Monday, June 23, 2008

Buchannon Gardens

Brendon Goble hanging out above the technical face/slab

Normally it is hard to compare routes at different crags. Reading through Randall Green's introduction in his guide to Montana Rock reminded me of this the other day. Comparing the grades of a crack climb to a face climb is, at best hard. After all, how many 5.10 wall climbers find a series of 5.7 hand jam all but impossible. Once you move over to judging aesthetics, things get a bit more tricky. While it's easy to say whether you enjoyed a particular route at Stonehill more than another at Grassi, you can't always project this onto other people. So when Anne, an avowed slab hater, said Viking press was the best route she had done in the area, I thought, well maybe she is right. So, if you like technical routes, and pulling of match stick sized sidepulls, this route maybe for you. The 10d crux just below the last bolt may make you scream. If you're like me this may either be from how close you came to the top before falling, the fear from pulling a crux ABOVE a bolt , or the gorgeous views of the pounding waterfalls.

Viking Press - 10d or so

To get up to Buchannon Gardens, you can park at Little Prairie (the gate up Cameron Highway where the skiing starts), cross the creek on a bridge just upstream, and then walk back down the trail (left) until you see some cordoroy on the trail and a gravel bed stream on the right. Walk up here until you hit the creek, and follow a very faint trail up the ridgeline before crossing the creek under a small waterfall and some more uphill bashing to the cliffs.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Trips June 17- July 1

Post trips for this weekend, or for the long weekend here.

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Dave, Kevin and i went to Fernie on Saturday to do some skiing. We drove into the public parking lot at Island Lake Lodge. It was a brilliant blue day and a late start so i figured we might be limited as to what we could do. We tied our ski's onto our packs and headed up the snow cat trail to the snowline. From there we skinned up the west side of the valley just to do some exploring. The sun was warming the snow fairly quickly which had me concerned but it seemed to be holding up. We headed up to the back end of one of the drainages (i'm really not sure which one) and climbed a north, north-east facing coulior. By the time we got to the top the sun was beating on the snow pretty hard and was softing rapidly. We took our skins off and headed back down. The skiing was quite good. We skied/picked our way down through the trees as far as we could to avoid packing our ski's to far. We were back at the truck about 3:00pm. We headed over to Steve's for a couple of cold beers and then home. I can hardly wait for Logan's Pass to open up.

Monday, June 09, 2008

For Sale

I have a 2-person Marmot mountaineering tent for sale, and wondered if you could please put this 'ad' for it up on your blog (I don't have access). The tent is in great shape, and had been very well cared for. I paid about $450 for it, but am willing to sell it for $150 (firm). Photos and specs on the tent can be found at:

It's a great tent for mountaineering/winter use, as well as some early spring/late fall backcountry use...I'm hoping I can sell it local to avoid the hassle of shipping, but if I can't sell it in the next two weeks or so, I'll just post it on the MEC gear swap, and expect it will go quickly there. If people are interested, they can call me at 329-8333, or email me at Thanks! Brad Hagen

Thursday, June 05, 2008

New bolt on Left Corner

UPDATE - a shot just under the crux of Left Corner - made more difficult with 35lbs of bolting gear for the upper right tier

Photo by Trevor MacMillan

New Bolt on Left Corner

a view looking at the meat of left corner

We tried the least popular of the three lower tier corners the other week - Left Corner 5.6. I think I may have to update the route picture in the guide book.

The climb starts just above the ledge that leads to the standard start to Leaning Column and Milt's Delight.

A quarter the way up the dolomite there is a fixed knife blade. About half way up the Dolomite a bolt has been added to a thinly protected section of climbing. This most likely went in at the same time as the new bolt of Leaning Column. The junction between the two rocks takes good nuts. While you can climb the buldge directly, most people will traverse to the left about 6 feet before traversing back on a good horizontal break. The guide book does not indicate this on the route description. Instead it shows a traverse much higher.

Left Corner has the most lose rock of the 3 main lower tier climbs. The fun climbing is short. The route's character is generally inconsistent. If you are just doing one of the lower routes, Leaning Column is probably still your best bet.

White noose still looks like a stout climb. It definitely has the potential to be another Waterton sandbag.

New Route(s) on the Hump

Blair at the start of the new route (Lyme Street) which lies on the Tier above Dave's Lash and Thick as a Tick

The other weekend Blair, Dave, Trevor, Anne and myself took some time to explore the tier to the right of the top of Dave's lash. There are up to a half dozen potential routes on this tier.

Starting from the far left of this space
1. There is a hollowed out section of face with some horizontal breaks and a slabby exit between roofs. I have gone up to the 30 foot height twice, but to get to the real climbing you will need some pins or very small cams, or even a bolt.

2. Behind the trees there is a great scrambling route that heads up some low angled slabs with good holds and great climbing. It is 4th/5th class.

3. There is a large roof to the right of the scramble, behind a large grove of trees. The left side of the roof has what appears to be a good break, but no one managed to pass it. Blair gave it a very good shot ground up.

4. There is another break to the right of this potential line. No one made it up this line while working it on top rope.

5. Lyme Street -5.9
There is a new bolted line up the grey streak of rock. It starts off with a steep start and mantle (small cam). Finding the incut hold a foot inside will help out. Two bolts protect the crux face moves and pinches above. Once up on the ledge there is some good gear that works through the next overhang (big nut, red tri-cam, mid sized nut, and a #4 stopper). There is a bolt above and then a two bolt anchor up top. The climb is a solid 5.9 on the Hump's sandbag scale (opinions ranged from 5.8 to 5.10a).

Dave inside the first break of Lyme Street

6. The corner to the right has also been worked on top rope. Protection is dubious and the key section for gear needs some cleaning and friable rock inspected. Probably a 5.10

On another note - Thick as a Tick definitely fits in as a solid lead. Gym rats who have never fist jammed through water limestone may not find it a fun 5.8. It is a nice climb though - just a bit airy through the hard crux moves.

Thick as a Tick goes through the crack and break in the middle of the left roof

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Trips June 2-16

Post your trips here.

After the fun Waterton BBQ this last weekend, I am hoping for a trip down to Blackleaf on June 14/15. Lots to climb there, and if you are a boulderer, there is a tonne of stuff you can go break your ankles on. - Last time we were down there though, it was a couple of locals who took a ground fall and had to crawl out from the 1 pitch sport routes- ouch!!

I have ordered Jake's guide to the area, and should have a review of it up as soon as it gets in.

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