Type: Trad, 1500 ft (455 m), 11 pitches
FA: Brian Greenwood, Gunter Prinz, Dieter Raubach, & Wilf Twelker, June 1961
Page Views: 14,943 total · 81/month
Shared By: Leo Paik on Mar 9, 2007 · Updates
Admins: Dave Rone, Tom Gnyra

You & This Route


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Access Issue: Closure 2022 Details

Description

This is an aesthetic line on a prominent face that stands out in the skyline above Canmore. It is very attractive to the everyperson's climber who looks at the 5.6 grade, 11-12 pitches, 1500 ft of climbing, a direct line to the summit, and says "I'm there." However, there is more than what meets the eye to this climb.

A rope, a helmet, and decent sense of routefinding are advisable for this line. There are stray bolts, stray gear, stray anchors to lead you astray.

This face can gets sun in July and shorts can work. At 10am the route is in full sun.

P1. This is described as 3rd-4th class with optional ropework. I recommend a rope. No pro, low angle, loose rock, 160'. 1 bolt anchor (10y ago). Don't fall.

P2. This continues up with loose rock on ledges, 1 Friend placement, balance required, 160'. 2 bolt anchor. "Loose as sin" is what my notes say. Don't fall! My buddy did, but fortunately it was following.

P3. Pretty much straight up to a 3 bolts belay. Much more solid rock. Route finding apparently can be challenging on this pitch.

P4. Go up and right to a shaded, right-facing corner/groove. A belay that we used is up and right from the top of the groove. 3 bolt belay. There is another, bolted belay to the left that we didn't use. 5.2.

P5. This is a tricky pitch for route finding (probably the crux of route finding). Don't go up and right (that felt 5.8+ R before I downclimbed)! We went down, then traverse left to a ledge, curve up to a groove, to a 2 bolt belay on a ledge.

P6. Angle right, continue past quite a few bolts & pins, go up to a ledge. This may be the crux pitch. 40m, 5.6.

P7. Go up ~7m, then go left, get up under a small roof, continue up to a 2 bolt belay. My notes suggest you may pass a bolt & 3 pins.

P8. Traverse up and right, then go up the right side of a rib, finish in a small, left-facing corner to a 2 bolt belay. 5.5.

P9. Go up a nice, left-facing corner/slab, pass 3 pins, belay at a 2 bolt belay. This is probably the nicest pitch, IMHO. It is easier than it looks. This pitch is in the shade in the afternoon. This sweet photo shows climbing left of the dihedral, although I recall climbing closer to the dihedral at points. 5.5.

P10. Go up and left to a 3 crack corner. This pitch is in the shade in the afternoon. Not quite as nice as P9. 160'.

P11. Take the climb to the top and topout. The last pitch is runout 40+ feet with absolutely no pro placements. Super easy climbing but extremely run out.

We burned about 5 1/2 hours on a casual stroll up getting lost once. Speedier climbers could half that easily.

Descent: slip down the back side on the scree. Alternatively, I've heard you may be able to rap Sisyphus Summits, but we didn't do that.

Note, this climb has taken out a decent number of climbers, so keep your guard up.

Per Richard Hunter: the name used in more recent guidebooks seems to have changed to NE Face.

Location

This is the obvious prow up the less-than-vertical NE face. From a distance, the line is obvious, but up close, you can find yourself a bit challenged with the line. Scope it.

Protection

A set of wires, a set of cams to #4 Friend, 10-12 runners, and a 50m rope works.

You can totally get away with cams up to size #2. There was absolutely nowhere to place anything bigger.   

Photos