All Locations > International > North America > Canada > Alberta > Banff National… > Saddle Mountain
Screams from the Balcony
Avg: 4 from 1 vote
|Type:||Sport, 600 ft, 5 pitches|
|FA:||Andrew Langsford, Mike Verwey|
|Page Views:||746 total · 39/month|
|Shared By:||Tom Gnyra on Sep 3, 2016|
|Admins:||Dave Rone, Tom Gnyra|
DescriptionThe proud prow that can be seen from the highway. Really, a stunning feature to climb on and a really incredible line. This plumb was not picked until 2001 and it seems like it may have been due to no one wanting to bolt the last part or even venture up there for fear of difficulty.
P1 "The Grass Pitch" : Find a big grass bowl at the lowest point of where the trail dips. Basically just move up through very rotten rock, mud, grass, and other garbage. Belay at a small roof just right of shattered rock. Rope up. 5.0-5.3 R.
P2: Pull a roof (mid 5.10, easier if tall) and continue up corners. Stay left if possible to easily find the chains after a OW corner. 5.10b
P3: Climb left to the top of the pinnacle, right to a short left facing corner with good finger jams and then left to the anchor. Good rock starts getting really good. 5.9
P4: A good pitch with some tricky pro. Follow the line obviously left (face climbing and some corner stuff) to a first roof with some hard pro in dinner plate rock. Pull it easily 5.10- or 5.9 onto dirty rock. Trend hard right through a second roof/corner with big pro (do not continue straight up the other corner). Pull onto the face and make a few face moves to the anchor. 5.10-
P5 "the money pitch": This is where the line actually turns into beautiful, perfect climbing. Pass bolts on perfect incuts through really small roofs. When the bolts run out, use 0.3-0.5 cams to finish the climb on a really good finger crack through a roof. 5.11-
A good strategy is to trail a rope until pitch two (first bolted belay) and just clip it to the bolts. Then, ditch one rope and use a 70m or 80m to finish the climb. You can easily lower off the top pitch to the anchor and just top rope it instead of belaying to the top.
We did not descend but there is a way to walk off or use other rap stations. No info on this right now, and would recommend the fast raps.
Finally: the final pitch didn't feel as hard as 11b at the back of the Lake. We both felt that Chocolate Bunnies, Wicked Gravity, Dew Line, Mr. Rogers and Liquid Sky are all a step up from this climb. Even, from a technical standpoint (in our opinion) Turtle Island 10d may be harder.
To the person who thought it was a good idea to tick mark the top: please don't do this again.
Protectionsingle rack 0.3-3 (4-5 is nice but only really used for one move). Nuts and all your other trad stuff.
7 quickdraws that are nice and long for the top pitch. Some extra if you want to ditch that other rope at the first bolt belay and if you use them for belays in general.
Some leaver gear and tat if it's looking really gross. No rap rings as of 2016, would urge those who own quick links to add them to the climb. We had none and so couldn't