Type: Sport, 1000 ft (303 m), 11 pitches
FA: FA: unknown, re-­equipped November 2011
Page Views: 25,682 total · 182/month
Shared By: Jordan Ramey on Jul 23, 2012 · Updates
Admins: Dave Rone, Tom Jones, Richard Rose

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Description Suggest change

A long slightly runout sport climb that was re-equipped in 2011 by some local guides. Generally good rock with great position high up above the Banff golf course and Bow River. The 5 minute approach makes this a popular route. Be wary of rockfall if another party is above as there are lots of loose scree ledges up high

Location Suggest change

Park at the climbers pullout lot along the Banff Golf Course road near the clubhouse. It's just at the base of the Mt. Rundle ridgeline. Walk uphill for 5 minutes to find the bolts on the big slab next to a large left-facing dihedral.

Protection Suggest change

draws, all pitches are link-able.

Walk off (with permission from Shaun King) Suggest change

(Update 2020, from the Gold Rush comment section: highly recommend NOT using the descent trail. I would **not** recommend using the descent trail. Unfortunately, this is a perfect example of what happens when climbers develop a descent trail with the sole consideration being to get down fast. The trail starts off well marked and solid. After passing a bolted slab, the soil becomes EXTREMELY eroded and loose for a very long while. These sections are steep and treacherous. The soil here is not stable enough to support this kind of trail - wide switchbacks should have been cut through this section to promote its longevity. Trail is now spider webbing as people search for safe passage down. If the trail already is in this poor of condition after two years (?) it will be an absolute horror show in the coming years as climbers and weather continue to erode the soil. A real shame, though at least perhaps a lesson for future trail makers.")

The Rundlehorn climb sees a ton of traffic with multiple parties on every good weather day. With the addition of MacLab Slab, Gold Rush and Sunriser, there are a lot of folks out there and everyone is rappelling—either the route they climbed or the next one over. People rapping over each other slows everyone down, increases the risk of rockfall onto others and makes COVID distancing hard at shared stations. Additionally, most parties will take as long or longer to descend than to climb their route.

There is a walk-off option that involves a bit of scrambling and gains another 150 m of elevation but most folks will be able to descend this way in about an hour versus two to four hours of rappelling, and save all climbers a lot of grief and exposure to rockfall.

From the top of Rundlehorn, diagonal up and left, scrambling up some low angle rock to gain flatter terrain and follow cairns back right until below a sizable steep face. The Gold Rush climb finishes just below this face on climber’s right. Follow a 3rd class ramp (see photos) up and left across this face to break through to easier terrain above. Head back right following cairns that lead up to a steepish treed gully filled with slate-flat rocks embedded in the earth. Bypass this low on the right through trees to gain easier terrain above and eventually an obvious draw with gravel in it higher up. Immediately above the draw go hard right past trees to gain a rock rib that leads up to a flattish bench below the next big steep rock face. Locate a large boulder with a cairn on it, in a small clearing in the trees @ GR 02096932. This is the landmark to start traversing south. Start just beneath the steep rock and gradually diagonal down through spaced trees until rock slabs force you down through a pinch point between the slabs at GR 02076910. All grid refs are NAD 83.

After this, diagonal out descender’s left to where steep scree slopes lead down to short section of dead-fall. Diagonal out left again to link up more scree slopes which lead to lower angled open forest and eventually a trail system below 1450 m that leads north back to the packing lot. ~1 hr.

If you are climbing MacLab Slab or Gold Rush it is a good idea to walk SW from the parking lot on a trail for 40 m to a viewpoint (see photo) where the trees open up and you can see both climbs. If you can see a party already on your intended route, it is advisable to pick another objective as these climbs have a lot of loose rock.