Americans Josh Wharton and Hayden Kennedy climb Yamnuska’s Blue Jeans 5.13.
Wharton had visited the steep Yamnuska route twice before, but it was Kennedy’s first go. Neither climber is a stranger to the Canadian Rockies as both have ticked a number of the area’s difficult routes (Wharton: North Face of North Twin and Kennedy: Onsight of Dreams of Verdon 5.12+ in the Ghost).
Blue Jeans was bolted by Nick Rochacewich and in 2010 Derek Galloway made the first ascent. A few years later in 2013, Vikki Weldon made the second. The route is named after a Canmore climber who wears blue jeans to the crag and in the alpine, Andrew Gallant, but also for the two blue streaks that drape down the steep face.
Last fall, Wharton made two attempts on winter-ish days with Jon Walsh. Read about the attempts here.
The exact grade of Blue Jeans has ranged from 5.13a to 5.13c, but the team confirmed a grade of 5.13b. We are waiting to confirm who redpointed what, but it sounds like a team send of Yamnuska’s hardest route. A strong effort by Kennedy who had never been on the route. Also worth noting is that, despite the snowy conditions, Kennedy wore Blue Jeans.
Blue Jeans is on our list of must-climb hard Rockies multi-pitch. For more, see here.
With a long summer ahead and increased interest in the Rockies’ most long and daring lines, it will be an interesting summer in Alberta’s high peaks.
It’s reported Wharton and Kennedy are heading up for one of the Rockies most classic alpine routes.
Blue Jeans is located in the Bowl Area on Yam, left of East End Boys, 5.12. The line is consistent, with a mix of great rock and poor rock.
The upper easier pitches are quite run out. Other routes with similar names are Brown Trousers, 5.10d, Yellow Edge, 5.11b, and Red Shirt, 5.9.
Blue Jeans is 200 metres and the pitches are: 5.12b, 5.12d, 5.12d, 5.13a, 5.13b, 5.11d, 5.10d.