Thursday, September 23, 2021

Heart Line - 5.9, A1, 1100m (17 pitches)

Heart Mountain on the approach from the creek. The route follows the right 
side ridge from the creek directly to the summit.

Had a cold and blustery day Friday September 17 on a long and interesting sport route, Heart Line. This long route is found on little Heart Mountain. One route description calls this route, “a sport mountaineering adventure.“ The route description says 1100 metres for the route length in 17 pitches. Fun, glad we did the full 17 pitches; it is possible to only do the lower 6 pitches, or only the upper 11 pitches. Excellent photos and route beta here:

View to pitch 1 from creek.

Looking down pitch 2.

View down pitch 3.
Photo by Laurie

OSWB leading pitch 4.
Photo by Laurie

Generally the lower 6 pitches are moderate with sections of easy climbing, but there are several really fun sections. In between pitch 6 and 7 is a long hike on a pleasant ridge.

Pleasant hike in between pitches 6 and 7.

View to the upper 11 pitches and the summit of Heart Mtn.

The upper pitches are the money, pitch 13 is the crux, super solid 5.9. Pitch 14 is 15 metres of A1. The final pitches we had strong cold winds that make the route extra spicy.  Fun route and worthwhile to do all 17 pitches. 

Looking down pitch 8.
Photo by Laurie.

Laurie part way of pitch 10.

View up pitch 12 and 13. Pitch 13 is full value 5.9.

Kevin at the anchor at the start of pitch 13.
Photo by Laurie.

View north from anchor at base of pitch 13. 
The wall is steep.

OSWB (Kevin) at the top of pitch 13.
Photo by Laurie.

Pitch 14. A1, 5.7, 15m.

Laurie "aid" climbing the bolt ladder of pitch 14.

Last short hike to the base of the last two pitches.
Photo by Laurie.

View of pitch 16 and 17.

OSWB at station below pitch 16.
Photo by Laurie.

OSWB pulling through the upper crux of pitch 17.
Photo by Laurie.

Rain/snow clouds kept threatening, Canmore getting some precip.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Sport climbs - Larry's Crack 5.9 and Corner Man 5.10b


OSWB leading up Corner Man.
Photo by Laurie

Quick and fun after work trip to Canyon Creek for a couple of sport routes. Laurie and I each led up “Larry’s Crack”, 5.9 and 16m, then crossed the road to “Corner Man”, 5.10b and 18m. Corner Man felt easier than the crux pitch on Valley View (5.9). Corner Man was super fun, totally recommend it. Short and sunny trip.

“Larry’s Crack”, 5.9 
OSWB near top.
Photo by Laurie

“Larry’s Crack”, 5.9 
 Laurie near top.

Flood protection wall in Canyon Creek.

Laurie looking up “Corner Man”, 5.10b, 18m.

OSWB cruxing on “Corner Man”, 5.10b, 18m.
Photo by Laurie

Laurie cruxing on “Corner Man”, 5.10b, 18m.

Laurie about to rap off the top.

Valley View - 5.9, 190m (7 pitches)


View up first few pitches on approach.

Climbed Valley View on Friday, September 3. Boy, this route is really sandbagged. I lead the two crux pitches of the original line (pitch 2 and 4) and I could give P2 maybe a solid 5.9+, but P4; no way it is 5.9. I struggled up the pitch and somehow managed not to fall; it felt more like 10b or more to me. Based on discussions with some local hard climbers, the consensus seems to be pitch 4 is more like 5.10b or 10c. Cool route will some really high quality sections.

Exposed traverse to base of route.

View up Pitch 3

Valley Views 

View down crux (5.9 not)

Laurie heading up pitch 5.

Very cool rock on top of pitch 5.

View up to station above pitch 5.

View up pitch 7 to the top of the route. Cool, delicate slab climbing on this pitch.

Laurie on the top anchor of route.

First rap.

Near the end of the raps.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Fairmont Mountain - North Ridge, solo scramble


Moody, cloudy and cold in the high country above the Columbia Valley on Tuesday, August 10. Had tons of fun on the North Ridge of Fairmont Mountain. Fairmont Mountain is above the resort village of Fairmont Hot Springs in the Columbia Valley, about 30 km south of the main valley town, Invermere. Approached from highway 93/95 to Fairmont Creek, then bushy bash to the big scree slope that meets the ridge line just north of the Fairmont Ridge/Fairmont Mtn. col.

Up the ridge direct to south summit then south to the main summit. Lots of fun moderate hands on scrambling. Solid 1750 metres of gain, mountain bike approach saved a lot of time, rode up/down ski out trail to upper Fairmont Creek. Great day out. 

Saturday, August 7, 2021

“Hassle Castle” - North Ridge, 5.4


View up North Ridge of "Hassle Castle"

Smoky Friday August 6 in Jura Creek. I teamed up with my intrepid scrambler bud, Cornelius, for a great day on “Hassle Castle”. This cool little feature is located just south of “Morrowmount” along the high ridge between upper Jura Creek and CMC Valley. Some sources refer to this as “Old Fort Peak”. 

Map of area summits.

We approached up Jura Creek, up orange scree slope close to “Morrowmount” and traversed on the ridge south to the north side of “Hassle Castle”.  

Sticking to the crest of the North Ridge, a vertical wall is soon encountered; about 7m tall, solid 5.4. We soloed up this. A second wall about 25m of low fifth class and then fun difficult scrambling to the top. Tons of loose and exposed rock. We left a new register and rebuilt the old collapsed cairn. 

On the descent, Cornelius downclimbed a slabby line to skier's left of the 7m wall section. Too much slab for me, I returned to downclimb the 5.4 wall. In this slab section, I found two old piton rappel anchors. Fun down climbing and the hike back down Jura Creek. Tons of fun.