Home > News

New Route at Alberta’s Historic Dust Bowl is 5.13

Adam Currie of Calgary has made the first ascent of Bangers and Mash 5.13c at the Dust Bowl on Moose Mountain near Calgary

Currie has experience with hard 5.13 lines as he has ticked two 5.13d routes at Acephale, Beam Me Up Scotty and Fully Jingus.

The Dust Bowl. Photo Nick Thatcher

Of his Bangers and Mash send, Currie said, “Needed some old English for this one. Amazing dihedral climbing, about five to six days to figure out all the beta and around 10 redpoint attempts.”

Moose Mountain is not far from Calgary and has potential to be one of the Rockies most popular crags, especially on cold days.

There dozens of great routes and lots of new ground to be explored. Larry Ostrander began bolting there in the 1980s. He died in a climbing accident at the Dust Bowl in 1993 and a small memorial plaque is on the rock between the crags Larry’s Gym and Painted Wall.

Ostrander had developed many of the routes near Calgary, including those found at Barrier Bluffs. He would live in his van and project hard routes, including many of Alberta’s first 5.12s, found at the Dust Bowl.

Sling holding on loose block by Ostrander. Photo Nick Thatcher

In 1994, Andy Genereux began bolting at Moose Mountain in the now-called Moose Patch. His first route at the Dust Bowl was in 2001 and called Larry’s Groove. Genereux built a trail and promoted the area to other climbers.

Soon other climbers joined in the new routes, including Daren Tremaine, Roger Chayer and Marcus Norman. The Dust Bowl faces south and has a short approach.

As Genereux notes, “It’s not a Bataan or Echo Canyon, but these crags provide a worthwhile trip especially during the fringe months and offers a much quicker alternative to the much farther located Bow Valley crags for Calgary based climbers.” For a topo visit here.