Type: Trad, Alpine, 460 ft (139 m), 4 pitches
FA: Rob Orvig and Larry Stanier, 1992
Page Views: 628 total · 19/month
Shared By: Rhys Beaudry on Jul 31, 2020 · Updates
Admins: Dave Rone, Tom Gnyra, Richard Rose

You & This Route

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That cutting edge of Peyto Tower that you were dreaming about from the highway, that is the mighty Prow! If the approach wasn't such a deterrent, this would already be a mega classic line. 

Highly featured quartzite makes for easy climbing and good protection. Incidentally, this also makes for some level of adventure climbing- generally following the line of least resistance will get you where you need to go at the same grade. Be smart about conserving gear, managing rope drag, and setting up belays where/when you need to, lots of options! A general pitching-

P1: 35-40 m, 5.8: Start on the SW side of the striking arete of the tower. Choose the broken rock features that suite your climbing/protection preference, and aim for the large right facing corner where there is a consistent crack system. at ~35 and ~40 m there are ledges. You can identify the first of those ledges by the large flake on the right side. I chimney/stemmed up this flake to the slightly higher ledge where there were more gear options. Note, there is a very attractive horizontal horn that may beckon you to sling it for a belay. It's loose, don't use it. 

P2: 35-40 m, 5.9: From the ledge either continue to follow the corner system, or follow the thin seam to a small roof. I chose finger/tips seam to roof, and then headed slightly right over much easier terrain for half a rope length. Belay at a ledge, still on the west side of the arete. 

P3: 35-40 m, 5.10b*: Move your belay over the arete (from the ledge I was at, this involved gaining 2 m of elevation and traversing perhaps 5 m right (east) to the base of parallel cracks. The cracks are absolutely banging, although, the gear is a bit finicky. Save a red offset nut for just below the roof. Turn the roof and run it out over easier turf.

P4: 35-40 m, class 4: Head up over progressively easier ground. You'll soon figure out you're out of technical climbing and can lose the gear. Be sure to scramble the last 50 m to the summit and sign the register!

*Maybe we were on this- girthhitchguiding.ca/develo… , I believe the original route aims for the left facing corner farther to the right- that option certainly looked easier. Choose your own adventure!

Descent: Walk off to the East aiming for the top of the drainage you bashed up on the approach. If there is snow in the top of this drainage, you may have some problems. From the top to where you split off the drainage on approach is mostly class 2 and some easy scrambling. However, there is one brief class 4 down climb on our route (see picture). It may be worth trying to cross farther east before the drainage narrows and steepens. Finish your descent through the grueling drainage, rejoining the trail when it appears below the new post-avalanche deciduous growth. 


From the drainage on the east side of Peyto Tower, traverse west/up the second last ledge before the cliff base (see picture). Walk along the the base of the cliff, aiming for the weakness/notch in the dark rock bands (limestone) at the base of The Prow. Scramble up choosing the path of least resistance (or rope up and choose the most attractive line you can identify) and eventually you will be spit out at the base of the prow on a surprisingly large mostly flat area. Identify the right facing corner (right of the large, readily identifiable roof feature) and choose your preferred starting point. 


Rack 0.2 - 3, offset nuts. Double up on 0.3-0.5 if you want to supplement gear. 8 alpine draws, a couple of runners, and as always, helmet and bear spray.