Home > News

Hummingbird is New B.C. 15-Pitch Bolted 5.11c or 5.10 A0

It climbs the remote Nomash Slab that is gaining popularity with the Vancouver Island climbing community

Up Wapiti Valley on Greyback Peak is a huge granite face called Nomash Slab. The mountain is part of the Ehattesaht’s territories on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Nomash Slab has a number of bolted multi-pitch routes, including Wapiti Mainline, a 13-pitch 5.11, the 11-pitch Forever 5.10d, and the 5.11 trad route Taladega Highbank. It’s one of the most aesthetic slabs of rock on the Island. Wapiti Mainline was established back in 2002 by Dave LePard, Dave Parsons and Carla Bortoletto at 5.10b A0 and is frequently climbed using the easy-to-aid bolts.

The most recent new route is called Hummingbird, and it climbs nearly 400 metres of granite at 5.11c or 5.10c A0. Bolted over four outings by Michael Ness, Kyle Bourquin and John Relyea-Voss in summer 2021, with assistance from Nick Brown and Lindsay Ness.

The first ascent team said that the lower half was bolted ground-up and the steeper upper section top down. The FA was on Aug. 1 by Ness and Relyea-Voss, with Ness making the FFA. “Hummingbird is a great climb with varied and interesting climbing starting from pitch-one that ranges from cracks, flakes, face climbing, slab climbing and bouldery moves that takes the climber up the far right of the Nomash Slab,” they said. “The upper pitches follow a very interesting quartz dyke feature that makes an otherwise unclimbable slab a unique and interesting climb.”

It’s noted that you can use a 60-metre rope thanks to rappel stations every 30 metres. The FA team used an 80-metre rope. Many of the belays are on ledges and there’s a via-ferrata partway up the route. “The upper pitches of this climb include some of the best views of the Rugged and the Haihte Ranges that can be found in the area,” they said. “The top-out provides easy access to open granite slabs and a nice lookout area.”

Hummingbird on Nomash Slab


Pitch 1 (45m) – 5.9, 10 bolts: Follows pitch one of Talidega Highbank. This pitch has been retro-bolted with newly added hangers and a rapp station added 30m up the pitch.
Pitch 2 (25m) – 5 10b, 7 bolts: Starts 5m to the right of the cedar just past Full Throttle. Climb trending right and up the shelf to the steeper slab to a small sized ledge. There are some cruxy moves traversing the blank slab after the steep shelf.
Pitch 3 (20m) – 5.10a, 5 bolts: Climb straight up the steeper slab to a good-sized ledge. Parties can rappel to a walkout spot above pitch one to the climbers right of the route on the way out with an 80m rope.
Pitch 4 (30m) – 5 10a, 6 bolts: Continue climbing the steeper slab finish below the right trending shelf.
Pitch 5 (30m) – 5.10a, 7 bolts: Climb the undercling flake that trends to the right. Top over the flake and continue trending right to the cedars. Finish on the wide ledge with a via ferrata. The next pitch is 7m to the right on the same ledge.
Pitch 6 (45m) – 5.11c or 5.10 A0 , 14 bolts: An intermediate rapp station has been added to this pitch. Complete a steep start onto the slab face following the dyke. Good footholds, steep moves, fun and challenging climbing. The difficulty is sustained over several bolts after getting established on the headwall with a high foot and a couple of hard crimps. Stick to the dyke the whole 45m for full value. This pitch alone is worth the trip out!
Pitch 7 (25m) – 5.9: Continue climbing the dyke in gentler terrain with some spaced bolting.
Pitch 8 (35m) – 5.8: An intermediate rapp station has been added to this pitch. Juggy crystal pockets on the dyke make for some easy and enjoyable climbing. Finish at anchors bolted to the wall below a right trending finger crack
Pitch 9 (45m) – 5.10b, 15 bolts: An intermediate rap station is located 25m up this pitch. Climb the steep finger Crack trending right and make your way over the top to a set of anchors to the right of a vegetated belay ledge.
Pitch 10 (40m) – 5.10a, 9 bolts: There is an intermediate rap station located 15m up this pitch. Climb the undercling shelf and up the tricky slab to the right trending ledge. Follow the upward crack and go right along ledges to the anchor.
Pitch 11 (40m) – 5.10b, 8 bolts: Intermediate rapp station is located 20m up this pitch. Climb using small crimp ledges towards the undercling flake. A few hard moves to start. Trend right and climb an undercling flake. A few more hard moves to gain the good ledge.
Pitch 12 (25m) – 5.10c, 9 bolts: Do a tricky mantle over the ledge and climb the steep dyke up to a nice flat landing for the next belay station. Another beauty pitch with excellent movement.
Pitch 13 (30m) – 5.9, 5 bolts: Mantle a couple ledges and follow features trending straight then slightly left to anchor.
Pitch 14 (20m) – 5.10a, 3 Bolts: Climb left trending crack to platform and trend right to first bolt. Climb up afterwards.
Pitch 15 (20m) – 5.10A, 3 Bolts: Optional top-out requires slight bushwack, pulling on some vegetation and squeezing under a tree! Rap anchors are bolted to a wall on a large landing 8 meters away from top out. Not recommended to double up this rappel due to rope drag.