The Canadian Rockies have a long shoulder season and one way climbers stay busy is by running laps at the few drytooling crags, such as the Playground and Drive-in. The Tool Shed is the newest crag that allows climbers to utilize their drytool skills.
The four routes range from D3 (5.6) to D6 (5.11) and climb thin cracks in mostly solid limestone. The crag is no more than 15 metres at its tallest section. The best part of the Tool Shed is that it’s only 10 minutes from the car, in Canmore, on the approach to the Junkyards ice climbs below Grassi Lakes.
If you visit the Tool Shed, keep in mind that it’s a new crag and there might still be loose rock. There’s some moss on the stone, but it will clean up overtime and doesn’t interfere with the metal you’re using to climb the route with.
The routes were established by Gripped editor Brandon Pullan and New Zealand Alpine Team climber Jaz Morris. The routes are all named after ice tools. “There’s room for a fifth route, but it would require extensive cleaning and the removal of foliage, which we opted to leave alone.”
The Tool Shed
Approach: Park at the lower Grassi Lakes parking lot. Walk along the road to the hydro dam and up steel stairs to a wide path. From here, you head directly into the forest and not left to the ice climbs. You can’t miss the crag, it’s 10 metres off the trail in the bush. Map here.
Toproping: You can take the trail left and up to access the anchors to toprope.
Routes Left to Right
Quark Crack: Up the dirty ledges to gain the upper face. Follow good cracks and edges with big feet to the ring-bolt anchor. (D4 4 bolts)
Terrordactyle: Start with a stein pull and up to a good incut. Moves up left to a big move right into the crack. Up the crack and big incuts till you pull around the arete. (D5 7 bolts)
Fusion: Start at the lowest point of the wall and head up the seam to a big move right to the crack. Up edges and cracks through the roof. Good edges up the slab past a juniper bush. Optional start up right and move left into crack. (D6 7 bolts)
Chouinard O’Corner: Up the chimney/cracks finding big holds, small crack for tools and feet on right. Was first climbed on gear. (D3 5 bolts)