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North Ghost
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L to R R to L Alpha
Fang & Fist T 
Good, The Bad, & The Ugly (GBU), The 
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This House of Sky 
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The Sorcerer 


Type:  Trad, Ice, 4 pitches, 700', Grade IV
Consensus: WI5 [details]
FA: Kevin Doyle, Iain Stewart-Patterson Feb 1983
Page Views: 878
Submitted By: Dave Rone on Oct 17, 2011

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Black Rock Mountain and the second Johnson Lake, f...


A beautiful, remote route in an incredible setting! The Sorcerer pours down the back of a canyon surrounded by big walls on all sides.

Pitch 1: Climb moderate ice to a short, steep pillar and then follow narrowing ice up and right to the first belay (bolts).

Pitch 2: A short pitch of snow and easy ice leads to a comfortable belay ledge on the right, at the base of the main column.

Pitch 3: Move left from the belay and climb excellent, steep ice to the large cave on the right (bolts)

Pitch 4: Traverse left out of the cave on vertical to slightly overhanging ice (crux) and climb a long pitch on ice that eases off as you get higher.

Pitch 5: (Optional), a short, easy pitch leads to the top.

Get an early start, you don't want to be the second party to show up! Anything that comes off is funneled all the way down the route. Being 10 minutes late can cost you 3 hours! (my experience)

Descent: 3 rappels (70m ropes)

Rappel #1: From v-threads at the top to the big cave.

#2: From the cave to the snow-ledge, a short easy scramble leads down to the bolts at the top of the first pitch.

#3: From the top of the first pitch to your packs.


Most parties approach from the North Ghost, but the route actually lies to the north, in the Johnson Creek drainage.

After descending the Big Hill, drive to the North Ghost and park just past Sentinal Crag. Hike north (Bastion Wall to the left) until you come to the north end of the first Johnson Lake. From here head northwest, eventually moving right over a ridge, and down into The Sorcerer drainage. Once you're in the drainage the approach is obvious, and you'll soon see the route. 1.5 to 2 hours.

You can also approach via Waiparous Creek, hiking past Hydrophobia to The Sorcerer drainage. This approach takes 1 to 1.5 hours. Check out the link below from Gravsports for more info.


Protection is screws, belays are bolted. There are no bolts at the top so bring cord for v-threads.

Photos of The Sorcerer Slideshow Add Photo
Wes Bender starting up the first pitch.  Photo:  D...
Wes Bender starting up the first pitch. Photo: D...
The Sorcerer.  Photo:  Dave Rone
BETA PHOTO: The Sorcerer. Photo: Dave Rone
Pitch 3.  Photo:  Dave Rone
Pitch 3. Photo: Dave Rone
Start of the 4th pitch.  Photo:  Wes Bender.
Start of the 4th pitch. Photo: Wes Bender.

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By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 20, 2014

Here are notes from my ascent in 1996:
"2/11 long day on the Sorcerer (WI5, 4 pitches): leave Canmore Hostel 6AM, leave car 8:30, start first ice lead after much post-holing 12:00, top out 6:00, back to car 10:40, get stuck 11:00, get stuck 11:30, nearly hit moose 12:30, reach hostel 2:00AM!"
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