As Peter mentions on the main GBU (The Good, The Bad and the Ugly)
page, there is at least one mixed route behind the main GBU curtain. We climbed the “Indifferent” waterfall ice route to the left and when finished, traversed back right and soloed up to and behind the center curtain of GBU where we found a tightly bolted route up the back rock wall (photo). The positioning of these bolts allowed one to stem up ice and rock nicely in January, 2008. Of course the idea of the route is to eventually finish off by breaking through the ice to the top of the falls. Unfortunately, once we got pinched, the ice wall was far too thick to chop through even though we made an attempt to do just that. It is a wonderful line and with the assist of a small chainsaw, one could make it feasible. I imagine it is best to hit this route early and/or late in the season.
We left some tat up at the top of the bolt line after we could not chop through the curtain. There is a bolted rappel station in the cave, about at thigh level and exposed in January, 2008, that you can use to rap back to the base of GBU. We soloed up to the cave, but it would be an intricate down climb.
Pair of tools, crampons, two dozen draws (tight bolt line and then another dozen for the ice above)
, dozen screws, helmet, solid stemming technique, possibly a small chainsaw with a haul line.
From Calgary or Canmore, access 1A which parallels the TransCanada to the north. 13.4kms west of the Hwy 22 junction in Cochrane is the Forestry Trunk Road
(Route 940). Turn north on the Forestry Trunk Road for 23kms to a gated gravel road on your left. There is a trail head information kiosk board here, but no obvious sign
. If you find the gate closed, it is imperative that you close the gate behind you. Most climbers only take 4-wheel drive vehicles beyond this point, but depending on conditions, other vehicles can travel the road. This rough road goes for another 17kms until it reaches the “big hill”. Along the way there is one ice/water crossing. If this hill is muddy or icy or has too much snow, it can be extremely difficult to navigate. Orient Point’s
“The Real Big Drip- 200m- V, M7+, WI 7” can be viewed to the southwest from atop this hill. This is a remote area and very little exists in the way of facilities or emergency help.
At the bottom of the hill, turn right and do your best to follow a sometimes vague, sometimes obvious, track along the right of the wash until it becomes essential to cross the wash heading west and navigate further north crossing a well established bridge over the river and continuing through some big rutts and/or snow drifts until you come to a river crossing. An official government ban on crossing this river is in effect currently (2007) and appears to be an issue at large. Look for signage to that effect. It is regarding trout migration. Whether on foot or vehicle, cross the river and head west following the river. At a forced second crossing is GBU (the Good, the Bad, the Ugly), a significant ice wall leading down to the river bed on the right.
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