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Heading into the cave!
410m, 12 pitches Sun Exposure:
receives lots of sun Time:
4 - 6 hours to climb the route Approach:
30 - 45 minutes Descent:
2 hours car-to-car:
7 - 10 hours Difficulty:
Cams: 0.5" to 2" (purple to yellow camalots), slings / draws
An absolutely amazing climb for the position (climbs next to a gigantic waterfall), rock quality (stellar except the shale pitch), variety of climbing (face, chimney, steep, slab, etc...), and caving! Seriously, when do you ever do a 100+m long belly crawl through a cave that ends at the top of a roaring waterfall on any other climb?
The climb itself is technically easy and many aspiring trad climber's first outing on something long. Be prepared to see other parties on weekends. Rockfall is only a real concern directly below the shale band, so either stick together or get outta the chimney section quickly. Many pitches can be linked and simul-climbing the ledge traverses (which are basically walks with lots of protection bolts) really speeds things up.
Here's a recent video a friend made of our ascent:
From the parking lot for Takakka Falls, follow the tourist trail across the bridge to the Takakkaw Falls viewpoint (10 minutes). Continue past the viewpoint on braided climber / tourist trails. When possible, get close to the wall and head up left. It is substantially tougher to go straight up the scree cone since it's like stair stepping marbles. Just shy of the top of the scree cone, start looking for the bolt that marks the start.
Route starts just right of the top of the scree cone, far left from the waterfall. Start right off scrambling up a platform about 15' up and find a fat bolt at the start.
Rap the route, can be done with 1 60m rope, but 2 makes it quicker.
If topping out after the cave:
Head uphill about the distance the cave is long and look for a cairn that marks the tree with rap slings just over the edge on a platform. Rap from here to an intermediate belay above the tree (slings) with 1 60m rope or all the way to the cave or belay below the cave with 2 ropes. Keep rapping stations back to the ground reversing the whole route. Walk / belay the ledge traverse again.
If not topping out after the cave:
reverse the cave and hope no one is coming the opposite direction and rap as per normal.
Only the two 30m chimney pitches require gear while the rest of the climb has bolts. Bring a single to double set of cams from 0.5 to 2" (purple to yellow camalots). Don't bother with nuts. The climb is essentially a sport climb with big runouts in the chimney or totally casual with a few pieces of gear.
A few small to medium cams (0.5" - 2")
slings / draws
kneepads / elbowpads
BETA PHOTO: Heading up the last pitch (after the cave) could h...
Light at the end of the tunnel, FINALLY
After the climb, all smiles
Team of 3 at the pitch 3a belay, just before walki...
Walking across the tourist bridge towards Takakkaw...
BETA PHOTO: I revised the topo slightly from the one floating ...
BETA PHOTO: Photo topo - Ramey 2011 Belay 3 is approximate sin...
From: Ottawa, On
Jun 15, 2014
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Did this route in August 2013 with my buddy after 10 days of alpine climbing in the Purcell mountains of BC (right next to the Bugaboos). The climbing is relatively easy, but don't let that put you off. The exposure on the crux pitch will make you think twice about the moves. The cave traverse was awesome. All in all, this route is totally classic. Just bring 2 ropes... We brought 1 70m and had to do some sketch traversing on chossy ledges to get to one station. Our rack was pretty small... maybe 4-5 cams up to #1 BD and a set of nuts. I gave it PG13 because there are spots where you really wouldn't want to fall... I remember a 40m pitch with 2 bolts and a shale pitch with zero pro. Highly unlikely that you would fall however, the climbing is 5.5 at most.
Go do it!!!
Aug 13, 2015
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13
An awesome route. The cave is amazing and the belay on the pinnacle may be the most scenic on earth, though I'm not qualified to say for sure. A sport route, this is not and calling it one is misleading. We took singles of grey to yellow camalots and a set of nuts, which was comfortable. If you're not going to bring a light rack you may as well just solo in my opinion. The traverse is second class with a single move of third. We short roped up and just unroped on the way down. I've ridden gnarlier bike trails. I highly recommend bringing ropes through the cave. The last pitch is worth it for the view. A single 60m should get you down from there, there is an intermediate station above the cave entrance. Stations freaking everywhere for rappel. Took us 5 raps on double 60s. Oh, and get ready for the rockstar treatment on the tourist trail. The entire population of Saskatchewan will be down there watching you.