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Canada’s 88-Pitch Rock Climb Traverse

It’s All McConnell’s Fault is a massive traverse across the south face of Yamnuska in the Canadian Rockies. The route is over 2.5 kilometres long and has difficulties to 5.11 A0.

The traverse has been accomplished twice, with the most recent being in 2016 by Mark Bramble with a number of partners over a few trips. He traversed the route in 88 pitches.

Yamnuska is famous for it’s loose rock, hard route finding and run-out limestone pitches.

Rock & Ice recently published an article titled The Glorious Inanity of the Girdle Traverse and listed the longest traverses in the world, but left out Canada’s.

The incredible list of long sideways climbs includes the 75-pitch El Capitan Girdle Traverse (5.10 A4-), Stanage Traverse 5.11d-ish in the U.K. (a traverse of buttresses with walking between) and the 67-pitch The Great Wall of China 5.9R at the Gunks.

However, Canada’s longest traverse has more pitches than all of those listed on the list of longest in the world.

It’s All McConnell’s Fault on Yamnuska.

Yamnuska is about 45 minutes west of Calgary and has long been the centre of Rockies’ climbing action.

The first ascent of the traverse was in 2004 by Allan Derbyshire and Choc Quinn. The route is likely the longest rock climb in North America.

Many of the pitches are 5.9 or easier and until 2016, few climbers seemed interested in repeating the grand traverse.

It’s All McConnell’s Fault is likely the longest rock climb in North America that requires climbers to remain roped up. Many alpine and mountain routes may be longer, but include snow and ice.

Pitch 75 of the Yam traverse. Photo Mark Bramble