Climbing Conditions

2 photos

Climbing Conditions

A few multi-pitch routes routes in Jasper Park have been updated in recent times and could lead to you running short of draws on many pitches.

Rainy Day Slabs - Freediver: Matt Reynolds has spent a lot of time fixing this route in the past few years adding rappel rings and more bolts making this more of a reasonable proposition for the the 5.7 leader who isn't dialled on slab climbs. The guidebook states that 6 draws are needed and mentions that some folks will be tempted to string together multiple pitches with a dozen draws or more. That is no longer the case!

You should now bring about 10 draws per 30m pitch and perhaps 20 or more draws if you intend to string together pitches and clip every bolt. Of course, you have the option of skipping clips but carefully consider which bolts you skip!

This route is named for the creator, Paul Valiulis, who died in a freediving accident.

(Opinion: If your station management is dialled there is really no reason to string together pitches or bring two 60m ropes. A head to head comparison the other day showed this to be the case...)

Hidden Valley - Summer Wanderland: Over the years I have been working on upgrading anchors and protection on many of my old routes in Hidden Valley. I finally got around to retro-bolting a previously wildly runout route. The guidebook mentions Winter Wanderland (Original Route) but the description now needs a major overhaul. I have changed the nature of my old route entirely and also renamed it to differentiate if from the common variant. I have included a captioned photo which also includes some of the locations of rappel stations (all with ring bolts).

Summer Wanderland is now fully bolted as a straightforward 5.6/5.7 multi-pitch sport route and no longer has any runout pitches. It is five pitches of increasing length. It starts very easy with each pitch getting a little harder and more solid than the last. Pitch 5 ends with a 35m 5.6 or 5.7 crux (depending if you are a proficient slab climber). The route is fixed for rappels with a 60m rope.In my opinion this route is as much fun as the popular "Bullethead Buttress" but 2 pitches longer.

In general, if climbing any of the routes in the photo you should take about 7 or 8 draws, although some routes will need less. This is contrary to the descriptions in the guidebook, which are now dated. Many protection bolts continue to be added with 40 year old pitons gradually being replaced with stainless bolts. One piton replaced on Summer Wanderland was a 2.5cm / 1inch long knife blade in a vertical crack. Suffice it to say that it was psychological protection at its finest! The new bolt not only looks good, it is good!

Cyril Shokoples

On The Map

These observations and opinions are those of the person who submitted them. The ACMG and its members take no responsibility for errors, omissions, or lapses in continuity. Conditions differ greatly over time and space due to the variable nature of mountain weather and terrain. Application of this information provides no guarantee of increased safety. Do not use the Mountain Conditions Report as the sole factor in planning trips or making decisions in the field.