Gordon Irwin is a guide with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides and recently reported about a large rockfall at the Black Band crag on Tunnel Mountain near Banff.
The wall is busy in the spring as it faces south and requires about 10 minutes of easy walking to approach. There are a number of well-bolted 5.10s up to 30 metres.
Irwin reported that on Wed. April 20, three climbers witnessed a large rockfall. The climbers were descending from the crag to the main trail after climbing a number of routes, including Farrago 5.9. The rockfall they watched swept down Farrago and sent “torso-sized” blocks on the trail below. The climbers continued their descent and did not inspect the damaged route.
“It was a warm sunny day, but there has been a prolonged period of warm weather in the Bow Valley and the snow has been long gone from this crag and area,” wrote Irwin. “Given the early and mild start to the climbing season this year, this near-miss is a heads up that spring rockfall season is also with us, following a winter that included many freeze-thaw cycles to loosen rocks both large and small.”
There are a number of multi-pitch sport routes on Tunnel, including Tonka 5.10d and Riel Rebellion 5.8. Watch this short video to get a feel for the climbing offered on Tunnel.