Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Waterton and Southern Alberta Climbing Guidebook

 Here are the details on how to pre-order your copy of the Rock Climber's Guide to Southern Alberta.  I get them from the printers on Friday Oct 26. 2023.

Shipping through Canada post is crazy expensive - $17.  So most people are going to either pick them up at my house, or I'll  drop them off in Lethbridge/Magrath/Raymond/Cardston.  (Unless you really just want me to ship it….).  

Private sales are $35.  Book stores will be $45 or so (I imagine based on their margins).

To take orders, here’s the google form I'm using.  If you can fill that out, I’ll get things out to you as soon as the boxes are ready (likely pick-up/drop-off Oct 23-28)



Etransfers are probably the easiest way to pay for things.  But I’m also bringing a card reader to the VIMFF Film Festival this week at the Movie Mill.  I’ll set up a table there with the “proof” copy I’ve got, and an order form for people.

Thanks so much for the email.  Hope you can get out a bit.  Holler if you’ve got questions, want some beta, or need a color shot of any image…

I imagine it will be early November when I can get things out to the local climbing stores…

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

2023 Rock Climbers Guide to Southern Alberta at Printers

 The 5th edition of the Rock Climbers Guide to Southern Alberta is now at the Printers.

It will probably arrive just in time for VIMFF.  I'll bring a bunch of copies there for sale (credit card reader on hand).  If, for some reason pick-up is delayed, I'll take orders then drop them off at people's houses...


Monday, September 18, 2023

Full cover to the 5th Edition Rock & Alpine guide to Waterton, Pass, Gap


Guidebook ready for Printing

 After a delay due to unforeseen family complications, the new guidebook is ready to get sent to the printers. At 402 pages I have no idea what the printing costs will be. At least Black and White formatting should keep prices as reasonable as they can be.

Lots of alpine rock routes in it.  A number of technical scrambles, including a number of 1 pitch scrambles on Bear's Hump and various scrambling link ups.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

5th Edition Guidebook Templates

 These are the templates I'm looking at for the 5th edition of the Rock Climber's Guide to Southern Alberta.  I'm doing things in Black and White for cost (and if this thing is ever going to go out, I won't be able to easily get new pictures).  But, mostly it's for cost.  Small run books can't compete with big run stuff.

Looks like I'll be having to go back through photoshop and increase bubble sizes.... : (

The google map inserts are easy.  And you have fair use copyright up to 5k sales.

Monday, September 06, 2021

Waterton New Rock Climbing Routes

 The last few weeks of August have seen a couple of new routes go in or old routes 'fixed' up.  Activity has been concentrated on the Bear's Hump lower tier.  Personally I really like Pins and Needles.  I also suspect the new protection and belay station on Skyline will make that mini cirque more party friendly.  I suspect a few more direct finishes will go in on the terrain to the left.

4e Right of Stakes* 
5.5 25m 
Rock 3/4 
Pro 3/4 bolts + gear 
Moves 2/3 
Setting 2/3 
 F.A. Chris Goble in 2018 

 This climb goes up the dark rock just right of Dirty Stakes first pitch, and a few feet left of Mother’s Day. The first bolt is above the first ledge (ie the one at the 10 foot height). This makes is nearly impossible to see. Start on the scrambly ramp right under the Dirty Stakes corner and tend right. A good horizontal break on the ledge is the first piece of gear. Above this is the bolt. A low first bolt wasn’t placed due to the rope drag that would create. This route has two short sections with mandatory gear placements. One section is at about half height (0.5” to 1” cams). The other is right under the roof and to its right (#3 or #4 BD stopper and a small TCU or small tri-cams or nut). Two bolts have been placed above the overlap on the right hand side of this bulge. This enables a semi-direct finish to a bolted anchor behind the bush. Or you can continue along under the overlap with some awkward feeling positions which eventually lead to a wonderful slingable horn right at the exit. This right hand exit isn’t recommended as you end up with a finish whose protection standards are out of character with the rest of the route. Right of Stakes can be used to get to Pins and Needles’ bottom anchor (and hence the Central Que to Beeline bottom ledge). Cut left at the last bolt under the roof. Cross Dirty Stakes and head along the left hand face on reasonable gear. 

5b Pins and Needles*
 5.8/9 30m 
Rock 2/5 
Pro 3/4 bolts + gear 
Moves 2/3 
Setting 2/3 
 F.A. Chris Goble in 2021 

 This is the furthest right climb on the Warmup / Beeline / Central Queue ledge. It is continues the line taken by Right of Stakes’ leftward exit. Look for a line of tightly spaced bolts about 10 feet to the left of an old angle pin and biner (leave these in for history). The closely spaced starting bolts are nice because the crux comes just off the deck, and the rock, while generally solid, gives off a hollow vibe. But that may just be an artifact of weird pulls on dolomite horns. Once you figure out how to get past the low crux (don’t bail right into the loose stuff), the top kicks back quite a bit. Up here a few pieces of gear get mixed in with some semi-hidden bolts. The top has a 2 bolt anchor (no rap rings currently). The route is reminiscent of an easy Burly Bear P2 without exposure. Keeping the bottom on-grade takes some good rock reading and position deciphering. But, it’s short. As with most Goble routes, not a lot of cleaning has occurred since the climb was first led. I suspect a 30m rap will get you down, but I haven’t checked. 

10 Skyline* 
5.5 (5.8 variation) 20m 
 F.A. Paul Sloan and Craig Albright in the 1980’s 

This old rambly Sloan route has recently been adjusted by adding a bolted belay stations, a bottom bolt, and a bolt to protect an exposed traverse. I suspect it’s popularity should increase, even if it still looks deceptively easy. The route starts on the low angled rock about 30 feet to the left of Beeline. Two different approaches, protected by two different bolts, both lead to a low angle flake crack. A zig-zag section at 2/3 height enables two distinct exit options. The original route traverses right (5.5) before the short fist crack seam and is now protected by a bolt. At the ledge head up a great left trending corner fist crack (or go right to Doozle Day anchors

Over on the Crandell Slabs a short half pitch route adds a bit more climbing to the Labour of Love combo.  The best approach for this area post fire is to leave the Hump trail early while it is still low angle and follow the avalanche / scree gully up to the base of Loose Noose.

5e Calamari The Lower Cabbage Patch Slab** 
 5.5 15m 
Rock 3/4 
Pro 4/4   7 or 8 bolts 
Moves 2/3 
Setting 2/3 
F.A. Chris Goble and Mike Vilimek bolted ground up in 2021 

 This climb end up on the ledge which runs to Sick Day’s white water groove. On the right of the slab is a big ugly left facing chunk of overhanging rotten brown rock. This route stays away from that. It heads up a bubbly cabbage patch slab on tightly spaced bolts. Left of the bolts has easier climbing but a few friable sections. Right of the bolts is harder but the rock is better. Do whatever you want. The top ends in a gear (and horn) belay. You can walk off (climber’s) left, or walk right to get to Sick Day. I’m not sure if Sick Day has rap bolts on its bottom. It might… If so, you could do a top belay from those.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Southern Alberta Rock Climbing Area Overviews

 Last week I made a series of pretty informal rock climbing area overview videos.  This isn't a hashing of grades.  It's more a what's good to climb where.  You'll need the guidebook (free pdf from the alpine club section, or one of the old print versions, or the new 2022 one) to know the grades.  But, this should work for most people to get situated and to get out.

Here are the youtube video overviews.. basically the same as what I tell people on the phone or when I meet them...

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