Mount Bourgeau’s south face, known more for its impressive winter waterfall ice routes (Bourgeau Left Hand; Bourgeau Right Hand) than its summer rock, has quite the refreshing collection of multi-pitch sport climbs. I found this textured limestone to be some of the best rock in or around the Canadian Rockies. Not so sharp to skin you alive, yet not polished from climber traffic either. Just really nice hard and sticky limestone. The access involves a beautiful hike along wildflowers and aspens from the busy Sunshine Ski Resort Parking lot area up the quiet slopes below this crag. It would be rare to find another party climbing on the wall the same day you are. The approach requires more calories than Tunnel Mountain, but less than Yamnuska. We actually saw a lone wolf hybrid close up on our first day visiting this crag. The south facing proximity of the routes make for comfortable climbing even when the temps might not be so warm at this elevation.
Take the Sunshine Ski Resort exit off of the TransCanada just north of Banff. Follow the road to its terminus at the gondola parking area of Sunshine. Follow the maintenance road past large equipment and piles of sand and rock to its end. Stay on the right side of the creek and look for a faint trail through the woods. Once on this trail, follow it up though alpine meadows to scree ledges. Continue to the base of the wall to the right of a massive gully and left of a tall corner section.
Route Description300’+/-, 4 Pitches, 5.10b
1st Pitch- 25m- 5.9/ The direct 5.10c variation (Great to be Straight) is much more interesting. This 5.9 pitch angles hard left after the crux start. Four bolts to anchor.
2nd Pitch- 25m- 5.10b/ A fun pitch, but not necessarily that sustained at the grade. You start up and thus get a good look at the crux pitch of the 5.11b route, Great to be Straight. This is where you dramatically go left to follow Walk of Ages. Nine bolts to anchor.
3rd Pitch- 20m- 5.10a/ An easy pitch up the corner. Not sure if this is really a 5.10a? After the short corner, move right and up to a small ledge. Eight bolts to belay.
4th Pitch- 25m- 5.10a/ I felt like this last pitch on Walk of Ages was more stout than the 10b second pitch or even the 10c pitch on Flirting with the Bosch. An awkward move or two for the grade. Eight bolts to anchor.