Ogre Canyon is a steep incised limestone canyon located approximately one half hour drive west of the hamlet of Brule. This climb gets little traffic, other than that from the locals - but its spectacular setting and interesting climbing is well worth effort.
"Ogre Canyon Falls" and "Ingredient 16
" can be climbed in a day. Do Ingredient 16 first - it's by far the harder approach.
This is the second pitch of Ogre Canyon - it's in very thin conditions and harder than it looks.
Although you can (I have) get to Ogre Canyon with a two-wheel drive (especially if you have chains), a 4 wheel drive is preferred.
To access Ogre Canyon, turn north onto Highway 40 from Highway 16 - the turnoff is located just west of Hinton Alberta. Drive north on Highway 40, crossing the Athabasca River. Approximately 2 kilometres past the Athabasca bridge, turn left on the road to Brule. Follow this paved road for about 20 minutes to the hamlet of Brule.
Follow the same road straight through Brule until it turns to dirt - continue following the road. There are unlocked gates on this road - please ensure that you close all gates behind you.
After travelling approximately 30 minutes from Brule, the road will end at a parking lot - this is the Ogre Canyon Parking Lot. There are interpretive signs here.
From the parking lot, walk down to the creek, and follow the creek upstream for about 10 minutes until it enters Ogre Canyon - the first ice step is about 50 metres into the Canyon.
The third "pitch" of Ogre Canyon Falls
There are 3 distinct steps of ice to climb. The first is short (about 6 metres) but sometimes a bit tricky. It surmounts a chockstone in the canyon. This can be soloed or pitched out.
The second pitch can either be a fun short pitch (15 metres) of grade 2+ ice, or can be technical and thin. In thin conditions, one must be very careful.
The third pitch is the gem. It's normally always in (even if the first two pitches are thin). This pitch climbs a semi-frozen high volume waterfall that comes in from the left side of the canyon. There is often open water in places on the climb, so you must carefully pick your way up the falls. It's a full 50 metre pitch.
You can rappel the route or walk-off - each takes about the same amount of time.
If you want to walk off - walk up and west after the last pitch until you gain the ridge. Continue walking west (away from the parking lot) for about 10 minutes - until you come to a large cairn; this is the descent trail. It's very obvious.