Alberta Jam, Historical Notes.
I had never noticed but indeed the face can somewhat resemble the map of Alberta. This is just a happy coincidence and played no part in the route naming. The route was named after a concert or festival occurring locally that summer and was meant to be a little arrogant - to encourage more people to give it a go.
There is a trick to making the middle part of the climb easier. The bedding of the rock is almost vertical and quite thin; the whole face has a layer of air behind it (when the sun is in the right position, you can place your hand in sunshine at the back of the crack) and there is a wonderful edge. So you climb the crack, getting more and more tired, or you can reach in to that hidden edge and climb almost to the top at not much more than 5.9! The climb keeps you honest at the end, though, when you have a couple of pulls on smaller holds.
Credit for the discovery of this route should go to Greg Spohr. He recognized the potential although it looked hard for him so he brought me in to see it. Wow, I thought.
I didn't get it first time so went back the next weekend. Chas Yonge accompanied me on the first ascent, with Greg in attendance. No sticky rubber. No cams. But the placements were bomber. It's the best line of any of my first ascents and the one I'm still most proud of. Thank you, Greg!
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