Trace along with Consolation, are the first routes I have climbed on Wully Wall in the North Ghost. I was quite impressed with the rock compared to the routes I have been climbing on Phantom Crag in the South Ghost, i.e. Angelus Vicia, The Wraith and Silver Ghost, all three chossy 5.10 routes. The rock on Wully Wall appears to be a more consolidated form of limestone in general.
At the base of Wully Wall is a CMC (Canadian Mountaineer’s Club) campground. From the number of routes that criss cross each other, it appears these old boys have scoped out the wall thoroughly. Trace was put in by Nielson and Huisman, 1998. Although it has not received much attention yet, I consider it one of the better short multi-pitch sport routes in the Canadian Rockies and highly recommend it. It is the only sport route on Wullly Wall and makes for a great combination with any of the moderate trad/mixed routes to the left for a full day of climbing.
The funny thing that happened to us on approach was that by trying to read the guidebook directions literally, we ended up crossing the river through the narrow canal section. Although that made for a sporty 4WD experience, it is best to cross the bridge over the canal, turn left and then right into a campground area. The directions are that simple really. We did not figure this out until we had a bird’s eye view from high up on the wall. From that vantage point, how we crossed the river kind of looked silly. The approach trail takes off into the woods directly behind the campground, slightly to the right. A decent trail meanders up the hill to the right of a drainage. Cross the drainage to the left at the top and you will be standing below the Trace route.
Route Description500’+/-, 4 Pitches, 5.10d
1st Pitch- 45m- 5.10d/ The crux move on the first pitch is practically off the ground. Start left of a tree. After clipping the first bolt, find a small right facing side pull to maneuver up to the next bolt. This is a move at the pitch grade and since you are so close to the ground, you tend to be a little tentative about it. From there, it was more cruising in the middle 5.10 range, trending left, then straight up well placed bolts to the station. A nice long pitch.
2nd Pitch- 40m- 5.9/ An ok pitch of mostly solid limestone face climbing, up a groove, then trending left towards the next belay.
3rd Pitch- 15m- 5.6/ A junker pitch that can be combined with the 2nd pitch, but I had a 2nd who could lead this pitch but not the others, so we went ahead and split it up. Fun stemming moves up a corner, then left to the base of a fantastic looking corner for the belay.
4th Pitch- 45m- 5.10b/ This has to be one of the better sport pitches in the Ghost. Climb an easier short corner above the belay and then take on the sustained corner above, stemming and lie backing where required. One gets so used to placing gear in corners like this, it was interesting to just climb it without much thought for gear. Of course I would rather see a pitch like this left in trad form. Pull a small roof at the top and rap rings are right there in front of you.