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This Rockies Sport Crag is Stunning – Routes Up To 5.13

Development started over a decade ago and there's now several 5.12 and 5.13 lines that follow steep blue streaks

Photo by: Miles Adamson

The Canadian Rockies have a lot of steep sport climbing crags, with some of the best being the ones with tall blue streaks. Expressions Wall is just such a crag, with several eye-catching lines in a stunning setting.

Located in Kananaskis Country above Goat Pond, development on the wall started around 15 years ago by Jeff Relph, Paddy Jerome and Ross Suchy. They went to work bolting some of the most obvious blue streaks, which Miles Adamson said are “some of the finest and most featured blue streaks of limestone in the Bow Valley.”

Development stopped due to the complicated approach up slabs, gullies and exposed cliffs until 2012 when Kate Johnson and Adamson ventured up. They added five routes and worked on the approach, however it was deemed too sketchy and decommissioned.

Earlier this year, Adamson was joined by Matt Hendsbee and Kelsey Fleming to continue work on Expressions Wall. They installed chains and ladder rungs on slabs and narrow ledges. As Adamson warns, “People who struggle with exposure or do not trust themselves with their hands on a chain will not be able to get to the wall. Even with the chains, it is likely the most exposed approach in the Bow Valley (at least for sport crags).”

With that being said, the crag should become popular with experienced climbers looking for steep 5.12 and 5.13 projects. The wall is divided into the Bench Area, Perch Area and Far Left. The 17 routes include the 32-metre Bubba 5.12b, the 33-metre Ten Years Later 5.12b, the 33-metre Dude Where’s My Pickaxe 5.13a, and the 22-metre Adam Smith and the Invisible Hands 5.13b. Find a full topo here.

Lead photo: Miles Adamson