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Orient Express (Direct) 

YDS: 5.11d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

   
Type:  Trad, 10 pitches, 1800'
Original:  YDS: 5.11d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: J. Firth, C. Perry & M. Sawyer, August 1976, FFA: R. Debeyer & R. Slawinski, August 1999
Season: Summer
Page Views: 139
Submitted By: Tom Gnyra on Sep 6, 2016  with updates from Alex Temus

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BETA PHOTO: Topo for the route. Care of Chris Perry (banffrock...

Description 

From Chris Perry's Banff Rock website (Banffrock.ca)


Located at the top left of the north face is a prominent dihedral that slants to the right. The climb ascends the steep wall directly below this dihedral. It was originally called simply The North Face Route but the name has been changed to an early suggestion to avoid confusion with more recent climbs. The first ascent, which was completed between frequent rain showers, took three days and followed a direct line involving some sections of aid. These were avoided on the second ascent by climbing an essentially free line to the left in the middle section of the face. This Left Variation allows the route to be climbed free at 5.9 and this a worthwhile outing that can be completed in a day. The original line has recently been retrofitted and freeclimbed at 5.11d and is described below as the Direct Route. On the crux sixth pitch, four bolts were hand-placed on lead to back up the four already there. Also, one bolt was added to each of belays 1, 2, 4 and 5 (belays 3, 6, 7 and 8 could also use an additional bolt). The old bolts appear to be in reasonable shape but have small carabiner holes. While the harder sections are well-protected on good rock, this remains a “traditional” climb. In particular, a small selection of pitons is recommended for protection and belays. The first two pitches are quite loose but the rock becomes much better higher up

Start directly below the upper dihedral, scramble up and then right on ledges to below a right facing corner 10 m up, with steep slabs on the right.

1) 45 m, 5.7 Go up a small, left-facing corner for a few metres, then step up into the right-facing corner mentioned above. Climb up and diagonally right across the slabs to a left-facing corner high up. Follow the corner to a ledge (bolt belay).

2) 50 m, 5.8 Follow loose ramps up and left past a piton to a short right-facing corner. Climb the corner for a few metres, move right and then back left on broken rock to a ledge (bolt and optional belay). Traverse along the ledge to its left end (bolt and piton belay).

3) 30 m, 5.9 Climb a steep crack in good rock for about 10 m to a small roof (piton). Traverse steeply right to a right-facing corner (piton), climb it for a few metres to below another small roof, and then move right again to a shallow groove (piton). Follow the groove to a
small ledge with a bolt belay.

4) 25 m, 5.9 Climb a steep ramp up and left for 5 m, traverse 5 m left past a piton, step up onto a small slab and then move left to a groove (bolt). Climb the groove past a bulge to a ledge on the left (bolt belay).

5) 45 m, 5.7 Follow the corner system above, moving right near the top, to a good ledge and bolt belay.

Left Variation (F.F.A.: Left Variation: D. Morgan & C. Perry, August 1983):

6) 40 m, 5.9 Move across to the far left end of the ledge and make a difficult traverse left beneath an overhang (usually wet). Move up to a ledge and optional belay. Continue up and then left to the base of a corner system.

7) 45 m, 5.9 Climb to the top of the corner and small ledges on the left.

8) 45 m, 5.9 Move right and climb a steep wall to a shallow corner (piton). Follow the corner for a short distance, then climb left and up to a good ledge. Continue to a large ledge higher up.

9) 50 m, 5.7 Make a long traverse down and right, then climb slabs to a good ledge (junction with the original route).

10) 30 m, 5.7 Climb the steep corner above the ledge to the base of the upper dihedral.

11-13) 140 m, 5.5 Climb slabs and corners on the right side of the dihedral finishing well out on the right.

Direct (Original) Route:

6) 50 m, 5.11d From the far right end of the ledge, climb a groove for 5 m to an overlap, then traverse left and up to a small pedestal (this point may also be reached by climbing broken rock farther left). Traverse up and right on excellent rock to a small niche directly above
the belay (run-out 5.8). Climb up past three bolts to an awkward lip. Pull over this using a mono pocket (5.11b) and step over the overlap above to a rest stance. Move left to the first of the next four bolts. Climb the increasingly difficult groove above (5.11d) to reach
the base of a large slab. Climb up past another bolt, trend left and then go back right toa ledge below a large corner (bolt belay).

7) 35 m, 5.10d From the right side of the ledge, climb up past three bolts to a thin crack. Make a few strenuous moves up the crack and then stretch right to a jug. Follow a groove that slants back left to the main corner. Belay in a small alcove.

8) 20 m, 5.10b Climb up past four bolts and continue more easily up the corner to a belay on the slabs above (single bolt).

9) 45 m, 5.8 Climb up and right past a piton and fixed wire. Traverse right for 5 m and climb a steep corner to a horizontal break. Either follow the break back left past the top of the main corner to the ledge at the top of pitch 9 of the Left Variation, or climb up and right
and belay in the exit corner of Remembrance Wall.

10) 30 m, 5.7 or 5.8 Depending on which option was taken on pitch 9, either climb pitch 10 of the Left Variation (5.7) or the remainder of pitch 9 of Remembrance Wall (5.8) to the base of the upper dihedral.

11-13) 140 m, 5.5 Climb slabs and corners on the right side of the dihedral finishing well out on the right.

Location 

See topo

Protection 

A double rack, some pins if you have them, quickdraws


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