Kahl Wall, 5.9-5.11c

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 51.12361°N / 115.11667°W
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Summer
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Forbidden CornerForbidden Corner

Kahl Wall covers the part of Yamnuska from the infamous Grillmair Chimneys to the just as popular Forbidden Corner. The route for which this section of Yam was named is one of the better if not the best moderate route on Yamnuska, the Kahl Wall route at 5.10a. The Kahl Wall route was established early in Yam’s history, during 1971 by Dick Vockeroth. Barry Blanchard freed the route in 1981. Forbidden Corner, 5.9, is also an early gem put in by Dick Vockeroth in 1964 and is one of the most popular routes on Yamnuska today.
Forbidden Way, 5.11a

The nine published routes on Kahl Wall range from seven to 10 pitches and are all fairly stout once you get beyond the two traditional classic lines. Kahl Wall routes top out on the east side of the summit of Yamnuska and thus the preferred descent is via the east walk off. Consequently the approach used is the primary trail that zig zags up to Yamnuska’s center and meets the wall almost at the start of the Kahl Wall route itself.

As you approach the wall from the climbers trail, top out and traverse east along the face and you will immediately be below the Kahl Wall route. 20 meters to the right is a small scrambling ramp running east to west that takes you to the base of two corners. Start up the right corner for the 1st pitch of Kahl Wall. The rest of the routes are reached by continuing to traverse right.

Route Description(s)

Forbidden Way, 5.11a
Kahl Wall, 5.10a, 9 Pitches
Kahl Wall, 5.10a, 9 Pitches
Kahl Wall, 5.10a, 9 Pitches
Kahl Wall, 5.10a, 9 Pitches

Kahl Wall, Left to Right as you Face the Wall

  • Spring Fever- 10 Pitches- 5.11b/

  • Milky Way- 7 Pitches- 5.10c/
  • The first pitch is fully bolted up typical limestone face and the following a short corner to a large ledge. The second and third pitches start the long consistent traverse out right to join up with the third pitch of Kahl Wall. We simul climbed the next two pitches of mid 5th class to the top of the 6th pitch of Forbidden Corner. Instead of following Forbidden Corner out left, Milky Way goes right on a scary run out traverse pitch over 5.10 ground. I have led this pitch twice in two years and don’t plan on leading it again. I took off a hand hold on lead and my second took a whipper as he took off another one. This pitch is long and the rope drag quite undesirable as you work up and right to a semi hanging belay just below the arête. The last pitch follows spaced out bolts up and right over the arête, passing a rap anchor and then ventures back left following chossy rock up several crux moves (5.10c) with solid rests in between until a very reachy and dirty move is required to mantle up to easier ground. Dow

  • The Heat is On- 8 Pitches- 5.10bX/

  • Kahl Wall- 9 Pitches- 5.10a/
  • I have climbed a majority of the classic Yamnuska routes and the 6th pitch on Kahl is 2nd to none with the exception of the excessive fixed protection put in by overzealous (aspiring to be free) aid climbers. This pitch combines intricate face climbing on bomber limestone with a fantastic corner and small roof to finish it off. The 8th and 9th pitches, for their respective grade, 5.8 and 5.9, are also fantastic pitches, each with their own overhang/roof problem. Both offer a plethora of opportunities for placing gear. Andy’s guide book for Yamnuska mentions that experienced climbers get lost on this route quite often. In contrast, I found it fairly straight forward except for the 2nd pitch which covers easy ground. One tends to want to stick to the corner above the first pitch longer than they should before doing a long traverse out left to position them self below the rest of the line. The pitons left all over the place sort of tell the story. Dow

  • Bringers of the Dawn- 8 Pitches- 5.11c/

  • Trap Line- 10 Pitches- 5.11c/

  • Forbidden Fruit- 7 Pitches- 5.11b/

  • Forbidden Corner- 10 Pitches- 5.9/
  • Forbidden Corner is one of the few “3 star” 5.9 routes featured in the “Bow Valley Rock” or “Yamnuska Rock” guide books. The name might be slightly misleading as you do not follow one specific corner for long. Forbidden Corner can serve as a tedious route finding experience. Barry Blanchard told me he just recently quit carrying a hammer and pitons up the route when guiding despite the fact the route has been established since 1964. The partner I went with had to bivouac on the route 5 years ago and could remember little of the route. As with most routes on Yamnuska there are several variations. Forbidden Corner was originally named Verboten Corner in 1964 by Don Vockeroth and Lloyd Mackay. Supposedly, these talented Canadian climbers were climbing at or near the vertical limit during the mid 1960’s. Dow

  • Forbidden Way- 7 Pitches- 5.11a/
  • 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. Andy 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). Dow

    External Links

  • Alpine Club of Canada

  • DowClimbing.Com

  • Environment Canada

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