This June, Andy Genereux was hard at work putting up routes on Yam. Genereux, the author of Yamnuska Rock, is a leading route developer in the Canadian Rockies. During the 1980s he pushed daring routes in the alpine. With Steve DeMaio and Jeff Marshall he climbed the north face of Mt. Lougheed, a scary 5.10+, they named The Warrior, in honour of Brian “BJ” Wallace, who lost his life during the penultimate attempt. Then with Marshall, Genereux climbed the West Face of Robertson above the Robertson Glacier, 5.11, 700m, over three days. After a number of risky climbs he began building sport climbs. He has climbed hundreds of new routes, fixed them with bolts and cleaned them of loose rock.
He climbs ground up and bolts on lead, leaving room for natural protection if it arises, sometimes rope-soloing. Other times he will rappel, cleaning off rock and bolting top-down. This technique results in a modern-style mixed route. Some climbers have spoken out against the proximity of his routes to established ones. However, his routes are popular as they offer well protected pitches with ring bolt belays for rappelling and easy anchor set-ups.
The Bowl Area is famous for routes such as, The Bowl, Excalibur, East End Boys and the Yellow Edge; Sean Isaac and Jon Walsh added Zig Zag, 5.12b, four years ago. Genereux has climbed at least a dozen new routes in The Bowl including Devils Right Hand, Grey Scale, and The Real Deal. This spring, with Ross Suchy, he added Blood Meridian, 5.12b, 175m, which is the fourth entirely bolted sport route on Yamnsuska. He also added 10 new bolted pitches, up to 5.11+, to the base of The Bowl wall that all lead to the base of the second pitch of the Bowl route.
Genereux bolting on lead. Photo Andy Genereux Collection