Seven Easy Bolted Rockies Multi-Pitch Climbs

Add these to your list for when you can visit the Canadian Rockies after the coronavirus lockdown

April 14th, 2020 by | Posted in Profiles, Rockies, Routes |

The Canadian Rockies have dozens of fun multi-pitch routes and the term “easy” shouldn’t make you think the following should be taken lightly. However, in terms of grades, these are five of the lowest graded climbs from Kananaskis Country to Banff.

You need to be skilled in multi-pitch climbing and descents, have good route-finding skills, remember that most long routes have some loose rock, wear a helmet, bring extra layers and water, and be prepared for the unexpected. Once you know that you can handle multi-pitch climbing safely, consider starting on these low-grade climbs that follow nice lines.

Gold Rush

One of the newest long multi-pitch bolted routes in the Rockies, Gold Rush is a 14-pitch 5.7 with well-protected pitches. It starts less than 10 minutes from the car at the same parking area for Rundlehorn and climbs to the upper-most ledge on the North Ridge of Rundle. Established over a few trips, the route was bolted and cleaned ground-up, but like all Rockies low-angle routes, it will continue to have small loose rocks, especially after winter. The pitch 11 traverse has to be re-climbed on the way down. For more info visit here.

More Cowbell

A new-ish 10-pitch 5.7 bolted route in Kananaskis Country that has become very popular. Called More Cowbell, the 315-metre route climbs on Delta Wall above Highway 40 across the valley from Nakiska Ski Resort.

There’s a cowbell fixed to the top anchor. More Cowbell was a comedy sketch on Saturday Night Live back in April 2000. For beta visit here.

More Cowbell

Slabby McSlab Face

Another fun new-for-2018 route is Slabby McSlab Face, a four-pitch slab route that is mostly 5.4 and 5.5 climbing. It will test your smearing skills and give you nice views of Mount Kidd.

Located above the popular Baldy Crag, it only takes 20 minutes to reach from the car. More info here.

Alyssa Acchione on Slabby McSlab. Face Photo Brandon Pullan

Wheat Kings

First climbed in 2016 up a series of slabs near Banff, the seven-pitch route connects good rock through pitches of low angle rambling. The crux and upper pitch make the climb worth the trip.

The nature of the stone makes it so it will never be void of loose pebbles. The views of Banff, Mount Rundle and Mount Louis make this a must-climb. Mountain guide said that every time he reaches the Pretty Things ledge, he sings the chorus to the song Wheat Kings by the Tragically Hip, which the route is named after.

Brandon Pullan on Wheat Kings. Photo Gaby James


An old route with modern protection, the lower slabs follow 5.4 climbing above the Bow River on Mount Rundle. The 11 pitches provide some steep climbing on mostly good rock.

Combine this with the next route for a half-pipe sort of day up both sides of the river. More info here.

Dancing Sasquatch

Dancing Sasquatch climbs slabs and cracks on the far south end of Tunnel Mountain. With only a 10 minute approach, three pitches at mostly 5.4, it has become a good introductory multi-pitch route.

Visit the Maclab in the Banff Centre at the base of the descent for a post-climb bevy on their nice patio. The third pitch of this route provides good photo ops. More info here.


With 10 pitches of enjoyable climbing on solid limestone, Aftonroe at Guide’s Rock might be Canada’s most popular multi-pitch. It has sustained short cruxes, but over all is about 5.6.

Be prepared to wait in line for this one or try to be the first to the crag. More info here.

Mark Howell on Aftonroe. Photo Tim Banfield