Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Valley View 2012

Saturday Sept 29, 2012 Valley View 5.9 on Cascade

Synopsis: 4 stars out of 5, a fun 7 pitch sport route with some good climbing and easy access.

Kris and I arrived at the parking lot, just inside the cattle guard on the road to Lake Minnewanka and the light rain just wasn't letting up.  Finally at 10 am it looked to be clearing so we hit the trail.  

The trail is pretty obvious and it is a rare joy to be able to see the entire route from much of the approach.  It is a bit of a grunt and the sun came out in time to ensure some sweat.  We arrived at the wall and scrambled up in our approach shoes just left of a short wall with a bolted anchor.  Kris scrambled up to an old dead tree and spotted bolts just past the gully to the left.  Checked it out on descent and it appears to be the right start.

I lead the first pitch, pretty compact rock.  Kris got the second pitch with one 5.9 move and kept going to link up pitch 2 and 3.  While he was belaying me the wind picked up in earnest and it actually snowed a bit.  I was climbing quickly figuring we would bail but when I got to the belay the sun came back out!  Kind of set the tone for the day.

The next pitch was great prickly limestone and felt about right for the 5.9 grade.  We took a small rack but the only piece we placed was me when I didn't see a bolt close by early on.  Pitches were short, 10 draws more than did it.  Kris put the 5th and 6th pitches together without much rope drag and the climb started to live up to it's name.

The 7th pitch was fun but a lot of scree up near the belay made it hard to keep rocks off the second.  We were at the top 3 hours after starting to climb and scampered up to some ledges for lunch.

With a combination of lowering and rappelling on the bolted anchors we were down in just over an hour and were back at the car around 4:30 for a 6 1/2 hour day.

Recommended for a fairly short fun day out although next time I wouldn't take any gear and we did knock off a couple of rocks so wouldn't be keen to climb under another party.