Yukon’s Paint Mountain has Granite Multi-Pitch Adventures
Another One Bites the Dust and Chunder Gully are but two classic 5.10 long routes
Yukon has some of Canada’s biggest mountains, but few climbers think of the territory when talking about multi-pitch rock routes. Over the past decade, new multi-pitch routes have been added to Paint Mountain, White Mountain and Arc Mountain. White Mountain has solid limestone that is comparable to the Canadian Rockies. There are a handful of fun bolted multi-pitch up to 5.10, which shouldn’t be miss, but the real gem where splitter granite cracks can be found is Paint Mountain. The peak is on the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) land, which you can learn more about here.
From the highway, Paint Mountain can be seen as a left-facing buffalo with the deep gullies separating the head, should, belly and rear. There are eight established areas on the peak: Buffalo Shoulder Buttress, Cranberry Canyon, Orange Corner. Rat Mother Crack, Swiss Wall, Unnamed Area and Unnamed Slab.
Yukon has a number of climbers who are busy every season, including Dylan Stuart, Vanessa Scharf, Paul Henstridge, Reid Fink and Mat Trotter. In 2017, Greg Barrett and Charles Kalinsky found a splitter four-pitch route in Cranberry Canyon, a zone many climbers would say has the best granite near Haines Junction.
Most of the routes are single pitch, but Another One Bites the Dust climbs five stunning pitches up Buffalo Shoulder Buttress. This route climbs the buffalo’s shoulder that goes from the summit hump forming the back bone straight up. The area faces south and gets sun most of the day.
Cold winds can whip up out of no where, so be prepared for cold temps while you take photos of the stunning horizon and jam the nice cracks. The pitches on Another One Bites the Dust are all long and require a big rack of gear. The climbing is adventurous and will take you up some of the best granite pitches in Yukon.
The views of Kluane set the backdrop for Chunder Gully, a 5.10b line that will take you into a five-inch offwidth that has some fun features. Yukon is off the beaten track of most summer rock climbers, but the one-day drive from Squamish isn’t much to experience such raw Canadian wilderness. Not to mention the unlimited potential for new routes.
Chunder Gully would be a must-climb anywhere in Canada. The first pitch takes you up thin cracks at 5.9. The second pitch is more of the same, the it’s the offwidth third pitch that makes this climbs an instant classic. Head past a few bolts and into the five-inch crack. There are good seams to layback from, but you’ll need a lot of offwidth skills to get up this exposed pitch. From there, follow slabs to the top.
Yukon is out of the way, but makes for a great location to get away for a week. There’s also fun bouldering nearby and other classic single-pitch routes, such as Swiss Family Robinson 5.9, Maestri Komplott 5.10b, Open Book 5.8+ and Unnamed 5.7, all of which are in Swiss Canyon on Paint Mountain.
For more information visit Mountain Project here, a site that now lets you flag climbing route names that you find inappropriate for review.
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Led my first trad pitches of the season at Paint mountain this weekend with some pals. Tried simul climbing for the first time, and it felt surprisingly ok. It was such a treat to see more of the amazing territory of the Champagne & Aishihik First Nation.🏔 • • • • • • • • • • • #champagneaishihik #paintmountain #tradisrad #climbing #yukon