OverviewA Bridge Too Far
is a very pleasant climb with a relatively short and fast approach, when there is a broken in trail. It is south facing, and in the sun for the majority of the day, which makes it a pleasant climb. It has some avalanche danger from above, so be aware of the snow conditions.
The climb as seen on the approach
The climbs consists of a crux first pitch, a 30 meter pillar which often bulks out into a curtain of moderate difficulty (4+). A lot of parties come just for the first pitch and rappel from here. However, the climb continues on easier ice and pleasant climbing for quite a while, if you have time and desire to explore. The views of the valley and the sun make it spectacular.
Get to Highway 40 (Kananskis) and drive south from the Trans-Canada. Stop at the "Galatea" pull-out, which is 21.5 km past the Barrier Lake visitor centre. This is a big parking lot at a popular trailhead in the summer, but in the winter it is gated, and only the entrance plowed, with room for about 5-6 cars.
From the parking lot, follow the hiking trail down a hill, and past big suspension bridge. After another small bridge is passed (5-10 minutes), you will reach a sign, and a junction - keep going left on the main trail, following the river drainage. You will pass something like 5 small bridges (hence the name of the climb), and eventually you'll be able to see the climb on your right through the trees. Once you get to an opening/small drainage with the climb straight above you, head straight up the drainage. Avoid difficulties on the left, through sparse trees. It is possible to go straight up and/or bypass on the right, but it offers some awkward scrambling, while the left side is straightforward. Expect 1-2 hours from the car, depending on snow conditions.
The first pitch (WI 4+)
The first pitch is highlight of the climb, a free-standing pillar
, which usually fattens up to be moderate at WI 4+. There is a tree with slings on the right once you top out, or head up to good ice, and belay from there, if you intend on continuing the climb.
An easy snow slope will lead you to another pitch, 55-60 meters of pleasant WI 3/3+. Another short walk takes you to another pitch of WI 3. From there, more ice is seen in the distance, which can be accessed by continuing up the snow slope.
To descend, rappel down the route. Various trees with slings can be found on the route.
Two 60 meter ropes, regular ice rack.
External LinksCanadian Avalanche Association