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Routes in The Asylum

Asylum, The S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13
BBQ for Buddha S 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Blade S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Brain Surgery 101 S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Cuckoo's Nest S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
I Had a Good Name, But I Forgot (AKA for Lee, 'The route with the Epic Name') S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Pile-o-mania S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Elevation: 1,157 ft
GPS: 43.805, -71.844 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 5,606 total, 47/month
Shared By: lee hansche on Mar 12, 2008
Admins: Jay Knower, M Sprague, lee hansche, Jeffrey.LeCours, Robert Hall


The Asylum is a very well hidden crag which is worth discovering. Next time you are cursing the crowds think about taking a jaunt out here for a nice change of scenery.

Located right above The Prudential, it shares many attributes with that cliff: steep routes, lots of sun, and killer rock quality. The big difference is that if you follow the beaten path through the western crags you will find The Prudential easily and you might not even see The Asylum. It is however quite easy to get to. From Yellow Knife just angle up and left up the gully and scramble over to the base. Look for a bolted corner climb to guide you in. Only takes a minute or two from Yellow Knife to the base of The Asylum.

Climbs are all bolted and range from 5.9 to 5.12b.

Note- You are directly above Prudential. Be careful not to drop or knock anything loose as it will likely roll off the top of Prudential, potentially hitting someone 100+ feet below.

This cliff is often closed in the spring for Peregrines.

Getting There

Right above The Prudential.

Easiest way to get there is to go to the far left end of Yellowknife Buttress and walk left across the gully. It is hard to maintain a trail here due to the flow of ice and rubble that comes down the gully seasonally. Take great care not to slip as a fall down the gully would be ugly. The asylum is right on the other side of the gully, you should see it easily.

It is a bad idea these days to scramble up the gully from the prudential. Dangerous.

7 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Asylum

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
BBQ for Buddha
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
I Had a Good Name, But I Forgot (AKA…
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
BBQ for Buddha 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Pile-o-mania 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
I Had a Good Name, But I Fo… 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in The Asylum »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season


S. Neoh  
So up the gully just to right of "Blue Sky and Rhino Horns" (5.8+)? I think I saw a old rope there when we did Blue Sky last year.
Thanks Mark. Aug 2, 2017
M Sprague
New England
M Sprague   New England  
Soon, you don't have to go all the way over to YK. Just scramble up the loose gully/hillside right of the Prudential. There is usually an old fixed rope to help. Kind of a pain, but any trail there just gets blown out. Aug 2, 2017
S. Neoh  
Is the best way to get here still via YK? I was at NWP near Very Nice Crack and wondered if there is now a way (besides the steep goat path Mark mentioned) to go from there to The Asylum without dipping down to The Prudential first. Aug 2, 2017

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