Smeagol, 5.9, 3 Pitches

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

Route Quality: 2 Votes

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Smeagol, 5.9, 3 Pitches
Created On: Aug 24, 2007
Last Edited On: Mar 23, 2013


Smeagol2nd Pitch- 35m- 5.8

As you traverse eastward on Yamnuska’s southern face, it diminishes in height which forms the “East End” cragging section. The 32 published routes at this end range from one to four pitches. The best approach is to follow the hikers/scramblers trail which takes real long switchbacks to arrive at the east end and then cut across on a trail that takes you to the base of the east end wall.

Smeagol is one of the straighter lines you will find on Yamnuska and is fairly easy to identify once you are below the east wall. Right of the prominent corner system known as Gollum Grooves is an overhung yellowish wall with three exit cracks/chimneys. Smeagol follows the left most crack slicing through three overhangs for one of the steepest and best pitches on Yamnuska for the grade.

Route Description

105 Meters, 3 Pitches, 5.9

1st Pitch- 35m- 5.7/ Start at a ledge just left of the main corner system above a broken treed step. Dick’s Route and Gollum Grooves share the same start. Climb easy ground up the broken corner passing a slight bulge. Move left below a small pinnacle and traverse up and left to a fixed belay at the base of a right facing corner.

2nd Pitch- 35m- 5.8/ Climb the sustained but easily protectable corner above with a move left towards the top under the bulge. Gain a small ledge and make an exposed move right and over the bulge and continue to the fixed belay directly below the exit crack.

3rd Pitch- 35m- 5.9/ This pitch involves one of the best moves for its grade on Yamnuska. Climb straight up and squeeze through the first overhang. Move over slabby ground to below the 2nd overhang and protect a difficult high reaching move up and over with your left hand while spread eagle and balancing on your right hand. Your arms will be completely stretched out from top to bottom. Then move left on easier ground and up on big holds back right through the final overhang. Some believe this move is above grade on this pitch; it can be aided.

Descend to the east via the scramblers trail.

Climbing Sequence

Essential Gear

Camelots from .5 to #3, Full set of nuts. Appropriate runners and draws. You will find some fixed protection, so you do not need to overdo it with the gear. Helmet, rock shoes, etc. We used double ropes which I always advise on longer routes on Yamnuska so you can make a quick weather exit if need be. Also helps considerably with rope drag on these routes. Despite having to gain over 1500’ to the base of the climbs on Yamnuska, wear trail runners versus boots so you can haul them with you. You will not return to the base of the climbs unless you are bailing.

External Links

Smeagol, 5.9, 3 Pitches

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