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The Wave is a New Crag in Banff

Found close to town, the crag has a 15-bolt 5.11 that follows amazing rock

Banff has some of the best rock climbing in the Canadian Rockies, with single pitch test-pieces, classic multi-pitches and long ridge routes. A new crag with four routes has been established along the Bow River.

In the 1970s, climbers freed a traversing crack called Mini Gonda. It’s one of the best gear climbs in Banff, though it’s rarely climbed. Next to it is a 25-metre-tall wall that was undeveloped until this spring. To find it, hike to the Black Band on Tunnel Mountain then continue along the river for a few minutes until you see the rock on your left in a forest.

The rock has edges and chert features. Point Break is a 5.11b/c with a technical crux low down. Beach Bum is a fun 5.10a. Radical starts up a corner and then follows a line of perfect crimps and features. The Surfer is a 15-bolt line that starts up a slab before heading up a cool feature that leads to solid rock to the top of the crag.

While there are more new routes planned at the crag, development is on hold until the fall. The routes are cleaned and well bolted, and the approach is around 10 minutes from the car, so if you’re in Banff and want to mix things up from Sunshine Slabs and the Black Band, check out The Wave. Beta here.