Forbidden Way, 5.11a, 7 Pitches

Page Type
Alberta, Canada, North America
Route Type:
Trad Climbing
Time Required:
Most of a day
Rock Difficulty:
5.11a (YDS)
Number of Pitches:

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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Forbidden Way, 5.11a, 7 Pitches
Created On: Oct 5, 2009
Last Edited On: Mar 29, 2013


Forbidden Way, 5.11a6th Pitch- 45m- 5.10a

Forbidden Way is not an original route, but rather a combination line made up by three existing routes on Yamnuska, Forbidden Corner, Forbidden Fruit and the Milky Way. One of the local guide book authors has it set up as a 5.10c in his Yamnuska Rock guidebook, but our preferred (and more direct) finish involved Forbidden Fruit’s last pitch (5.11a) versus Milky Way’s last pitch (5.10c). The first pitch is lent from Forbidden Corner and can be easily soloed which is what I always do with that pitch. The second pitch (5.10c) is taken from Forbidden Fruit and is a more direct path into the Forbidden Corner system above. The third pitch is the 5.10a variation pitch on the Forbidden Corner route which starts up the corner. The fourth and fifth pitches are the same as for Forbidden Corner with that fourth pitch being one of the best moderate (5.9) trad pitches on Yamnuska. The sixth pitch involves the bold traverse (5.10a) of the Milky Way route. The final pitch we chose is the direct and pumpy finish to Forbidden Fruit (5.11a).
Forbidden Way, 5.11a7th Pitch- 40m- 5.11a

Genereux made a mistake on his topo displaying these routes and their relationship to each other in terms of scale. If you want to do the Milky Way finish versus the Forbidden Fruit finish, you must make a relatively sharp left after reaching the first bolt on the arête on the final pitch. Going straight up is Forbidden Fruit and it is a true 5.11 pitch versus the easier Milky Way exit.

Follow the climber’s path to the base of Yamnuska. Turn right and follow the trail along Yamnuska’s base for approximately 600’ to where it descends slightly below a blocky buttress on your left. To the right of this buttress above is the prominent “Forbidden” corner. Start on the right of this blocky buttress.

Route Description

Forbidden Way, 5.11a
Forbidden Way, 5.11a
Forbidden Way, 5.11a
Forbidden Way, 5.11a

1000’+/-, 7 Pitches, 5.11a

1st Pitch- 25m- 5.6/ I prefer to solo this first pitch which is shared by several of the routes in this area. Scramble right to left up the corner of the buttress to a treed ledge. From the ledge follow a crack (5.6) to the top of a small pedestal with a bolted belay.

2nd Pitch- 30m- 5.10c/ The 5.10 climbing on this pitch is mostly bolted, however, somewhat poorly. Decking opportunity exists at the crux move of the pitch. There is little gear opportunity that would prevent it. Move on top of a precarious block and make an awkward move up and right to a bolt. Sustained climbing at the grade leads past three other bolts to the start of the Forbidden corner. Pass a piton rap station to the right and continue by stemming up a 5.8 corner that is easily protected to a large ledge with a bolted belay.

3rd Pitch- 50m- 5.10a/ This is also the 5.10a variation associated with the Forbidden Corner route. Climb the loose shallow corner directly above the belay. Follow it as it trends left past several pitons to the base of the beautiful rock below the 5.9 classic Forbidden Corner pitch at a semi hanging bolted belay (passing a piton station).

4th Pitch- 45m- 5.9/ This is one of the better moderate trad pitches on Yam. Jam with intermittent laybacks up the long corner with plenty of rests, but nice sustained climbing at the grade. We took a single rack and could have used more gear for this pitch. I had to run out the top, but it is a bit easier climb towards the top anyway. Stem, jam and catch edges for a solid 45m to the top of the corner and large ledge with a bolted belay. There is a piton in a small ledge on your left as you near the top.

5th Pitch- 35m- 5.6/ The "ugly duckling" pitch associated with all routes in this area. As with Forbidden Corner, follow the loose ramp out left and circumvent the tall slung pinnacle on the left (front) with some exposure. Continue up to a small ledge and single bolt belay.

6th Pitch- 45m- 5.10a/ This is a pitch taken from Milky Way. Step up and right on somewhat precarious rock to clip a bolt. Continue up and left to clip a slung (2009) bolt. If this bolt is no longer slung, keep in mind it would be best to fix some cordellete to the bolt as your traverse needs to be made much lower. Start the rightward traverse (10m) by stepping down a move or two to find a small toe rail. Continue on the exposed, blind and run out traverse until you reach easier ground in which to ascend to a small ledge with a third bolt. You can place a yellow C3 along the way, but that was not a placement I would trust to hold a fall. From that third bolt, continue on a rightward angle through some bad rock clipping another bolt in a shallow corner. Then use positive edge climbing on much better rock to move up and right to a much more significant corner. Place gear here and make a move at the grade out and right to the bolted semi hanging belay (3 bolts).

7th Pitch- 40m- 5.11a/ Move out right to the arête and clip a bolt. The final belay and pitch for Forbidden Fruit is up and right. The final pitch for the Milky Way is up and left. We chose the 5.11 Forbidden Fruit exit. Move past the belay for Forbidden Fruit on the left to a hidden bolt at the base of a shallow corner, easy to miss. Climb the corner to the bulging headwall above. Then the crux move of the route. Make an awkward stem (quite physical) while under clinging a flake out left. Continue up the fully bolted line at this point through more overhanging rock. The next most difficult move of the day is just about the last one necessary to reach a bolted belay on top.

Climbing Sequence


Walk off the east via the scramblers traverse trail. Circumventing back to your packs is easy and recommended which means you will descend the climber’s trail that you ascended. Definitely biner your shoes for the walk around.

Essential Gear

There is plenty of fixed gear on this route so we just took a single rack, C3’s to 4”. However, you would appreciate a few doubles, 1”-2” for that classic 4th pitch. Helmets and approach shoes for the descent a must. Double 60m ropes recommended. Did not take or use any wires.

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