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New Rockies Routes Explore Remote Walls in Bow Valley

The new Grand Minnewanka near Banff

The Bow Valley in the Canadian Rockies has endless stone to explore for those who want to climb new routes.

Some of those walls are close to the road and some are more remote, like the two new routes recently climbed close to Canmore and Banff.

Above Lake Minnewanka, Paul Taylor and Paul Gardner climbed a new seven-pitch 5.10d A1 that takes nearly two hours to reach with a 45-minute bike ride.

They called it Grand Minnewanka and the route description says that “the setting is spectacular with a remote feels and the climbing is varied and enjoyable.”

The first ascent team also said, “A few moves of aid are required to overcome the huge obvious roof system, but don’t be deterred, it is exposed and fun and I think this adds to the experience.”

You can read more about Grand Minnewanka here.

The pitch-four aid roof Photo Paul Taylor

Farther east in the Bow Valley, Cory Rogans and Brandon Pullan climbed a new three-pitch route high above Canmore called Scurvy.

Their new route is the first addition to Ship’s Prow since 2001 and climbs three pitches of limestone cracks to an easy walk-off.

The approach takes about two hours via hiking to the top of Grassi Knob before traversing across the base of the wall.

Scurvy 5.10b 130m on Ship’s Prow

A few years ago, B.C. climber Ian Welsted dubbed the term “Canmonix” referring to the amazing climbing above Canmore, which few climbers visit because of the multi-hour approach.

There’s dozens of new routes that await climbers who are willing to hike into the Canmonix zones above the busy tourist town.

Scruvy climbs a pitch of 5.7 cracks to a good ledge before heading up a strenuous 5.10b crack that splits a wall. Above that, it climbs a bulge to a wide 5.10a corner crack and finishes on a loose ledge.

Cory Rogans on the crux of Scurvy 5.10b Photo Brandon Pullan