Type: Sport, 775 ft (235 m), 9 pitches
FA: Chris Perry and Brian Wyvill, August 2016
Page Views: 2,010 total · 51/month
Shared By: Tom Gnyra on Jul 15, 2018
Admins: Dave Rone, Tom Gnyra

You & This Route

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Another gem on tunnel. Just what you expect: some good climbing and some weird loose rock that is going to get better and better. Probably one of the better routes up on this little island in Banff City, maybe my favorite second to Tonka. A good short outing and a walk off make this a low commitment day in the Rockies.

What to expect on this one: some loose rock, lots of technical slab and some roofs. Overall very interesting and quite good. Hopefully this gets better and better with age! 

From Chris Perry's PDF TOPO on TAVBAR:

This nine-pitch route is the result of the latest excavation/construction project on the East Face of Tunnel Mountain. The climb follows the obvious prow on that side of the mountain and has some excellent climbing on generally good rock. It is a sport route, completely equipped, and with a 30m rappel route. At least 15 QDs are required and some longer slings are useful. The route has been cleaned extensively but there seems to be an endless supply of loose rock, particularly at the ledges. Watch out for people below who may be traversing along the base towards the Gooseberry area (the lower trail is recommended). The climb itself follows a diagonal line and climbing parties lower down are not generally in the line of fire. The rappel route, however, is a different matter and a walk-off descent is strongly recommended.

The first two pitches are worth doing in their own right as a shorter climb. An easier two-pitch start (5.9) has been established to the left of the main route which avoids the difficult first pitch.

The general line was apparently attempted previously since rappel pitons were found at the fifth station and some fixed gear is evident in the broken corner system directly below (using
the same start as Hidden Crack and left of the current line). This probably dates from the early 70s when Lloyd MacKay and Don Vockeroth were exploring this section of the face.
Start: Hike up towards The Scoop and when the trail reaches the cliff, continue left along the base instead of going right and up towards The Scoop. Go left past a small rib and the start is about 10 m further on, below a row of bolts leading up to a large, rounded band of overhangs.

1. 30 m, 5.10d. (15 bolts) Climb up and left easily at first and then make a tricky move right past the third bolt to reach a good foot-ledge. Continue up to the roof and lean out on rounded holds at first and then using a good finger-crack to reach a big hold over the top and slightly to the left. Reach across to another good hold and pull up (crux) into a shallow scoop. Climb the steep wall above and go over the bulge on good holds into a small bay. Make a couple of moves up a small corner and then exit left onto the face (hidden bolt). Continue more easily up a shattered wall and onto slabs above. The station is at a grassy ledge a short distance higher.

2. 30 m, 5.10a/b. (12 bolts) Move up to a small ledge just left of the tree and climb the slabby wall above on great rock, angling slightly left. Slightly harder climbing near the top leads to the station at a small ledge.

3. 30 m, 5.7. (6 bolts) Step up left to a ledge below a short groove and climb the left arête on excellent holds to broken ground and a left-slanting corner. Climb the slab left of the corner past 3 three bolts to more broken ground and a bolt at a small step. Scramble up to a station at the next rock band.

4. 20 m, 5.8+. (7 bolts) Move up to a small roof and undercling using the crack beneath it to reach good holds above. Continue up the slabby wall past a balancy section to a shallow corner which leads to the next station at a long ledge.

5. 30 m, 5.10a. (13 bolts) Climb the steepening wall above on good holds at first and then with more difficulty higher up to reach a line of overhangs. Traverse left, staying low at first and then moving up to a key handhold 2ft right of a bolt. Pull up left to gain a ledge at the left end of the overhangs at the base of a long, right-facing corner. Climb the corner (loose higher up) to a station on the left where the wall steepens.

6. 20 m, 5.10b. (6 bolts) Climb up and left from the belay and traverse around a small rib (bolt) into a bay below a rotten overhang. Move up past a bolt into a steep bridging position, reach up high on the left for a small, hidden slot, and then pull up using small incuts on each side of a bulging promontory to gain a good flat hold at its top. Climb up into the groove above and continue to a small, semi-hanging station on the left. A difficult pitch to enjoy.

7. 30 m, 5.10a/b. (13 bolts) Follow the ramp above the belay on generally good holds, but with a few difficult sections, until forced out left and then up to a small “cave” below the final bulge. Move up left slightly and find a small layaway for the right hand, crank up to reach small chert edges above

8. 30 m, 5.9. (12 bolts) Climb the slabby wall above on good sloping holds towards a large, undercut flake on the left. Move up past the right side of the flake and step left above it onto small ledges. Difficult moves on the right lead to easier ground and a series of short corners in the wall above. Stay left of blocks near the top to reach the station at a long, horizontal ledge.

9. 15 m, 5.8. (5 bolts) Climb up into the corner above the belay and follow it past a bulge with interesting holds (fossilized sponges?) to a tree with a chain around it at the top.


When you get to the fork to turn towards gooseberry / Tonka or ballista, take it towards Tonka. Then at the next fork hike up and right to the climb. Climb is scratched into the rock.