1st Pitch- 25m- 5.10a
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.
300’+/-, 4 Pitches, 5.10c
1st Pitch- 25m- 5.10a/
An easy start to this pitch, but as it bends left, it becomes more to grade, traversing on sticky textured limestone. Six bolts to anchor.
2nd Pitch- 25m- 5.10c/
The crux of this pitch and thus the route is a tricky and reachy start, up and out left, but via well protected moves through 3 bolts. Continue back right through 6 bolts to anchor.
3rd Pitch- 20m- 5.10a/
A fun pitch up and through several features through 6 bolts to belay.
4th Pitch- 25m- 5.9/
Actually a challenging 5.9 pitch if I recall right. Three bolts up the left side of a corner, then arc back right through the crux and 4 bolts to the top.
Four raps to ground with a 60m rope. All modern rappel stations, 2008.
Dozen quick draws and 60m rope are sufficient.
External LinksBanff National Park, Parks Canada
Alpine Club of Canada