Showing posts from July, 2012

Bow Valley obscure

A few people have asked me recently about some rather obscure routes I did over the years. Rather than just emailing out topos and letting the climbs languish in the obscurity they perhaps deserve, I thought I would post the information here in case others might be interested. Note that the routes in question are somewhat more adventurous than most, lacking such user-friendly amenities as bolted belays. For all that they do offer some excellent climbing, the Windtower and Rimwall routes in particular being - in my opinion, anyway - among the best long climbs in the Bow Valley. Marcus Norman high on the Stanley Headwall. Le Jour Le Plus Long, Northeast Face of the Windtower, ~550 m, 5.11 or 5.10d This outstanding route was established on summer solstice in 2000 by two Quebecois climbers, Remy Bernier and Francois Roy, in just about the best style possible: on-sight and hammerless. Rolando Garibotti and I made the second ascent in 2003 and added a two-pitch variation, making for

Yam fun

"I noticed a long time ago that with the arrival of the spring rock climbing season the soul of a climber migrated from the left side of the body into the fingertips..." - Voytek Kurtyka, Lamaniec . It's been a while since I spent an entire summer in the Rockies. For the past three years the pull of exotic places like Alaska and the Karakoram had prevented me from experiencing the whole of the season in my favourite mountain range. And so I was understandably excited at the prospect - at least until the June monsoon arrived. As day after day dawned grey and sodden, I remembered why I often arranged to be somewhere else during this, the wettest month of the year. Even overhanging cliffs became unclimbable, as rainwater percolated from above and turned crimpers, slopers and sidepulls into a seeping mess. Then I remembered one cliff that (almost never) seeps: Yamnuska. In particular, I remembered a route that I had played on some years ago: Yamabushi . It was around the