Nightmare on Wolf Street
Trad, Mixed, Ice, Alpine, 570 ft, 4 pitches, Grade IV,
Avg: 4 from 1
FA: Keira Allen, Sean Isaac, Dave Thomson. 11/99
> N America
> Banff NP
> Stanley Headwall
One of the most elegant lines you will ever climb, and on the Stanley Headwall no less! Amazing position combined with incredible ice and hard drytooling on good rock, makes for a truly singular experience!
P1, M7+: Thin face climbing past several bolts leads to the right arching crack. Continue climbing the crack, clipping bolts as you go, then turn the corner and climb ice and rock to the bolted station. 9 bolts.
P2, WI5+: Climb onto the front of the thin, hollow column, and take the long ice pitch to the bolted station on the big ledge.
P3, M7+ WI6+: Climb past a few bolts to the overhang, and a great hole for your tool just below the roof. Now the business. Without giving too much away, reach left to a very good horizontal, then reach further left to get ice, clipping bolts as you go. Not much for feet through here. Burly moves! Look for a bolt (& 'biner?) just above the lip of the roof. It may be covered by ice. Climb difficult ice to a bolted station on the right. Seven bolts on this pitch.
P4, WI6: A long pitch (or two shorter) of steep ice gets you to the top. Build an anchor.
First rappel: from a v-thread at the top of the route, 70m ropes get you to a bolted station on the right at the top of P3..
Second rappel: 70's get you to the bolted station at the top of P1.
Third rappel: short rappel to the ground.
Nightmare is above the left side of the big snow ledge, that cuts across the lower right side of the Headwall. You can't miss the beautiful streak of ice!
Getting there: once you reach the top of the switchbacks and before you cross the creek, head out for the right shoulder of the Headwall. Hopefully there is a trail. If not, it's a bust. There is no flagging, so simply find your way over downed trees, steep slopes, and cliff bands to a cave on the right side of the Headwall. From here, DANGER, traverse the avy prone snow ledge until you are below the route. There are bolts every 75-100 feet on the snow ledge traverse.
Bolts protect all the rock climbing and belays for the first three pitches. Screws for ice, chord for anchors.
Clipping, P3. Photo: Nate Erickson.
Nate Erickson finishing up P4. Photo: Dave Rone
Nate Erickson on P1. Photo: Dave Rone
Starting P2. Photo: Nate Erickson
The plumb line beauty of Nightmare on Wolf Street.