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The Fold, Mount Kidd

The Fold, Mount Kidd

The Fold, Mount Kidd

Page Type: Route

Location: Alberta, Canada, North America

Lat/Lon: 50.87444°N / 115.19234°W

Object Title: The Fold, Mount Kidd

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Time Required: Most of a day

Rock Difficulty: 5.8 (YDS)

Difficulty: AD

Number of Pitches: 10

Grade: III

Route Quality: 
 - 2 Votes


Page By: sawback

Created/Edited: Aug 20, 2010 / Sep 30, 2010

Object ID: 651764

Hits: 7109 

Page Score: 73.06%  - 3 Votes 

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Left of Kidd Falls (less than 150m) are two spectacular narrow ribs. The leftmost (and continuous) rib is The Fold (FA 1985, Rudi Kranabitter & Ferdl Taxbock).

The Fold offers amazing adventure climbing in a stunning environment on a highly unique feature. It consists typically of low 5th class climbing on good rock with some brief cruxy sections in the 5.8 range that protect for the most part reasonably well. That said, it also requires good route finding and steady climbing as there are some runout sections on loose rock especially in the last couple of pitches. Retreat from high on the route would be difficult and eat up your rack pretty quickly as there are no fixed stations whatsoever at the moment apart from the odd dubious pin.

There's a topo floating around on the internet that's part of a collection called "Kananaskis Obscure", but it made little sense to me except for the start ("above a rock step in the scree gulley") and the last 8m (which it describes, appropriately, as "Steep Yellow Flakes"; which by the way are also loose and unprotectable). Apparently it made it into Kevin McLane's Select book, so maybe there's a good description there.

Getting There

Take the well beaten Kidd Falls ice climb trail.

To do this, park at the Galatea parking lot off Highway 40 (well marked), and cross the suspension bridge. Shortly thereafter cross a small bridge to a junction with a sign. Turn right, follow this a few hundred metres to an obvious dry streambed/opening on the left. Head up this and within about 100m you'll gain the obvious trail on the right that takes you up to Kidd Falls. Shortly before getting to the falls angle up to the base of the rib.

Route Description

Start either left (as I did; I began about 20m above a little rock step in the scree gulley) or right of the rib (which looks nice & sunny but might add a pitch) at the obvious weaknesses to gain the crest, then follow your nose until you're at the top.

The cruxes are near the bottom (3rd pitch or so) and near the top (the last 2-3 pitches. Be sure to scope the upper route from the ground as much as possible before starting up. These final pitches are a bit intimidating, but the climbing is positive and mostly good and no harder than 5.8. A fairly direct line along the prow is probably best, but you might deak right briefly to avoid a steep section at an obvious chimney/gulley.

For reference, halfway up is a small circular flat grassy ledge; about 2-3 pitches from the top the rightmost rib joins The Fold in an obvious cleft (a chimney/gulley); the top of the route is marked by a rounded rubbly ledge with two rap ring bolts on the left side of the wall above.

The route is 8-12 pitches long depending on how much rope you have out; I used about 50m which seemed about right and does it in 10 pitches.


The Fold has one of the most exciting rappels to be found anywhere.

The rappels have been fixed up with new 3/8" bolts with rap rings, and the descent can now be done with a single 70 metre rope. But... what must have once been a scary rappel is now a really scary rappel.

The first station is obvious and has recently had a second good rap ring/bolt added to the self-drive. As a service project you might want to add a second quicklink to the selfdrive to make for a slightly nicer pull.

Rap down about 30m, keeping close to the wall, to a comfortable second station with two shiny new rap rings, just before the wall steepens.

Thread your 70 metre rope, and watch the ends dangle in space 15m above the ground. Then, have faith and start to rap plumb line with the station down about 15m. Just when you start freaking out that you've been had (i.e. just before you can't touch the rock any more) you'll see a totally improbable third rap station with two shiny new rap rings just a little left of fall line in a little alcove. Don't ask me how it got there, it's hard enough just to reach over and clip them.

From this third station it's a full 34.5m to the ground.

If you want to skip the third rap station you need two 50m ropes to reach the ground.

After the raps descend the steep scree/ledges into the krumholz. We did a short 7m rap at a little cliffband high up -- old piton & slider nut -- but apparently this can be avoided.

At about 2000m you'll enter a forest band that steepens dramatically to the left. We angled left over easy treed slabs to a gulley and scrambled easily down to the open glades just below the route. From there we cut down and left to gain the approach trail on the other side of the creek.


Bring cams from blue metolius to 3" plus a half dozen nuts, small to medium. Bring doubles of the blue and yellow metolius, plus doubles of the .75 (green) and 1 (red) Camalots. You can also throw in a hammer and a handful of pitons (knifeblades and small angles); these are optional but give you a comfort margin if you're onsighting it. This will be lots of gear. I used 6 shoulder length slings plus 6 quickdraws.


The FoldThe Fold, Mount KiddMt Kidd South FaceRoute Overlay for The Fold on Mt. KiddThe Fold with arrowsThe Fold (Closeup of route), Mount KiddThe Fold Rappel