route this way, you could say it is a bit run out. Pitch two offered the most trad like pitch of the route, with the need to overcome an overhang corner on suspect rock. Pitch three was all bolts again except for a 1” piece that could be placed up high. Pitch four gets into the crux of the climbing, involving three long pitches at 5.10d, 5.11b and 5.10d, all relatively sustained and mostly bolted. Pitch four turns a corner to the outside (left), up and back right. Pitches five and six are comprised mostly of zig zag face climbing moving around shallow corners and grooves. Pitches seven and eight are non-consequential compared to the previous three pitches but still sporty at their respective grades. Dow