Danny O’Farrell has completed and made the first ascent of his new route called The Goat in Marble Canyon, B.C., and it’s really big and amazing. Climbed and established over two years, the monster 19-pitch bolted route goes at 5.9 [2019 repeats suggest 5.10a for the crux pitches] and can be climbed with one rope and rappelled in 30-metre pitches.
There’s a 5.11a variation pitch up high called The Billy Goat Gruff, which adds some technical slab work if you’re into it. The 650-metre slab tops out and descends dream weaver gully back to the highway.
“Thanks to all all those who helped me with the bolting and those who also pitched in a few bolts while they were at it,” said O’Farrell.
The Goat was climbed by O’Farrell and Jake Allen on June 16. The first nine pitches were climbed by O’Farrell, Jason Thorne, Andrea Zemanek and Rob Cook in 2016 and 2017. Pitches 10 and 11 variations were climbed by O’Farrell, David Leveille in 2018 and O’Farrell bolted the upper half alone in 2018.
O’Farrell is from southern Ontario and is a biologist living in Lillooet, near Marble Canyon. This is one of the biggest bolted routes in Canada, along with Sisyphus Summits 5.10d on Ha Ling and Fluffy Goat Butt Face 5.11a on Goat Mountain, both in Alberta.
Please be aware that this is an alpine style of climbing similar to the Rockies, with loose rocks at belay stations and sometimes close to the route. Stay on route and avoid knocking loose rocks down if parties are below you, especially when topping out.
This is likely the longest all-bolted climb in B.C. that is doable from the car in a day. A big thanks to O’Farrell and all route developers for putting in time and money to create long and safe routes for all to enjoy.
Marble Canyon is located within Marble Canyon Provincial Park, located in the Pavilion Mountain Range in south-central British Columbia.
Marble Canyon Provincial Park is located 35 kilometres northeast of Lillooet on Hwy 99, and 240 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, both 45 minutes away by car. There is a small campground nearby and plenty of parking for vans in the area.
The Goat Beta
Approach: Park Below Mid Wall (in photo below), hike towards the obvious crack system, which is known as Dreamweaver. You will come across a drainage system, hike up drainage system to small wall below the main Mid Wall. This is the start of The Goat.
Pitch 1 (5.5): 5 Bolts, 30m
Pitch 2 (5.8): 8 Bolts, 30m
(Pitch 1 & 2, can be linked with 60m rope)
Pitch 3: 60m 3/4 class scramble, follow flagging tape look for bolts near base of rock wall.
Pitch 4 (5.6): 8 Bolts, 30m
Pitch 5 (5.8): 8 Bolts, 30m
(Pitch 4 & 5, can be linked with 60m rope)
Pitch 6 (5.5): 3 Bolts, 30m
Pitch 7 (5.11a): 9 Bolts, 25m (Straight up from rap anchors) Billy Goat Gruff Variation
Pitch 7 (5.8): 9 Bolts, 25m (Farthest right belay station and bolts)
Pitch 8 (5.8): 8 Bolts, 25m
Pitch 9 (5.6): 5 Bolts, 25m
Pitch 10 (5.8): 9 Bolts, 20m
Pitch 11 (5.9): 12 Bolts, 30m
(Pitch 10 & 11, can be linked with 60m rope)
Pitch 12 (5.9): 10 Bolts, 30m
Pitch 13 (5.9): 10 Bolts, 30m
Pitch 14 (5.8): 8 Bolts, 30m
Pitch 15 (5.8): 8 Bolts, 25m
Pitch 16 (5.7): 8 Bolts, 30m
Pitch 17 (5.8): 10 Bolts, 30m
Pitch 18 (5.8): 8 Bolts, 25m
Pitch 19: 60m 3/4 class scramble, stay roped up scramble to the large pine tree. From here following the obvious trail to the left, you will see large rock that looks like a little pillar, look right for old rappel bolts used for Dreamweaver Decent into Gully. Rappel into gully and hike out.
Please be aware that this is an alpine-style climb similar to long limestone routes in the Rockies, with loose rocks at belay stations and sometimes close to the route. Stay on route and avoid knocking loose rocks down if parties are below you, especially when topping out.