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Updated: Artificial Holds Drilled to Scramble in Rockies

Opal Ridge Traverse is a popular scramble in Kananaskis Country in the Canadian Rockies near Calgary. The ridge is around 10 kilometres long and is considered (or was considered) a difficult scramble.

Update on May 30: Photo of the artificial holds added below.

Artificial holds on Opal Ridge Traverse. Photo Bobby Gunning

It appears that someone has bolted artificial gym climbing holds onto a steep section of the scramble and the internet is not happy.

On the Scrambling in the Canadian Rockies Facebook page, a climber posted a photo of rock with coloured plastic holds.

Other climbers responded noting they will head up and chop the holds from the rock. Some compared the holds to a chain on the Yamnuska traverse down the road.

Bobby Gunning, an experienced Rockies climber, noted that “Someone has drilled gym-style climbing holds into the crux – they used very positive holds…”

He went on to say, “There are also two new looking pitons on the way up the crux and at the top there is a bolted station with rap rings. See the photo below to check out the holds.”

Find the holds in the image below.

Working through the crux on the Opal Traverse.

A post shared by Bobby Gunning (@bobby.gunning) on

On the site TrailPeak.com, it says about the traverse, “This is a serious scramble, technically really challenging and physically exhausting.

“Experienced scramblers only for sure to do the complete traverse, as you will need someone who has excellent abilities for route finding and hands on scrambling.”