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Wild New Rockies Route and the Crux Maverick Pitch

Bonar McCallum and Kevin Wilson have climbed a new multi-pitch 5.13 in Echo Canyon.

The new route is called Highway to the Danger Zone 5.13c and climbs the same wall as the well-known four-pitch route called Prospect 5.10 in Echo Canyon on Grotto Mountain near Canmore.

“The route is just up from Greg Tos’ route Where the Wild Things Are,” said McCallum. ” It takes a line up through a bulge and arete feature that you see when hiking out of The Lookout crag.”

Highway photo 2
The prow on the right of the photo is where the crux third pitch goes. An impressive line to say the least.  Photo Bonar McCallum

The three-pitch route is named after the famous Kenny Loggins song ‘Highway to the Danger Zone,’ which was featured three times in the hit movie Top Gun.

The pitches are broken down into the 40-metre Iceman Pitch 5.12a, the 38-metre Goose Pitch 5.12b and the 35-metre Maverick Pitch 5.13c, and McCallum said you need to bring 18 quickdraws.

“If you have an 80-metre rope you only need one to rap, but should bring up a second rope to rap if you have a 70 or smaller.”

The Maverick Pitch climbs up an impressive prow, as seen in the above photo. It is one of the most striking features on the wall.

One of the steepest prow pitches in the Rockies, if not the steepest, is the crux pitch on Sonnie Trotter’s Castles in the Sky 5.14, see here.

Highway to the Danger Zone 5.13c.  Photo Bonar
Highway to the Danger Zone 5.13c. Photo Bonar McCallum

This is the first mutli-pitch McCallum has established. The nearly 49-year-old Calgary-based climber made the second ascent of Bone Thief Extension 5.14 in 2014, see here for more on the send.

The Danger Zone video: